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16 Sep 2021 at 01:46
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Bibliography on: Microbial Ecology


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 16 Sep 2021 at 01:46 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®)


RevDate: 2021-09-15

Trego AC, Conall Holohan B, Keating C, et al (2021)

First proof of concept for full-scale, direct, low-temperature anaerobic treatment of municipal wastewater.

Bioresource technology, 341:125786 pii:S0960-8524(21)01127-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Municipal wastewater constitutes the largest fraction of wastewater, and yet treatment processes are largely removal-based. High-rate anaerobic digestion (AD) has revolutionised the sustainability of industrial wastewater treatment and could additionally provide an alternative for municipal wastewater. While AD of dilute municipal wastewater is common in tropical regions, the low temperatures of temperate climates has resulted in slow uptake. Here, we demonstrate for the first time, direct, high-rate, low-temperature AD of low-strength municipal wastewater at full-scale. An 88 m3 hybrid reactor was installed at the municipal wastewater treatment plant in Builth Wells, UK and operated for 290 days. Ambient temperatures ranged from 2 to 18 °C, but remained below 15 °C for > 100 days. Influent BOD fluctuated between 2 and 200 mg L-1. However, BOD removal often reached > 85%. 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing of DNA from the biomass revealed a highly adaptable core microbiome. These findings could provide the basis for the next-generation of municipal wastewater treatment.

RevDate: 2021-09-15

De Vuyst L, Comasio A, SV Kerrebroeck (2021)

Sourdough production: fermentation strategies, microbial ecology, and use of non-flour ingredients.

Critical reviews in food science and nutrition [Epub ahead of print].

Sourdough production is an ancient method to ferment flour from cereals for the manufacturing of baked goods. This review deals with the state-of-the-art of current fermentation strategies for sourdough production and the microbial ecology of mature sourdoughs, with a particular focus on the use of non-flour ingredients. Flour fermentation processes for sourdough production are typically carried out by heterogeneous communities of lactic acid bacteria and yeasts. Acetic acid bacteria may also occur, although their presence and role in sourdough production can be criticized. Based on the inoculum used, sourdough productions can be distinguished in fermentation processes using backslopping procedures, originating from a spontaneously fermented flour-water mixture (Type 1), starter culture-initiated fermentation processes (Type 2), and starter culture-initiated fermentation processes that are followed by backslopping (Type 3). In traditional recipes for the initiation and/or propagation of Type 1 sourdough productions, non-flour ingredients are often added to the flour-water mixture. These ingredients may be the source of an additional microbial inoculum and/or serve as (co-)substrates for fermentation. An example of the former is the addition of yoghurt; an example of the latter is the use of fruit juices. The survival of microorganisms transferred from the ingredients to the fermenting flour-water mixture depends on the competitiveness toward particular strains of the microbial species present under the harsh conditions of the sourdough ecosystem. Their survival and growth is also determined by the presence of the appropriate substrates, whether or not carried over by the ingredients added.

RevDate: 2021-09-15

Matsumoto S, Watanabe K, Imamura A, et al (2021)

Comparative Analysis Between Paramecium Strains with Different Syngens Using the RAPD Method.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Paramecium spp. are a genus of free-living protists that live mainly in freshwater environments. They are ciliates with high motility and phagocytosis and have been used to analyze cell motility and as a host model for pathogens. Besides such biological characteristics, apart from the usual morphological and genetic classification of species, the existence of taxonomies (such as syngens) and mating types related to Paramecium's unique reproduction is known. In this study, we attempted to develop a simple method to identify Paramecium strains, which are difficult to distinguish morphologically, using random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis. Consequently, we can observe strain-specific band patterns. We also confirm that the presence of endosymbiotic Chlorella cells affects the band pattern of P. bursaria. Furthermore, the results of the RAPD analysis using several P. caudatum strains with different syngens show that it is possible to detect a band specific to a certain syngen. By improving the reaction conditions and random primers, based on the results of this study, RAPD analysis can be applied to the identification of Paramecium strains and their syngen confirmation tests.

RevDate: 2021-09-14

Putman LI, Sabuda MC, Brazelton WJ, et al (2021)

Microbial Communities in a Serpentinizing Aquifer Are Assembled through Strong Concurrent Dispersal Limitation and Selection.

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

In recent years, our appreciation of the extent of habitable environments in Earth's subsurface has greatly expanded, as has our understanding of the biodiversity contained within. Most studies have relied on single sampling points, rather than considering the long-term dynamics of subsurface environments and their microbial populations. One such habitat are aquifers associated with the aqueous alteration of ultramafic rocks through a process known as serpentinization. Ecological modeling performed on a multiyear time series of microbiology, hydrology, and geochemistry in an ultrabasic aquifer within the Coast Range Ophiolite reveals that community assembly is governed by undominated assembly (i.e., neither stochastic [random] nor deterministic [selective] processes alone govern assembly). Controls on community assembly were further assessed by characterizing aquifer hydrogeology and microbial community adaptations to the environment. These analyses show that low permeability rocks in the aquifer restrict the transmission of microbial populations between closely situated wells. Alpha and beta diversity measures and metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data from microbial communities indicate that high pH and low dissolved inorganic carbon levels impose strong environmental selection on microbial communities within individual wells. Here, we find that the interaction between strong selection imposed by extreme pH and enhanced ecological drift due to dispersal limitation imposed by slow fluid flow results in the undominated assembly signal observed throughout the site. Strong environmental selection paired with extremely low dispersal in the subsurface results in low diversity microbial communities that are well adapted to extreme pH conditions and subject to enhanced stochasticity introduced by ecological drift over time. IMPORTANCE Microbial communities existing under extreme or stressful conditions have long been thought to be structured primarily by deterministic processes. The application of macroecology theory and modeling to microbial communities in recent years has spurred assessment of assembly processes in microbial communities, revealing that both stochastic and deterministic processes are at play to different extents within natural environments. We show that low diversity microbial communities in a hard-rock serpentinizing aquifer are assembled under the influence of strong selective processes imposed by high pH and enhanced ecological drift that occurs as the result of dispersal limitation due to the slow movement of water in the low permeability aquifer. This study demonstrates the important roles that both selection and dispersal limitation play in terrestrial serpentinites, where extreme pH assembles a microbial metacommunity well adapted to alkaline conditions and dispersal limitation drives compositional differences in microbial community composition between local communities in the subsurface.

RevDate: 2021-09-14

Chen Y, Wang Y, Paez-Espino D, et al (2021)

Prokaryotic viruses impact functional microorganisms in nutrient removal and carbon cycle in wastewater treatment plants.

Nature communications, 12(1):5398.

As one of the largest biotechnological applications, activated sludge (AS) systems in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) harbor enormous viruses, with 10-1,000-fold higher concentrations than in natural environments. However, the compositional variation and host-connections of AS viruses remain poorly explored. Here, we report a catalogue of ~50,000 prokaryotic viruses from six WWTPs, increasing the number of described viral species of AS by 23-fold, and showing the very high viral diversity which is largely unknown (98.4-99.6% of total viral contigs). Most viral genera are represented in more than one AS system with 53 identified across all. Viral infection widely spans 8 archaeal and 58 bacterial phyla, linking viruses with aerobic/anaerobic heterotrophs, and other functional microorganisms controlling nitrogen/phosphorous removal. Notably, Mycobacterium, notorious for causing AS foaming, is associated with 402 viral genera. Our findings expand the current AS virus catalogue and provide reference for the phage treatment to control undesired microorganisms in WWTPs.

RevDate: 2021-09-13

Undabarrena A, Pereira CF, Kruasuwan W, et al (2021)

Integrating perspectives in actinomycete research: an ActinoBase review of 2020-21.

Microbiology (Reading, England), 167(9):.

Last year ActinoBase, a Wiki-style initiative supported by the UK Microbiology Society, published a review highlighting the research of particular interest to the actinomycete community. Here, we present the second ActinoBase review showcasing selected reports published in 2020 and early 2021, integrating perspectives in the actinomycete field. Actinomycetes are well-known for their unsurpassed ability to produce specialised metabolites, of which many are used as therapeutic agents with antibacterial, antifungal, or immunosuppressive activities. Much research is carried out to understand the purpose of these metabolites in the environment, either within communities or in host interactions. Moreover, many efforts have been placed in developing computational tools to handle big data, simplify experimental design, and find new biosynthetic gene cluster prioritisation strategies. Alongside, synthetic biology has provided advances in tools to elucidate the biosynthesis of these metabolites. Additionally, there are still mysteries to be uncovered in understanding the fundamentals of filamentous actinomycetes' developmental cycle and regulation of their metabolism. This review focuses on research using integrative methodologies and approaches to understand the bigger picture of actinomycete biology, covering four research areas: i) technology and methodology; ii) specialised metabolites; iii) development and regulation; and iv) ecology and host interactions.

RevDate: 2021-09-13

Li Q, T Van de Wiele (2021)

Gut microbiota as a driver of the interindividual variability of cardiometabolic effects from tea polyphenols.

Critical reviews in food science and nutrition [Epub ahead of print].

Tea polyphenols have been extensively studied for their preventive properties against cardiometabolic diseases. Nevertheless, the evidence of these effects from human intervention studies is not always consistent, mainly because of a large interindividual variability. The bioavailability of tea polyphenols is low, and metabolism of tea polyphenols highly depends on individual gut microbiota. The accompanying reciprocal relationship between tea polyphenols and gut microbiota may result in alterations in the cardiometabolic effects, however, the underlying mechanism of which is little explored. This review summarizes tea polyphenols-microbiota interaction and its contribution to interindividual variability in cardiometabolic effects. Currently, only a few bacteria that can biodegrade tea polyphenols have been identified and generated metabolites and their bioactivities in metabolic pathways are not fully elucidated. A deeper understanding of the role of complex interaction necessitates fully individualized data, the ntegration of multiple-omics platforms and development of polyphenol-centered databases. Knowledge of this microbial contribution will enable the functional stratification of individuals in the gut microbiota profile (metabotypes) to clarify interindividual variability in the health effects of tea polyphenols. This could be used to predict individual responses to tea polyphenols consumption, hence bringing us closer to personalized nutrition with optimal dose and additional supplementation of specific microorganisms.

RevDate: 2021-09-13

Tavares TCL, Bezerra WM, Normando LRO, et al (2021)

Brazilian Semi-Arid Mangroves-Associated Microbiome as Pools of Richness and Complexity in a Changing World.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:715991.

Mangrove microbiomes play an essential role in the fate of mangroves in our changing planet, but the factors regulating the biogeographical distribution of mangrove microbial communities remain essentially vague. This paper contributes to our understanding of mangrove microbiomes distributed along three biogeographical provinces and ecoregions, covering the exuberant mangroves of Amazonia ecoregion (North Brazil Shelf) as well as mangroves located in the southern limit of distribution (Southeastern ecoregion, Warm Temperate Southwestern Atlantic) and mangroves localized on the drier semi-arid coast (Northeastern ecoregion, Tropical Southwestern Atlantic), two important ecotones where poleward and landward shifts, respectively, are expected to occur related to climate change. This study compared the microbiomes associated with the conspicuous red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) root soils encompassing soil properties, latitudinal factors, and amplicon sequence variants of 105 samples. We demonstrated that, although the northern and southern sites are over 4,000 km apart, and despite R. mangle genetic divergences between north and south populations, their microbiomes resemble each other more than the northern and northeastern neighbors. In addition, the northeastern semi-arid microbiomes were more diverse and displayed a higher level of complexity than the northern and southern ones. This finding may reflect the endurance of the northeast microbial communities tailored to deal with the stressful conditions of semi-aridity and may play a role in the resistance and growing landward expansion observed in such mangroves. Minimum temperature, precipitation, organic carbon, and potential evapotranspiration were the main microbiota variation drivers and should be considered in mangrove conservation and recovery strategies in the Anthropocene. In the face of changes in climate, land cover, biodiversity, and chemical composition, the richness and complexity harbored by semi-arid mangrove microbiomes may hold the key to mangrove adaptability in our changing planet.

RevDate: 2021-09-13

Zhao J, Ma J, Yang Y, et al (2021)

Response of Soil Microbial Community to Vegetation Reconstruction Modes in Mining Areas of the Loess Plateau, China.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:714967.

Vegetation reconstruction and restoration is vital to the health of the mine land ecosystem. Different vegetations might change microbial community structure and function of soil, mediating the biogeochemical cycle and nutrition supply to the soil. To clarify the response of soil microbes to different vegetation reconstruction modes in the mining areas of the Loess Plateau, China, soil microbial community structures and functions were determined by the MiSeq high-throughput sequencing along with PICRUSt2 and FUNGuild tools. The fungal community richness was observed to be the highest in grassland soil and positively correlated with soil organic matter, total nitrogen, and nitrate-nitrogen. The bacterial and fungal community structures were similar in grassland and brushland areas, but were significantly differentiated in the coniferous and broadleaf forest, and the leading factors were soil pH and nitrate-nitrogen. Actinobacteriota, Proteobacteria, and Acidobacteriota were the dominant bacterial phyla under different vegetation reconstruction modes. The dominant phyla of fungi were Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, and Mortierellomycota. Different vegetation reconstruction modes did not affect the bacterial functional communities but shaped different functional groups of fungi. The grassland soil was dominated by saprotrophic fungi, while symbiotrophic fungi dominated the coniferous and broadleaf forests. The results suggested that shifts in vegetation reconstruction modes may alter the mining soil bacterial and fungal community structures and function. These findings improve the understanding of microbial ecology in the reclaimed mine soil and provide a reference for the ecological restoration of fragile mining ecosystems.

RevDate: 2021-09-12

Mikhailov IS, Galachyants YP, Bukin YS, et al (2021)

Seasonal Succession and Coherence Among Bacteria and Microeukaryotes in Lake Baikal.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Microorganisms exhibit seasonal succession governed by physicochemical factors and interspecies interactions, yet drivers of this process in different environments remain to be determined. We used high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA and 18S rRNA genes to study seasonal dynamics of bacterial and microeukaryotic communities at pelagic site of Lake Baikal from spring (under-ice, mixing) to autumn (direct stratification). The microbial community was subdivided into distinctive coherent clusters of operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Individual OTUs were consistently replaced during different seasonal events. The coherent clusters change their contribution to the microbial community depending on season. Changes of temperature, concentrations of silicon, and nitrates are the key factors affected the structure of microbial communities. Functional prediction revealed that some bacterial or eukaryotic taxa that switched with seasons had similar functional properties, which demonstrate their functional redundancy. We have also detected specific functional properties in different coherent clusters of bacteria or microeukaryotes, which can indicate their ability to adapt to seasonal changes of environment. Our results revealed a relationship between seasonal succession, coherency, and functional features of freshwater bacteria and microeukaryotes.

RevDate: 2021-09-10

LaForgia ML, Kang H, CL Ettinger (2021)

Invasive Grass Dominance over Native Forbs Is Linked to Shifts in the Bacterial Rhizosphere Microbiome.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Rhizosphere microbiomes have received growing attention in recent years for their role in plant health, stress tolerance, soil nutrition, and invasion. Still, relatively little is known about how these microbial communities are altered under plant competition, and even less about whether these shifts are tied to competitive outcomes between native and invasive plants. We investigated the structure and diversity of rhizosphere bacterial and fungal microbiomes of native annual forbs and invasive annual grasses grown in a shade-house both individually and in competition using high-throughput amplicon sequencing of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene and the fungal ITS region. We assessed how differentially abundant microbial families correlate to plant biomass under competition. We find that bacterial diversity and structure differ between native forbs and invasive grasses, but fungal diversity and structure do not. Furthermore, bacterial community structures under competition are distinct from individual bacterial community structures. We also identified five bacterial families that varied in normalized abundance between treatments and that were correlated with plant biomass under competition. We speculate that invasive grass dominance over these natives may be partially due to effects on the rhizosphere community, with changes in specific bacterial families potentially benefiting invaders at the expense of natives.

RevDate: 2021-09-10

Lammers A, Zweers H, Sandfeld T, et al (2021)

Antimicrobial Compounds in the Volatilome of Social Spider Communities.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:700693.

Social arthropods such as termites, ants, and bees are among others the most successful animal groups on earth. However, social arthropods face an elevated risk of infections due to the dense colony structure, which facilitates pathogen transmission. An interesting hypothesis is that social arthropods are protected by chemical compounds produced by the arthropods themselves, microbial symbionts, or plants they associate with. Stegodyphus dumicola is an African social spider species, inhabiting communal silk nests. Because of the complex three-dimensional structure of the spider nest antimicrobial volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are a promising protection against pathogens, because of their ability to diffuse through air-filled pores. We analyzed the volatilomes of S. dumicola, their nests, and capture webs in three locations in Namibia and assessed their antimicrobial potential. Volatilomes were collected using polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) tubes and analyzed using GC/Q-TOF. We showed the presence of 199 VOCs and tentatively identified 53 VOCs. More than 40% of the tentatively identified VOCs are known for their antimicrobial activity. Here, six VOCs were confirmed by analyzing pure compounds namely acetophenone, 1,3-benzothiazole, 1-decanal, 2-decanone, 1-tetradecene, and docosane and for five of these compounds the antimicrobial activity were proven. The nest and web volatilomes had many VOCs in common, whereas the spider volatilomes were more differentiated. Clear differences were identified between the volatilomes from the different sampling sites which is likely justified by differences in the microbiomes of the spiders and nests, the plants, and the different climatic conditions. The results indicate the potential relevance of the volatilomes for the ecological success of S. dumicola.

RevDate: 2021-09-09

Yaghoubi Khanghahi M, Crecchio C, E Verbruggen (2021)

Shifts in the Rhizosphere and Endosphere Colonizing Bacterial Communities Under Drought and Salinity Stress as Affected by a Biofertilizer Consortium.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The present research asks how plant growth-promoting bacterial (PGPB) inoculants and chemical fertilizers change rhizosphere and root endophytic bacterial communities in durum wheat, and its dependence on environmental stress. A greenhouse experiment was carried out under drought (at 40% field capacity), or salinity (150 mM NaCl) conditions to investigate the effects of a chemical fertilizer (containing nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and zinc) or a biofertilizer (a bacterial consortium of four PGPBs). High-throughput amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA of the rhizosphere, non-sterilized, or surface-sterilized roots, showed shifts in bacterial communities in response to stress treatments, which were greater for salinity than for drought and tended to show increased oligotrophs relative abundances compared to non-stress controls. The results also showed that Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Gemmatimonadetes, Thaumarchaeota, Firmicutes, and Verrucomicrobia had a higher relative abundance in the rhizosphere, while Actinobacteria were more abundant on roots, while Candidatus_Saccharibacteria and Planctomycetes inside roots. The results indicated that the root endophytic bacterial communities were more affected by (bio-) fertilization treatments than those in the rhizosphere, particularly as affected by PGPB inoculation. This greater susceptibility of endophytes to (bio-) fertilizers was associated with increased abundance of the 16S rRNA and acdS genes in plant roots, especially under stress conditions. These changes in root endophytes, which coincided with an improvement in grain yield and photosynthetic capacity of plants, may be considered as one of the mechanisms by which PGPB affect plants.

RevDate: 2021-09-09

Silva AMM, Estrada-Bonilla GA, Lopes CM, et al (2021)

Does Organomineral Fertilizer Combined with Phosphate-Solubilizing Bacteria in Sugarcane Modulate Soil Microbial Community and Functions?.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Soil bacterial and fungal communities are suitable soil ecosystem health indicators due to their sensitivity to management practices and their role in soil ecosystem processes. Here, information on composition and functions of bacterial and fungal communities were evaluated at two phenological stages of sugarcane (six and twelve months, equivalent to the most intensive vegetative stage and to final maturation, respectively) when organomineral fertilizer, combined with phosphate-solubilizing bacteria (PSB), was added into the soil. Organic compost enriched with apatite (C + A) or phosphorite (C + P) and compost without phosphate enrichment (C) were used in the presence or absence of PSB. In addition, we used a control fertilized with soluble triple superphosphate. The differences were more related to the sampling period than to the type of organomineral fertilizer, being observed higher available phosphorus at six months than at twelve months. Only in the C treatment we observed the presence of Bacillaceae and Planococcaceae, while Pseudomonadaceae were only prevalent in inoculated C + A. As for fungi, the genera Chaetomium and Achroiostachys were only present in inoculated C + P, while the genus Naganishia was most evident in inoculated C + A and in uninoculated C + P. Soliccocozyma represented 75% of the total fungal abundance in uninoculated C while in inoculated C, it represented 45%. The bacterial community was more related to the degradation of easily decomposable organic compounds, while the fungal community was more related to degradation of complex organic compounds. Although the microbial community showed a resilient trait, subtle changes were detected in microbial community composition and function, and this may be related to the increase in yield observed.

RevDate: 2021-09-09

Yun J, Jung JY, Kwon MJ, et al (2021)

Temporal Variations Rather than Long-Term Warming Control Extracellular Enzyme Activities and Microbial Community Structures in the High Arctic Soil.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

In Arctic soils, warming accelerates decomposition of organic matter and increases emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs), contributing to a positive feedback to climate change. Although microorganisms play a key role in the processes between decomposition of organic matter and GHGs emission, the effects of warming on temporal responses of microbial activity are still elusive. In this study, treatments of warming and precipitation were conducted from 2012 to 2018 in Cambridge Bay, Canada. Soils of organic and mineral layers were collected monthly from June to September in 2018 and analyzed for extracellular enzyme activities and bacterial community structures. The activity of hydrolases was the highest in June and decreased thereafter over summer in both organic and mineral layers. Bacterial community structures changed gradually over summer, and the responses were distinct depending on soil layers and environmental factors; water content and soil temperature affected the shift of bacterial community structures in both layers, whereas bacterial abundance, dissolved organic carbon, and inorganic nitrogen did so in the organic layer only. The activity of hydrolases and bacterial community structures did not differ significantly among treatments but among months. Our results demonstrate that temporal variations may control extracellular enzyme activities and microbial community structure rather than the small effect of warming over a long period in high Arctic soil. Although the effects of the treatments on microbial activity were minor, our study provides insight that microbial activity may increase due to an increase in carbon availability, if the growing season is prolonged in the Arctic.

RevDate: 2021-09-09

Minahan NT, Chen CH, Shen WC, et al (2021)

Fungal Spore Richness in School Classrooms is Related to Surrounding Forest in a Season-Dependent Manner.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Airborne fungal spores are important aeroallergens that are remarkably diverse in terms of taxonomic richness. Indoor fungal richness is dominated by outdoor fungi and is geographically patterned, but the influence of natural landscape is unclear. We aimed to elucidate the relationship between indoor fungal spore richness and natural landscape by examining the amount of surrounding forest cover. Passive sampling of airborne fungal spores was conducted in 24 schools in Taiwan during hot and cool seasons, and amplicon sequencing was used to study fungal spore (genus) richness targeting the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) region. In total, 693 fungal genera were identified, 12 of which were ubiquitous. Despite overall similarity of fungal spore richness between seasons, Basidiomycota and Ascomycota richness increased during the hot and cool seasons, respectively. Fungal spore richness in schools had a strong positive correlation with the amount of surrounding forest cover during the cool season, but not during the hot season. Fungal assemblages in schools were more similar during the hot season due to the increased ubiquity of Agaricomycetes genera. These observations indicate dispersal limitation at the kilometer scale during the cool season and increased long-distance dispersal during the hot season. Several allergenic fungi were commonly identified in schools, including some previously overlooked by conventional methods, which may be targeted as sensitizing agents in future investigations into atopic conditions. More generally, the relative importance of fungal spore richness in the development, chronicity, and severity of atopic conditions in children requires investigation.

RevDate: 2021-09-08

Xie J, Wang X, Xu J, et al (2021)

Strategies and Structure Feature of the Aboveground and Belowground Microbial Community Respond to Drought in Wild Rice (Oryza longistaminata).

Rice (New York, N.Y.), 14(1):79.

BACKGROUND: Drought is global environmental stress that limits crop yields. Plant-associated microbiomes play a crucial role in determining plant fitness in response to drought, yet the fundamental mechanisms for maintaining microbial community stability under drought disturbances in wild rice are poorly understood. We make explicit comparisons of leaf, stem, root and rhizosphere microbiomes from the drought-tolerant wild rice (Oryza longistaminata) in response to drought stress.

RESULTS: We find that the response of the wild rice microbiome to drought was divided into aboveground-underground patterns. Drought reduced the leaf and stem microbial community diversity and networks stability, but not that of the roots and rhizospheres. Contrary to the aboveground microbial networks, the drought-negative response taxa exhibited much closer interconnections than the drought-positive response taxa and were the dominant network hubs of belowground co-occurrence networks, which may contribute to the stability of the belowground network. Notably, drought induces enrichment of Actinobacteria in belowground compartments, but not the aboveground compartment. Additionally, the rhizosphere microbiome exhibited a higher proportion of generalists and broader habitat niche breadth than the microbiome at other compartments, and drought enhanced the proportion of specialists in all compartments. Null model analysis revealed that both the aboveground and belowground-community were governed primarily by the stochastic assembly process, moreover, drought decreased 'dispersal limitation', and enhanced 'drift'.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results provide new insight into the different strategies and assembly mechanisms of the above and belowground microbial community in response to drought, including enrichment of taxonomic groups, and highlight the important role of the stochastic assembly process in shaping microbial community under drought stress.

RevDate: 2021-09-08

Agarwal R, Gupta M, Antony A, et al (2021)

In Vitro Studies Reveal that Pseudomonas, from Odontotermes obesus Colonies, can Function as a Defensive Mutualist as it Prevents the Weedy Fungus While Keeping the Crop Fungus Unaffected.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Insects that farm monocultures of fungi are canonical examples of nutritional symbiosis as well as independent evolution of agriculture in non-human animals. But just like in human agriculture, these fungal crops face constant threat of invasion by weeds which, if unchecked, take over the crop fungus. In fungus-growing termites, the crop fungus (Termitomyces) faces such challenges from the weedy fungus Pseudoxylaria. The mechanism by which Pseudoxylaria is suppressed is not known. However, evidence suggests that some bacterial secondary symbionts can serve as defensive mutualists by preventing the growth of Pseudoxylaria. However, such secondary symbionts must possess the dual, yet contrasting, capabilities of suppressing the weedy fungus while keeping the growth of the crop fungus unaffected. This study describes the isolation, identification, and culture-dependent estimation of the roles of several such putative defensive mutualists from the colonies of the wide-spread fungus-growing termite from India, Odontotermes obesus. From the 38 bacterial cultures tested, a strain of Pseudomonas showed significantly greater suppression of the weedy fungus than the crop fungus. Moreover, a 16S rRNA pan-microbiome survey, using the Nanopore platform, revealed Pseudomonas to be a part of the core microbiota of O. obesus. A meta-analysis of microbiota composition across different species of Odontotermes also confirms the widespread prevalence of Pseudomonas within this termite. These lines of evidence indicate that Pseudomonas could be playing the role of defensive mutualist within Odontotermes.

RevDate: 2021-09-08

Ma L, Huang X, Wang H, et al (2021)

Microbial Interactions Drive Distinct Taxonomic and Potential Metabolic Responses to Habitats in Karst Cave Ecosystem.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

The geological role of microorganisms has been widely studied in the karst cave ecosystem. However, microbial interactions and ecological functions in such a dark, humid, and oligotrophic habitat have received far less attention, which is crucial to understanding cave biogeochemistry. Herein, microorganisms from weathered rock and sediment along the Heshang Cave depth were analyzed by random matrix theory-based network and Tax4Fun functional prediction. The results showed that although the cave microbial communities have spatial heterogeneity, differential habitats drove the community structure and diversity. Actinobacteria were predominant in weathered rock, whereas Proteobacteria dominated the sediment. The sediment communities presented significantly higher alpha diversities due to the relatively abundant nutrition from the outside by the intermittent stream. Consistently, microbial interactions in sediment were more complex, as visualized by more nodes and links. The abundant taxa presented more positive correlations with other community members in both of the two networks, indicating that they relied on promotion effects to adapt to the extreme environment. The keystones in weathered rock were mainly involved in the biodegradation of organic compounds, whereas the keystone Nitrospira in sediment contributed to carbon/nitrogen fixation. Collectively, these findings suggest that microbial interactions may lead to distinct taxonomic and functional communities in weathered rock and sediment in the subsurface Heshang Cave. IMPORTANCE In general, the constant physicochemical conditions and limited nutrient sources over long periods in the subsurface support a stable ecosystem in karst cave. Previous studies on cave microbial ecology were mostly focused on community composition, diversity, and the relationship with local environmental factors. There are still many unknowns about the microbial interactions and functions in such a dark environment with little human interference. Two representative habitats, including weathered rock and sediment in Heshang Cave, were selected to give an integrated insight into microbial interactions and potential functions. The cooccurrence network, especially the subnetwork, was used to characterize the cave microbial interactions in detail. We demonstrated that abundant taxa primarily relied on promotion effects rather than inhibition effects to survive in Heshang Cave. Keystone species may play important metabolic roles in sustaining ecological functions. Our study provides improved understanding of microbial interaction patterns and community ecological functions in the karst cave ecosystem.

RevDate: 2021-09-07

Su L, Qiu P, Fang Z, et al (2021)

Potassium phosphite enhances the antagonistic capability of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens to manage tomato bacterial wilt.

Plant disease [Epub ahead of print].

Bacterial wilt caused by Ralstonia solanacearum is a distributed and worldwide soil-borne disease. The application of biocontrol microbes or agricultural chemicals has been widely used to manage tomato bacterial wilt. However, whether and how agricultural chemicals affect the antagonistic ability of biocontrol microbes is still unknown. Here, we combined potassium phosphite (K-Phite), an environmentally friendly agricultural chemical, and the biocontrol agent Bacillus amyloliquefaciens QPF8 (strain F8) to manage tomato bacterial wilt disease. First, K-Phite at a concentration of 0.05% (w/v) could significantly inhibit the growth of Ralstonia solanacearum. Second, 0.05% K-Phite enhanced the antagonistic capability of B. amyloliquefaciens F8. Third, the greenhouse soil experiments showed that the control efficiency for tomato bacterial wilt in the combined treatment was significantly higher than that of the application of B. amyloliquefaciens F8 or K-Phite alone. Overall, our results highlighted a novel strategy for the control of tomato bacterial wilt disease via application and revealed a new integrated pattern depending on the enhancement of the antagonistic capability of biocontrol microbes by K-Phite.

RevDate: 2021-09-07

Medvecky M, M Mandalakis (2021)

PepMANDIS: A Peptide Selection Tool for Designing Function-Based Targeted Proteomic Assays in Complex Microbial Systems.

Frontiers in chemistry, 9:722087 pii:722087.

The majority of studies focusing on microbial functioning in various environments are based on DNA or RNA sequencing techniques that have inherent limitations and usually provide a distorted picture about the functional status of the studied system. Untargeted proteomics is better suited for that purpose, but it suffers from low efficiency when applied in complex consortia. In practice, the scanning capabilities of the currently employed LC-MS/MS systems provide limited coverage of key-acting proteins, hardly allowing a semiquantitative assessment of the most abundant ones from most prevalent species. When particular biological processes of high importance are under investigation, the analysis of specific proteins using targeted proteomics is a more appropriate strategy as it offers superior sensitivity and comes with the added benefits of increased throughput, dynamic range and selectivity. However, the development of targeted assays requires a priori knowledge regarding the optimal peptides to be screened for each protein of interest. In complex, multi-species systems, a specific biochemical process may be driven by a large number of homologous proteins having considerable differences in their amino acid sequence, complicating LC-MS/MS detection. To overcome the complexity of such systems, we have developed an automated pipeline that interrogates UniProt database or user-created protein datasets (e.g. from metagenomic studies) to gather homolog proteins with a defined functional role and extract respective peptide sequences, while it computes several protein/peptide properties and relevant statistics to deduce a small list of the most representative, process-specific and LC-MS/MS-amenable peptides for the microbial enzymatic activity of interest.

RevDate: 2021-09-06

Benedek T, Szentgyörgyi F, Gergócs V, et al (2021)

Potential of Variovorax paradoxus isolate BFB1_13 for bioremediation of BTEX contaminated sites.

AMB Express, 11(1):126.

Here, we report and discuss the applicability of Variovorax paradoxus strain BFB1_13 in the bioremediation of BTEX contaminated sites. Strain BFB1_13 was capable of degrading all the six BTEX-compounds under both aerobic (O2 conc. 8 mg l-1) and micro-aerobic/oxygen-limited (O2 conc. 0.5 mg l-1) conditions using either individual (8 mg‧l-1) or a mixture of compounds (~ 1.3 mg‧l-1 of each BTEX compound). The BTEX biodegradation capability of SBP-encapsulated cultures (SBP-Small Bioreactor Platform) was also assessed. The fastest degradation rate was observed in the case of aerobic benzene biodegradation (8 mg l-1 per 90 h). Complete biodegradation of other BTEX occurred after at least 168 h of incubation, irrespective of the oxygenation and encapsulation. No statistically significant difference was observed between aerobic and microaerobic BTEX biodegradation. Genes involved in BTEX biodegradation were annotated and degradation pathways were predicted based on whole-genome shotgun sequencing and metabolic analysis. We conclude that V. paradoxus strain BFB1_13 could be used for the development of reactive biobarriers for the containment and in situ decontamination of BTEX contaminated groundwater plumes. Our results suggest that V. paradoxus strain BFB1_13-alone or in co-culture with other BTEX degrading bacterial isolates-can be a new and efficient commercial bioremediation agent for BTEX contaminated sites.

RevDate: 2021-09-06

Wahdan SFM, Hossen S, Tanunchai B, et al (2021)

Life in the Wheat Litter: Effects of Future Climate on Microbiome and Function During the Early Phase of Decomposition.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Even though it is widely acknowledged that litter decomposition can be impacted by climate change, the functional roles of microbes involved in the decomposition and their answer to climate change are less understood. This study used a field experimental facility settled in Central Germany to analyze the effects of ambient vs. future climate that is expected in 50-80 years on mass loss and physicochemical parameters of wheat litter in agricultural cropland at the early phase of litter decomposition process. Additionally, the effects of climate change were assessed on microbial richness, community compositions, interactions, and their functions (production of extracellular enzymes), as well as litter physicochemical factors shaping their colonization. The initial physicochemical properties of wheat litter did not change between both climate conditions; however, future climate significantly accelerated litter mass loss as compared with ambient one. Using MiSeq Illumina sequencing, we found that future climate significantly increased fungal richness and altered fungal communities over time, while bacterial communities were more resistant in wheat residues. Changes on fungal richness and/or community composition corresponded to different physicochemical factors of litter under ambient (Ca2+, and pH) and future (C/N, N, P, K+, Ca2+, pH, and moisture) climate conditions. Moreover, highly correlative interactions between richness of bacteria and fungi were detected under future climate. Furthermore, the co-occurrence networks patterns among dominant microorganisms inhabiting wheat residues were strongly distinct between future and ambient climates. Activities of microbial β-glucosidase and N-acetylglucosaminidase in wheat litter were increased over time. Such increased enzymatic activities were coupled with a significant positive correlation between microbial (both bacteria and fungi) richness and community compositions with these two enzymatic activities only under future climate. Overall, we provide evidence that future climate significantly impacted the early phase of wheat litter decomposition through direct effects on fungal communities and through indirect effects on microbial interactions as well as corresponding enzyme production.

RevDate: 2021-09-06

Deng J, Yu D, Zhou W, et al (2021)

Variations of Phyllosphere and Rhizosphere Microbial Communities of Pinus koraiensis Infected by Bursaphelenchus xylophilus.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Pine wood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, as one of the greatest threats to pine trees, is spreading all over the world. Plant microorganisms play an important role in the pathogenesis of nematodes. The phyllosphere and rhizosphere bacterial and fungal communities associated with healthy Pinus koraiensis (PKa) and P. koraiensis infected by B. xylophilus at the early (PKb) and last (PKc) stages were analyzed. Our results demonstrated that pine wood nematode (PWD) could increase the phyllosphere bacterial Pielou_e, Shannon, and Simpson index; phyllosphere fungal Chao 1 index, as well as rhizosphere bacterial Pielou_e, Shannon, and Simpson index; and rhizosphere fungal Pielou_e, Shannon, and Simpson index. What's more, slight shifts of the microbial diversity were observed at the early stage of infection, and the microbial diversity increased significantly as the symptoms of infection worsened. With the infection of B. xylophilus in P. koraiensis, Bradyrhizobium (rhizosphere bacteria), Massilia (phyllosphere bacteria), and Phaeosphaeriaceae (phyllosphere fungi) were the major contributors to the differences in community compositions among different treatments. With the infection of PWD, most of the bacterial groups tended to be co-excluding rather than co-occurring. These changes would correlate with microbial ability to suppress plant pathogen, enhancing the understanding of disease development and providing guidelines to pave the way for its possible management.

RevDate: 2021-09-06

Stephen AS, Dhadwal N, Nagala V, et al (2021)

Interdental and subgingival microbiota may affect the tongue microbial ecology and oral malodour in health, gingivitis and periodontitis.

Journal of periodontal research [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Oral malodour is often observed in gingivitis and chronic periodontitis patients, and the tongue microbiota is thought to play a major role in malodorous gas production, including volatile sulphur compounds (VSCs) such as hydrogen sulphide (H2 S) and methanethiol (CH3 SH). This study aimed to examine the link between the presence of VSCs in mouth air (as a marker of oral malodour) and the oral bacterial ecology in the tongue and periodontal niches of healthy, gingivitis and periodontitis patients.

METHODS: Participants were clinically assessed using plaque index, bleeding on probing (BOP) and periodontal probing depths, and VSC concentrations in their oral cavity measured using a portable gas chromatograph. Tongue scrapings, subgingival and interdental plaque were collected from healthy individuals (n = 22), and those with gingivitis (n = 14) or chronic periodontitis (n = 15). The bacterial 16S rRNA gene region V3-V4 in these samples was sequenced, and the sequences were analysed using the minimum entropy decomposition pipeline.

RESULTS: Elevated VSC concentrations and CH3 SH:H2 S were observed in periodontitis compared with health. Significant ecological differences were observed in the tongue microbiota of healthy subjects with high plaque scores compared to low plaque scores, suggesting a possible connection between the microbiota of the tongue and the periodontium and that key dysbiotic changes may be initiated in the clinically healthy individuals who have higher dental plaque accumulation. Greater subgingival bacterial diversity was positively associated with H2 S in mouth air. Periodontopathic bacteria known to be prolific VSC producers increased in abundance on the tongue associated with increased bleeding on probing (BOP) and total percentage of periodontal pockets >6 mm, supporting the suggestion that the tongue may become a reservoir for periodontopathogens.

CONCLUSION: This study highlights the importance of the periodontal microbiota in malodour and has detected dysbiotic changes in the tongue microbiota in periodontitis.

RevDate: 2021-09-04

Seki D, Mayer M, Hausmann B, et al (2021)

Aberrant gut-microbiota-immune-brain axis development in premature neonates with brain damage.

Cell host & microbe pii:S1931-3128(21)00380-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Premature infants are at substantial risk for suffering from perinatal white matter injury. Though the gut microbiota has been implicated in early-life development, a detailed understanding of the gut-microbiota-immune-brain axis in premature neonates is lacking. Here, we profiled the gut microbiota, immunological, and neurophysiological development of 60 extremely premature infants, which received standard hospital care including antibiotics and probiotics. We found that maturation of electrocortical activity is suppressed in infants with severe brain damage. This is accompanied by elevated γδ T cell levels and increased T cell secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor and reduced secretion of neuroprotectants. Notably, Klebsiella overgrowth in the gut is highly predictive for brain damage and is associated with a pro-inflammatory immunological tone. These results suggest that aberrant development of the gut-microbiota-immune-brain axis may drive or exacerbate brain injury in extremely premature neonates and represents a promising target for novel intervention strategies.

RevDate: 2021-09-03

Deepika S, D Kothamasi (2021)

Plant hosts may influence arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal community composition in mangrove estuaries.

Mycorrhiza [Epub ahead of print].

We investigated the role of plant host and soil variables in determining arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) community composition in plant roots of two spatially separated mangrove estuaries on the rivers Aghanashini (14° 30' 30″ N-74° 22' 44″ E) and Gangavali (14° 35' 26″ N-74° 17' 51″ E) on the west coast of India. Both mangrove estuaries had similar plant species composition but differed in soil chemistries.We amplified a 550-bp portion of 18S small subunit (SSU) rDNA from mangrove plant roots and analysed it by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP). Clones representing unique RFLP patterns were sequenced. A total of 736 clones were obtained from roots of seven and five plant species sampled at Aghanashini and Gangavali, respectively. AMF phylotype numbers in plant roots at Aghanashini (12) were higher than at Gangavali (9) indicating quantitative differences in the AMF community composition in plant roots at the two mangrove estuaries. Because both estuaries had similar plant species composition, the quantitative difference in AMF communities between the estuaries could be an attribute of the differences in rhizospheric chemistry between the two sites.Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) revealed overlap in the AMF communities of the two sites. Three and two AMF phylotypes had significant indicator value indices with specific hosts at Aghanashini and Gangavali, respectively. Environmental vector fitting to NMDS ordination did not reveal a significant effect of any soil variable on AMF composition at the two sites. However, significant effects of both plant hosts and sites were observed on rhizospheric P. Our results indicate that root AMF community composition may be an outcome of plant response to rhizospheric variables. This suggests that plant identity may have a primary role in shaping AMF communities in mangroves.

RevDate: 2021-09-02

Brennerova MV, Zavala-Meneses SG, Josefiova J, et al (2021)

A global survey reveals a divergent extradiol dioxygenase clade as a widespread complementary contributor to the biodegradation of mono- and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

Environmental research pii:S0013-9351(21)01249-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Extradiol dioxygenation is a key reaction in the microbial aerobic degradation of mono- and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon catecholic derivatives. It has been reported that many bacterial enzymes exhibiting such converging functions act on a wide range of catecholic substrates. The present study reports a new subfamily of extradiol dioxygenases (EXDOs) with broad substrate specificity, the HrbC EXDOs. The new clade belongs to the XII cluster within family 2 of the vicinal oxygen chelate superfamily (EXDO-VC2), which is typically characterized by a preference for bicyclic substrates. Coding hrbC orthologs were isolated by activity-based screening of fosmid metagenomic libraries from large DNA fragments derived from heavily PAH-contaminated soils. They occurred as solitary genes within conserved sequences encoding enzymes for amino acid metabolism and were stably maintained in the chromosomes of the Betaproteobacteria lineages harboring them. Analysis of contaminated aquifers revealed coexpression of hrbC as a polycistronic mRNA component. The predicted open reading frames were verified by cloning and heterologous expression, confirming the expected molecular mass and meta-cleavage activity of the recombinant enzymes. Evolutionary analysis of the HrbC protein sequences grouped them into a discrete cluster of 1,2-dihydroxynaphthalene dioxygenases represented by a cultured PAH degrader, Rugosibacter aromaticivorans strain Ca6. The ecological importance and relevance of the new EXDO genes were confirmed by PCR-based mapping in different biogeographical localities contaminated with a variety of mono- and polycyclic aromatic compounds. The cosmopolitan distribution of hrbC in PAH-contaminated aquifers supports our hypothesis about its auxiliary role in the degradation of toxic catecholic intermediates, contributing to the composite EXDO catabolic capacity of the world's microbiomes.

RevDate: 2021-09-01

Bazzicalupo AL, Erlandson S, Branine M, et al (2021)

Fungal Community Shift Along Steep Environmental Gradients from Geothermal Soils in Yellowstone National Park.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Geothermal soils offer unique insight into the way extreme environmental factors shape communities of organisms. However, little is known about the fungi growing in these environments and in particular how localized steep abiotic gradients affect fungal diversity. We used metabarcoding to characterize soil fungi surrounding a hot spring-fed thermal creek with water up to 84 °C and pH 10 in Yellowstone National Park. We found a significant association between fungal communities and soil variable principal components, and we identify the key trends in co-varying soil variables that explain the variation in fungal community. Saprotrophic and ectomycorrhizal fungi community profiles followed, and were significantly associated with, different soil variable principal components, highlighting potential differences in the factors that structure these different fungal trophic guilds. In addition, in vitro growth experiments in four target fungal species revealed a wide range of tolerances to pH levels but not to heat. Overall, our results documenting turnover in fungal species within a few hundred meters suggest many co-varying environmental factors structure the diverse fungal communities found in the soils of Yellowstone National Park.

RevDate: 2021-09-01

Varliero G, Rafiq M, Singh S, et al (2021)

Microbial characterisation and Cold-Adapted Predicted Protein (CAPP) database construction from the active layer of Greenland's permafrost.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:6360974 [Epub ahead of print].

Permafrost represents a reservoir for the biodiscovery of cold-adapted proteins which are advantageous in industrial and medical settings. Comparisons between different thermo-adapted proteins can give important information for cold-adaptation bioengineering. We collected permafrost active layer samples from 34 points along a proglacial transect in southwest Greenland. We obtained a deep read coverage assembly (>164x) from nanopore and Illumina sequences for the purposes of i) analysing metagenomic and metatranscriptomic trends of the microbial community of this area, and ii) creating the Cold-Adapted Predicted Protein (CAPP) database. The community showed a similar taxonomic composition in all samples along the transect, with a solid permafrost-shaped community, rather than microbial trends typical of proglacial systems. We retrieved 69 high- and medium-quality metagenome-assembled clusters, 213 complete biosynthetic gene clusters and more than three million predicted proteins. The latter constitute the CAPP database that can provide cold-adapted protein sequence information for protein- and taxon-focused amino acid sequence modifications for the future bioengineering of cold-adapted enzymes. As an example, we focused on the enzyme polyphenol oxidase, and demonstrated how sequence variation information could inform its protein engineering.

RevDate: 2021-09-01

Iburg S, Izabel-Shen D, Austin ÅN, et al (2021)

Effects of Recreational Boating on Microbial and Meiofauna Diversity in Coastal Shallow Ecosystems of the Baltic Sea.

mSphere [Epub ahead of print].

Recreational boating can impact benthic ecosystems in coastal waters. Reduced height and cover of aquatic vegetation in shallow Baltic Sea inlets with high boat traffic have raised concerns about cascading effects on benthic communities in these ecosystems. Here, we characterized the diversity and composition of sediment-associated microbial and meiofaunal communities across five bays subjected to low and high degrees of boating activity and examined the community-environment relationships and association with bay morphometry. We found that recreational boating activity altered meiofauna alpha diversity and the composition of both micro- and meiobenthic communities, and there were strong correlations between community structure and morphometric variables like topographic openness, wave exposure, water surface area, and total phosphorous concentrations. Inlets with high boat traffic showed an increase of bacterial taxa like Hydrogenophilaceae and Burkholderiaceae. Several meiofauna taxa previously reported to respond positively to high levels of suspended organic matter were found in higher relative abundances in the bays with high boat traffic. Overall, our results show that morphometric characteristics of inlets are the strongest drivers of benthic diversity in shallow coastal environments. However, while the effects were small, we found significant effects of recreational boating on benthic community structure that should be considered when evaluating the new mooring projects. IMPORTANCE With the increase of recreational boating activity and development of boating infrastructure in shallow, wave-protected areas, there is growing concern for their impact on coastal ecosystems. In order to properly assess the effects and consider the potential for recovery, it is important to investigate microbial and meiofaunal communities that underpin the functioning of these ecosystems. Here, we present the first study that uses DNA metabarcoding to assess how benthic biodiversity in shallow coastal areas is impacted by recreational boating. Our study shows a relatively small, but significant, effect of recreational boating both on meiofauna alpha diversity and meiofauna and bacterial community composition. However, both meiofauna and bacterial community composition in shallow benthic habitats is mediated to a higher degree by abiotic variables, such as topographic openness, area or size of the inlets, and wave exposure. Despite the fact that the effects were small, such impacts on benthic biodiversity should be considered in the management of coastal shallow habitats.

RevDate: 2021-09-01

Gabashvili E, Kobakhidze S, Chkhikvishvili T, et al (2021)

Bacteriophage-Mediated Risk Pathways Underlying the Emergence of Antimicrobial Resistance via Intrageneric and Intergeneric Recombination of Antibiotic Efflux Genes Across Natural populations of Human Pathogenic Bacteria.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Antimicrobial resistance continues to be a significant and growing threat to global public health, being driven by the emerging drug-resistant and multidrug-resistant strains of human and animal bacterial pathogens. While bacteriophages are generally known to be one of the vehicles of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs), it remains largely unclear how these organisms contribute to the dissemination of the genetic loci encoding for antibiotic efflux pumps, especially those that confer multidrug resistance, in bacteria. In this study, the in-silico recombination analyses provided strong statistical evidence for bacteriophage-mediated intra-species recombination of ARGs, encoding mainly for the antibiotic efflux proteins from the MF superfamily, as well as from the ABC and RND families, in Salmonella enterica, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus suis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Burkholderia pseudomallei. Events of bacteriophage-driven intrageneric recombination of some of these genes could be also elucidated among Bacillus thuringiensis, Bacillus cereus and Bacillus tropicus natural populations. Moreover, we could also reveal the patterns of intergeneric recombination, involving the MF superfamily transporter-encoding genetic loci, induced by a Mycobacterium smegmatis phage, in natural populations of Streptomyces harbinensis and Streptomyces chartreusis. The SplitsTree- (fit: 100; bootstrap values: 92.7-100; Phi p ≤ 0.2414), RDP4- (p ≤ 0.0361), and GARD-generated data strongly supported the above genetic recombination inferences in these in-silico analyses. Thus, based on this pilot study, it can be suggested that the above mode of bacteriophage-mediated recombination plays at least some role in the emergence and transmission of multidrug resistance across a fairly broad spectrum of bacterial species and genera including human pathogens.

RevDate: 2021-09-01

Crous PW, Lombard L, Sandoval-Denis M, et al (2021)

Fusarium: more than a node or a foot-shaped basal cell.

Studies in mycology, 98:100116 pii:S0166-0616(21)00003-8.

Recent publications have argued that there are potentially serious consequences for researchers in recognising distinct genera in the terminal fusarioid clade of the family Nectriaceae. Thus, an alternate hypothesis, namely a very broad concept of the genus Fusarium was proposed. In doing so, however, a significant body of data that supports distinct genera in Nectriaceae based on morphology, biology, and phylogeny is disregarded. A DNA phylogeny based on 19 orthologous protein-coding genes was presented to support a very broad concept of Fusarium at the F1 node in Nectriaceae. Here, we demonstrate that re-analyses of this dataset show that all 19 genes support the F3 node that represents Fusarium sensu stricto as defined by F. sambucinum (sexual morph synonym Gibberella pulicaris). The backbone of the phylogeny is resolved by the concatenated alignment, but only six of the 19 genes fully support the F1 node, representing the broad circumscription of Fusarium. Furthermore, a re-analysis of the concatenated dataset revealed alternate topologies in different phylogenetic algorithms, highlighting the deep divergence and unresolved placement of various Nectriaceae lineages proposed as members of Fusarium. Species of Fusarium s. str. are characterised by Gibberella sexual morphs, asexual morphs with thin- or thick-walled macroconidia that have variously shaped apical and basal cells, and trichothecene mycotoxin production, which separates them from other fusarioid genera. Here we show that the Wollenweber concept of Fusarium presently accounts for 20 segregate genera with clear-cut synapomorphic traits, and that fusarioid macroconidia represent a character that has been gained or lost multiple times throughout Nectriaceae. Thus, the very broad circumscription of Fusarium is blurry and without apparent synapomorphies, and does not include all genera with fusarium-like macroconidia, which are spread throughout Nectriaceae (e.g., Cosmosporella, Macroconia, Microcera). In this study four new genera are introduced, along with 18 new species and 16 new combinations. These names convey information about relationships, morphology, and ecological preference that would otherwise be lost in a broader definition of Fusarium. To assist users to correctly identify fusarioid genera and species, we introduce a new online identification database, Fusarioid-ID, accessible at www.fusarium.org. The database comprises partial sequences from multiple genes commonly used to identify fusarioid taxa (act1, CaM, his3, rpb1, rpb2, tef1, tub2, ITS, and LSU). In this paper, we also present a nomenclator of names that have been introduced in Fusarium up to January 2021 as well as their current status, types, and diagnostic DNA barcode data. In this study, researchers from 46 countries, representing taxonomists, plant pathologists, medical mycologists, quarantine officials, regulatory agencies, and students, strongly support the application and use of a more precisely delimited Fusarium (= Gibberella) concept to accommodate taxa from the robust monophyletic node F3 on the basis of a well-defined and unique combination of morphological and biochemical features. This F3 node includes, among others, species of the F. fujikuroi, F. incarnatum-equiseti, F. oxysporum, and F. sambucinum species complexes, but not species of Bisifusarium [F. dimerum species complex (SC)], Cyanonectria (F. buxicola SC), Geejayessia (F. staphyleae SC), Neocosmospora (F. solani SC) or Rectifusarium (F. ventricosum SC). The present study represents the first step to generating a new online monograph of Fusarium and allied fusarioid genera (www.fusarium.org).

RevDate: 2021-09-01

Jia KH, Liu H, Zhang RG, et al (2021)

Chromosome-scale assembly and evolution of the tetraploid Salvia splendens (Lamiaceae) genome.

Horticulture research, 8(1):177.

Polyploidization plays a key role in plant evolution, but the forces driving the fate of homoeologs in polyploid genomes, i.e., paralogs resulting from a whole-genome duplication (WGD) event, remain to be elucidated. Here, we present a chromosome-scale genome assembly of tetraploid scarlet sage (Salvia splendens), one of the most diverse ornamental plants. We found evidence for three WGD events following an older WGD event shared by most eudicots (the γ event). A comprehensive, spatiotemporal, genome-wide analysis of homoeologs from the most recent WGD unveiled expression asymmetries, which could be associated with genomic rearrangements, transposable element proximity discrepancies, coding sequence variation, selection pressure, and transcription factor binding site differences. The observed differences between homoeologs may reflect the first step toward sub- and/or neofunctionalization. This assembly provides a powerful tool for understanding WGD and gene and genome evolution and is useful in developing functional genomics and genetic engineering strategies for scarlet sage and other Lamiaceae species.

RevDate: 2021-09-01

De Vos S, Rombauts S, Coussement L, et al (2021)

The genome of the extremophile Artemia provides insight into strategies to cope with extreme environments.

BMC genomics, 22(1):635.

BACKGROUND: Brine shrimp Artemia have an unequalled ability to endure extreme salinity and complete anoxia. This study aims to elucidate its strategies to cope with these stressors.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Here, we present the genome of an inbred A. franciscana Kellogg, 1906. We identified 21,828 genes of which, under high salinity, 674 genes and under anoxia, 900 genes were differentially expressed (42%, respectively 30% were annotated). Under high salinity, relevant stress genes and pathways included several Heat Shock Protein and Leaf Embryogenesis Abundant genes, as well as the trehalose metabolism. In addition, based on differential gene expression analysis, it can be hypothesized that a high oxidative stress response and endocytosis/exocytosis are potential salt management strategies, in addition to the expression of major facilitator superfamily genes responsible for transmembrane ion transport. Under anoxia, genes involved in mitochondrial function, mTOR signalling and autophagy were differentially expressed. Both high salt and anoxia enhanced degradation of erroneous proteins and protein chaperoning. Compared with other branchiopod genomes, Artemia had 0.03% contracted and 6% expanded orthogroups, in which 14% of the genes were differentially expressed under high salinity or anoxia. One phospholipase D gene family, shown to be important in plant stress response, was uniquely present in both extremophiles Artemia and the tardigrade Hypsibius dujardini, yet not differentially expressed under the described experimental conditions.

CONCLUSIONS: A relatively complete genome of Artemia was assembled, annotated and analysed, facilitating research on its extremophile features, and providing a reference sequence for crustacean research.

RevDate: 2021-09-01

Ha AD, Moniruzzaman M, FO Aylward (2021)

High Transcriptional Activity and Diverse Functional Repertoires of Hundreds of Giant Viruses in a Coastal Marine System.

mSystems, 6(4):e0029321.

Viruses belonging to the Nucleocytoviricota phylum are globally distributed and include members with notably large genomes and complex functional repertoires. Recent studies have shown that these viruses are particularly diverse and abundant in marine systems, but the magnitude of actively replicating Nucleocytoviricota present in ocean habitats remains unclear. In this study, we compiled a curated database of 2,431 Nucleocytoviricota genomes and used it to examine the gene expression of these viruses in a 2.5-day metatranscriptomic time-series from surface waters of the California Current. We identified 145 viral genomes with high levels of gene expression, including 90 Imitervirales and 49 Algavirales viruses. In addition to recovering high expression of core genes involved in information processing that are commonly expressed during viral infection, we also identified transcripts of diverse viral metabolic genes from pathways such as glycolysis, the TCA cycle, and the pentose phosphate pathway, suggesting that virus-mediated reprogramming of central carbon metabolism is common in oceanic surface waters. Surprisingly, we also identified viral transcripts with homology to actin, myosin, and kinesin domains, suggesting that viruses may use these gene products to manipulate host cytoskeletal dynamics during infection. We performed phylogenetic analysis on the virus-encoded myosin and kinesin proteins, which demonstrated that most belong to deep-branching viral clades, but that others appear to have been acquired from eukaryotes more recently. Our results highlight a remarkable diversity of active Nucleocytoviricota in a coastal marine system and underscore the complex functional repertoires expressed by these viruses during infection. IMPORTANCE The discovery of giant viruses has transformed our understanding of viral complexity. Although viruses have traditionally been viewed as filterable infectious agents that lack metabolism, giant viruses can reach sizes rivalling cellular lineages and possess genomes encoding central metabolic processes. Recent studies have shown that giant viruses are widespread in aquatic systems, but the activity of these viruses and the extent to which they reprogram host physiology in situ remains unclear. Here, we show that numerous giant viruses consistently express central metabolic enzymes in a coastal marine system, including components of glycolysis, the TCA cycle, and other pathways involved in nutrient homeostasis. Moreover, we found expression of several viral-encoded actin, myosin, and kinesin genes, indicating viral manipulation of the host cytoskeleton during infection. Our study reveals a high activity of giant viruses in a coastal marine system and indicates they are a diverse and underappreciated component of microbial diversity in the ocean.

RevDate: 2021-08-31

Dekas AE (2021)

Quantifying Microbial Activity In Situ: the Link between Cells and Cycles.

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

Metagenomic sequencing of environmental samples has dramatically expanded our knowledge of microbial taxonomic and metabolic diversity and suggests metabolic interdependence is widespread. However, translating these insights into knowledge of ecosystem function and, therefore, implications for local and global chemistry, remains a challenge. In this commentary, I argue that making direct measurements of microbial activity in situ is an essential step to confirm gene-based hypotheses of microbial physiology and bridge advances in microbial ecology with a predicative understanding of global chemistry and climate. Making these measurements across a range of spatial scales and experimentally manipulated conditions contributes to a process-based understanding and, therefore, more robust predictions of how activity will respond to changing environmental conditions. I discuss recent advancements in quantifying microbial activity in situ and highlight several lines of research in marine microbiology that leverage complementary genomic and isotopic methods to connect microbes and global chemistry.

RevDate: 2021-08-31

Harrington V, Lau L, Seddu K, et al (2021)

Ecology and Medicine Converge at the Microbiome-Host Interface.

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

The human body is home to a dense and diverse population of bacteria, viruses, and eukaryotes, collectively termed the microbiome. Research on host-microbiome interactions continuously demonstrates the importance of this microbial community to human physiology and its involvement in a myriad of diseases. This, in turn, sparks great interest in developing means for beneficially modulating the microbiome, such as fecal microbiome transplantation and probiotics. However, these interventions show mixed efficacy in clinical trials and raise safety concerns. How these exogenous microorganisms interact with the microbiome might underlie the efficacy and safety of these therapeutics, yet the signaling mechanisms mediating microbe-microbe interactions between human-dwelling commensals are poorly understood. In this commentary, we discuss known and putative mechanisms of interactions between commensals in the gut and how they can be harnessed for improving microbiome-targeting therapeutics and facilitating translation of microbiome research to the clinic.

RevDate: 2021-08-30

Wang S, Xia J, De Paepe K, et al (2021)

Ultra-high Pressure Treatment Controls In Vitro Fecal Fermentation Rate of Insoluble Dietary Fiber from Rosa Roxburghii Tratt Pomace and Induces Butyrogenic Shifts in Microbiota Composition.

Journal of agricultural and food chemistry [Epub ahead of print].

Dietary fiber has been considered a key element in shaping the beneficial host-microbe symbiosis. In the present study, we identified Rosa roxburghii Tratt fruits as a promising dietary fiber source. The physicochemical properties and in vitro fermentability by human fecal microbes of R. roxburghii pomace water insoluble dietary fiber (RIDF) obtained from ultrasonic extraction and ultrahigh pressure (90 MPa)-treated RIDF (RIDF-90) were compared to those of R. roxburghii Tratt pomace (R). Ultrahigh pressure modification significantly increased the water holding, oil holding, and swelling capacity of RIDF-90 in comparison to R and RIDF. RIDF-90 displayed the slowest fermentation rate yet yielded the highest butyrate production. The superior butyrogenic properties of both RIDF-90 and, in part, RIDF were reflected by increased Coprococcus and Ruminococcus levels, demonstrating that ultrasonic extraction and/or further ultrahigh pressure treatment of insoluble fibers promotes the prebiotic value of R. roxburghii Tratt.

RevDate: 2021-08-30

Lindström S, Timonen S, L Sundström (2021)

The bacterial and fungal community composition in time and space in the nest mounds of the ant Formica exsecta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

MicrobiologyOpen, 10(4):e1201.

In a subarctic climate, the seasonal shifts in temperature, precipitation, and plant cover drive the temporal changes in the microbial communities in the topsoil, forcing soil microbes to adapt or decline. Many organisms, such as mound-building ants, survive the cold winter owing to the favorable microclimate in their nest mounds. We have previously shown that the microbial communities in the nest of the ant Formica exsecta are significantly different from those in the surrounding bulk soil. In the current study, we identified taxa, which were consistently present in the nests over a study period of three years. Some taxa were also significantly enriched in the nest samples compared with spatially corresponding reference soils. We show that the bacterial communities in ant nests are temporally stable across years, whereas the fungal communities show greater variation. It seems that the activities of the ants contribute to unique biochemical processes in the secluded nest environment, and create opportunities for symbiotic interactions between the ants and the microbes. Over time, the microbial communities may come to diverge, due to drift and selection, especially given the long lifespan (up to 30 years) of the ant colonies.

RevDate: 2021-08-30

Block KR, O'Brien JM, Edwards WJ, et al (2021)

Vertical structure of the bacterial diversity in meromictic Fayetteville Green Lake.

MicrobiologyOpen, 10(4):e1228.

The permanently stratified water columns in euxinic meromictic lakes produce niche environments for phototrophic sulfur oxidizers and diverse sulfur metabolisms. While Green Lake (Fayetteville, New York, NY) is known to host a diverse community of ecologically important sulfur bacteria, analyses of its microbial communities, to date, have been largely based on pigment analysis and smaller datasets from Sanger sequencing techniques. Here, we present the results of next-generation sequencing of the eubacterial community in the context of the water column geochemistry. We observed abundant purple and green sulfur bacteria, as well as anoxygenic photosynthesis-capable cyanobacteria within the upper monimolimnion. Amidst the phototrophs, we found other sulfur-cycling bacteria including sulfur disproportionators and chemotrophic sulfur oxidizers, further detailing our understanding of the sulfur cycle and microbial ecology of euxinic, meromictic lakes.

RevDate: 2021-08-30

Toubes-Rodrigo M, Potgieter-Vermaak S, Sen R, et al (2021)

Active microbial ecosystem in glacier basal ice fuelled by iron and silicate comminution-derived hydrogen.

MicrobiologyOpen, 10(4):e1200.

The basal zone of glaciers is characterized by physicochemical properties that are distinct from firnified ice due to strong interactions with underlying substrate and bedrock. Basal ice (BI) ecology and the roles that the microbiota play in biogeochemical cycling, weathering, and proglacial soil formation remain poorly described. We report on basal ice geochemistry, bacterial diversity (16S rRNA gene phylogeny), and inferred ecological roles at three temperate Icelandic glaciers. We sampled three physically distinct basal ice facies (stratified, dispersed, and debris bands) and found facies dependent on biological similarities and differences; basal ice character is therefore an important sampling consideration in future studies. Based on a high abundance of silicates and Fe-containing minerals and, compared to earlier BI literature, total C was detected that could sustain the basal ice ecosystem. It was hypothesized that C-fixing chemolithotrophic bacteria, especially Fe-oxidisers and hydrogenotrophs, mutualistically support associated heterotrophic communities. Basal ice-derived rRNA gene sequences corresponding to genera known to harbor hydrogenotrophic methanogens suggest that silicate comminution-derived hydrogen can also be utilized for methanogenesis. PICRUSt-predicted metabolism suggests that methane metabolism and C-fixation pathways could be highly relevant in BI, indicating the importance of these metabolic routes. The nutrients and microbial communities release from melting basal ice may play an important role in promoting pioneering communities establishment and soil development in deglaciating forelands.

RevDate: 2021-08-30

Crous PW, Cowan DA, Maggs-Kölling G, et al (2020)

Fungal Planet description sheets: 1112-1181.

Persoonia, 45:251-409.

Novel species of fungi described in this study include those from various countries as follows: Australia, Austroboletus asper on soil, Cylindromonium alloxyli on leaves of Alloxylon pinnatum, Davidhawksworthia quintiniae on leaves of Quintinia sieberi, Exophiala prostantherae on leaves of Prostanthera sp., Lactifluus lactiglaucus on soil, Linteromyces quintiniae (incl. Linteromyces gen. nov.) on leaves of Quintinia sieberi, Lophotrichus medusoides from stem tissue of Citrus garrawayi, Mycena pulchra on soil, Neocalonectria tristaniopsidis (incl. Neocalonectria gen. nov.) and Xyladictyochaeta tristaniopsidis on leaves of Tristaniopsis collina, Parasarocladium tasmanniae on leaves of Tasmannia insipida, Phytophthora aquae-cooljarloo from pond water, Serendipita whamiae as endophyte from roots of Eriochilus cucullatus, Veloboletus limbatus (incl. Veloboletus gen. nov.) on soil. Austria, Cortinarius glaucoelotus on soil. Bulgaria, Suhomyces rilaensis from the gut of Bolitophagus interruptus found on a Polyporus sp. Canada, Cantharellus betularum among leaf litter of Betula, Penicillium saanichii from house dust. Chile, Circinella lampensis on soil, Exophiala embothrii from rhizosphere of Embothrium coccineum. China, Colletotrichum cycadis on leaves of Cycas revoluta. Croatia, Phialocephala melitaea on fallen branch of Pinus halepensis. Czech Republic, Geoglossum jirinae on soil, Pyrenochaetopsis rajhradensis from dead wood of Buxus sempervirens. Dominican Republic, Amanita domingensis on litter of deciduous wood, Melanoleuca dominicana on forest litter. France, Crinipellis nigrolamellata (Martinique) on leaves of Pisonia fragrans, Talaromyces pulveris from bore dust of Xestobium rufovillosum infesting floorboards. French Guiana, Hypoxylon hepaticolor on dead corticated branch. Great Britain, Inocybe ionolepis on soil. India, Cortinarius indopurpurascens among leaf litter of Quercus leucotrichophora. Iran, Pseudopyricularia javanii on infected leaves of Cyperus sp., Xenomonodictys iranica (incl. Xenomonodictys gen. nov.) on wood of Fagus orientalis. Italy, Penicillium vallebormidaense from compost. Namibia, Alternaria mirabibensis on plant litter, Curvularia moringae and Moringomyces phantasmae (incl. Moringomyces gen. nov.) on leaves and flowers of Moringa ovalifolia, Gobabebomyces vachelliae (incl. Gobabebomyces gen. nov.) on leaves of Vachellia erioloba, Preussia procaviae on dung of Procavia capensis. Pakistan, Russula shawarensis from soil on forest floor. Russia, Cyberlindnera dauci from Daucus carota. South Africa, Acremonium behniae on leaves of Behnia reticulata, Dothiora aloidendri and Hantamomyces aloidendri (incl. Hantamomyces gen. nov.) on leaves of Aloidendron dichotomum, Endoconidioma euphorbiae on leaves of Euphorbia mauritanica, Eucasphaeria proteae on leaves of Protea neriifolia, Exophiala mali from inner fruit tissue of Malus sp., Graminopassalora geissorhizae on leaves of Geissorhiza splendidissima, Neocamarosporium leipoldtiae on leaves of Leipoldtia schultzii, Neocladosporium osteospermi on leaf spots of Osteospermum moniliferum, Neometulocladosporiella seifertii on leaves of Combretum caffrum, Paramyrothecium pituitipietianum on stems of Grielum humifusum, Phytopythium paucipapillatum from roots of Vitis sp., Stemphylium carpobroti and Verrucocladosporium carpobroti on leaves of Carpobrotus quadrifolius, Suttonomyces cephalophylli on leaves of Cephalophyllum pilansii. Sweden, Coprinopsis rubra on cow dung, Elaphomyces nemoreus from deciduous woodlands. Spain, Polyscytalum pini-canariensis on needles of Pinus canariensis, Pseudosubramaniomyces septatus from stream sediment, Tuber lusitanicum on soil under Quercus suber. Thailand, Tolypocladium flavonigrum on Elaphomyces sp. USA, Chaetothyrina spondiadis on fruits of Spondias mombin, Gymnascella minnisii from bat guano, Juncomyces patwiniorum on culms of Juncus effusus, Moelleriella puertoricoensis on scale insect, Neodothiora populina (incl. Neodothiora gen. nov.) on stem cankers of Populus tremuloides, Pseudogymnoascus palmeri from cave sediment. Vietnam, Cyphellophora vietnamensis on leaf litter, Tylopilus subotsuensis on soil in montane evergreen broadleaf forest. Morphological and culture characteristics are supported by DNA barcodes.

RevDate: 2021-08-30

Molina Ortiz JP, McClure DD, Shanahan ER, et al (2021)

Enabling rational gut microbiome manipulations by understanding gut ecology through experimentally-evidenced in silico models.

Gut microbes, 13(1):1965698.

The gut microbiome has emerged as a contributing factor in non-communicable disease, rendering it a target of health-promoting interventions. Yet current understanding of the host-microbiome dynamic is insufficient to predict the variation in intervention outcomes across individuals. We explore the mechanisms that underpin the gut bacterial ecosystem and highlight how a more complete understanding of this ecology will enable improved intervention outcomes. This ecology varies within the gut over space and time. Interventions disrupt these processes, with cascading consequences throughout the ecosystem. In vivo studies cannot isolate and probe these processes at the required spatiotemporal resolutions, and in vitro studies lack the representative complexity required. However, we highlight that, together, both approaches can inform in silico models that integrate cellular-level dynamics, can extrapolate to explain bacterial community outcomes, permit experimentation and observation over ecological processes at high spatiotemporal resolution, and can serve as predictive platforms on which to prototype interventions. Thus, it is a concerted integration of these techniques that will enable rational targeted manipulations of the gut ecosystem.

RevDate: 2021-08-28

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

Reply to Partridge et al.: Complementary bioinformatics and experimental approaches to investigate the transfer of AMR genes.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(35):.

RevDate: 2021-08-28

Dos Santos IMO, Abe VY, de Carvalho K, et al (2021)

Secondary Metabolites of Pseudomonas aeruginosa LV Strain Decrease Asian Soybean Rust Severity in Experimentally Infected Plants.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 10(8): pii:plants10081495.

Asian Soybean Rust (ASR), a disease caused by Phakopsora pachyrhizi, causing yield losses up to 90%. The control is based on the fungicides which may generate resistant fungi. The activation of the plant defense system, should help on ASR control. In this study, secondary metabolites of Pseudomonas aeruginosa LV strain were applied on spore germination and the expression of defense genes in infected soybean plants. The F4A fraction and the pure metabolites were used. In vitro, 10 µg mL-1 of F4A reduced spore germination by 54%, while 100 µg mL-1 completely inhibited. Overexpression of phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL), O-methyltransferase (OMT) and pathogenesis related protein-2 (PR-2; glucanases) defense-related genes were detected 24 and 72 h after soybean sprouts were sprayed with an organocopper antimicrobial compound (OAC). Under greenhouse conditions, the best control was observed in plants treated with 60 µg mL-1 of PCA, which reduced ASR severity and lesion frequency by 75% and 43%, respectively. Plants sprayed with 2 and 20 µg mL-1 of F4A also decreased severity (41%) and lesion frequency (32%). The significant reduction in spore germination ASR in plant suggested that the strain of these metabolites are effective against P. pachyrhizi, and they can be used for ASR control.

RevDate: 2021-08-28

Vigsnaes LK, Ghyselinck J, Van den Abbeele P, et al (2021)

2'FL and LNnT Exert Antipathogenic Effects against C. difficile ATCC 9689 In Vitro, Coinciding with Increased Levels of Bifidobacteriaceae and/or Secondary Bile Acids.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 10(8): pii:pathogens10080927.

Clostridioides difficile (formerly Clostridium difficile) infection (CDI) is one of the most common hospital-acquired infections, which is often triggered by a dysbiosed indigenous gut microbiota (e.g., upon antibiotic therapy). Symptoms can be as severe as life-threatening colitis. The current study assessed the antipathogenic potential of human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), i.e., 2'-O-fucosyllactose (2'FL), lacto-N-neotetraose (LNnT), and a combination thereof (MIX), against C. difficile ATCC 9689 using in vitro gut models that allowed the evaluation of both direct and, upon microbiota modulation, indirect effects. During a first 48 h fecal batch study, dysbiosis and CDI were induced by dilution of the fecal inoculum. For each of the three donors tested, C. difficile levels strongly decreased (with >4 log CFU/mL) upon treatment with 2'FL, LNnT and MIX versus untreated blanks, coinciding with increased acetate/Bifidobacteriaceae levels. Interindividual differences among donors at an intermediate time point suggested that the antimicrobial effect was microbiota-mediated rather than being a direct effect of the HMOs. During a subsequent 11 week study with the PathogutTM model (specific application of the Simulator of the Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem (SHIME®)), dysbiosis and CDI were induced by clindamycin (CLI) treatment. Vancomycin (VNC) treatment cured CDI, but the further dysbiosis of the indigenous microbiota likely contributed to CDI recurrence. Upon co-supplementation with VNC, both 2'FL and MIX boosted microbial activity (acetate and to lesser extent propionate/butyrate). Moreover, 2'FL avoided CDI recurrence, potentially because of increased secondary bile acid production. Overall, while not elucidating the exact antipathogenic mechanisms-of-action, the current study highlights the potential of HMOs to combat CDI recurrence, help the gut microbial community recover after antibiotic treatment, and hence counteract the adverse effects of antibiotic therapies.

RevDate: 2021-08-27

Isaac A, Francis B, Amann RI, et al (2021)

Tight Adherence (Tad) Pilus Genes Indicate Putative Niche Differentiation in Phytoplankton Bloom Associated Rhodobacterales.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:718297.

The multiple interactions of phytoplankton and bacterioplankton are central for our understanding of aquatic environments. A prominent example of those is the consistent association of diatoms with Alphaproteobacteria of the order Rhodobacterales. These photoheterotrophic bacteria have traditionally been described as generalists that scavenge dissolved organic matter. Many observations suggest that members of this clade are specialized in colonizing the microenvironment of diatom cells, known as the phycosphere. However, the molecular mechanisms that differentiate Rhodobacterales generalists and phycosphere colonizers are poorly understood. We investigated Rhodobacterales in the North Sea during the 2010-2012 spring blooms using a time series of 38 deeply sequenced metagenomes and 10 metaproteomes collected throughout these events. Rhodobacterales metagenome assembled genomes (MAGs) were recurrently abundant. They exhibited the highest gene enrichment and protein expression of small-molecule transporters, such as monosaccharides, thiamine and polyamine transporters, and anaplerotic pathways, such as ethylmalonyl and propanoyl-CoA metabolic pathways, all suggestive of a generalist lifestyle. Metaproteomes indicated that the species represented by these MAGs were the dominant suppliers of vitamin B12 during the blooms, concomitant with a significant enrichment of genes related to vitamin B12 biosynthesis suggestive of association with diatom phycospheres. A closer examination of putative generalists and colonizers showed that putative generalists had persistently higher relative abundance throughout the blooms and thus produced more than 80% of Rhodobacterales transport proteins, suggesting rapid growth. In contrast, putative phycosphere colonizers exhibited large fluctuation in relative abundance across the different blooms and correlated strongly with particular diatom species that were dominant during the blooms each year. The defining feature of putative phycosphere colonizers is the presence of the tight adherence (tad) gene cluster, which is responsible for the assembly of adhesive pili that presumably enable attachment to diatom hosts. In addition, putative phycosphere colonizers possessed higher prevalence of secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters, particularly homoserine lactones, which can regulate bacterial attachment through quorum sensing. Altogether, these findings suggest that while many members of Rhodobacterales are competitive during diatom blooms, only a subset form close associations with diatoms by colonizing their phycospheres.

RevDate: 2021-08-27

You I, MJ Kim (2021)

Comparison of Gut Microbiota of 96 Healthy Dogs by Individual Traits: Breed, Age, and Body Condition Score.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 11(8): pii:ani11082432.

Since dogs are part of many peoples' lives, research and industry related to their health and longevity are becoming a rising topic. Although gut microbiota (GM) is a key contributor to host health, limited information is available for canines. Therefore, this study characterized GM according to individual signatures (e.g., breed, age, and body condition score-BCS) of dogs living in the same environment. Fresh fecal samples from 96 healthy dogs were analyzed by sequencing the V3-V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene. The major microbial phyla were Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Fusobacteria, Proteobacteria, and Actinobacteria. In the comparison by breeds, relative abundance of Fusobacterium was significantly differed. Interestingly, Fusobacterium perfoetens abundance was positively correlated with age (p = 0.018), being significantly more enriched in the 6-10-year-old group (14.3%) than in the 0.5-1-year-old group (7.2%). Moreover, despite the healthy appearance of dogs in all age (0.5-10 years) and BCS (3-6) groups, the gut microbial environment may be disadvantageous in older dogs or in dogs with an abnormal BCS. These findings broaden our understanding of gut microbial ecology according to individual characteristics of dogs and may be used as a reference for providing customized-care to companion animals.

RevDate: 2021-08-26

Jan B, Reshi ZA, FA Mohiddin (2021)

Correction to: Site and Organ‑Specific Culture‑Dependent Endophytic Diversity of Crocus sativus L. (Saffron) in Kashmir Himalaya, India.

RevDate: 2021-08-26

Möhlmann TWR, Ter Braak CJF, Te Beest DE, et al (2021)

Species Identity, Life History, and Geographic Distance Influence Gut Bacterial Communities in Lab-Reared and European Field-Collected Culicoides Biting midges.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Bacteria are part of the insect gut system and influence many physiological traits of their host. Gut bacteria may even reduce or block the transmission of arboviruses in several species of arthropod vectors. Culicoides biting midges are important arboviral vectors of several livestock and wildlife diseases, yet limited information is available on their gut bacterial communities. Addressing this gap will help inform how these communities can be manipulated and ultimately used as novel tools to control pathogens. To assess how bacterial communities change during the life stages of lab-reared C. nubeculosus and C. sonorensis, endosymbiotic bacteria were identified using Illumina sequencing of 16S rRNA and taxonomically characterised. Analyses were conducted to determine how gut bacterial communities in adults are influenced by species identity and geographic distance among biting midge populations. Communities of the two lab-reared Culicoides species significantly changed after pupation and with maturation into 6-day-old adults. Pseudomonas, Burkholderiaceae and Leucobacter bacteria were part of a core community that was trans-stadially transmitted and found throughout their life cycle. Among field-collected biting midges, the bacterial communities were unique for almost each species. Cardinium, Rickettsia and Wolbachia were some of the most abundant bacteria in midges collected from wetlands. Only Pseudomonas was present in high relative abundance in all field-collected species. In this study, species identity, as well as geographic distance, influenced the gut bacterial communities and may partly explain known inter- and intra-species variability in vector competence. Additionally, stably associated bacterial species could be candidates for paratransgenic strategies to control vector-borne pathogens.

RevDate: 2021-08-26

Leonard LT, Brodie EL, Williams KH, et al (2021)

Effect of elevation, season and accelerated snowmelt on biogeochemical processes during isolated conifer needle litter decomposition.

PeerJ, 9:e11926 pii:11926.

Increased drought and temperatures associated with climate change have implications for ecosystem stress with risk for enhanced carbon release in sensitive biomes. Litter decomposition is a key component of biogeochemical cycling in terrestrial ecosystems, but questions remain regarding the local response of decomposition processes to climate change. This is particularly complex in mountain ecosystems where the variable nature of the slope, aspect, soil type, and snowmelt dynamics play a role. Hence, the goal of this study was to determine the role of elevation, soil type, seasonal shifts in soil moisture, and snowmelt timing on litter decomposition processes. Experimental plots containing replicate deployments of harvested lodgepole and spruce needle litter alongside needle-free controls were established in open meadows at three elevations ranging from 2,800-3,500 m in Crested Butte, Colorado. Soil biogeochemistry variables including gas flux, porewater chemistry, and microbial ecology were monitored over three climatically variable years that shifted from high monsoon rains to drought. Results indicated that elevation and soil type influenced baseline soil biogeochemical indicators; however, needle mass loss and chemical composition were consistent across the 700 m elevation gradient. Rates of gas flux were analogously consistent across a 300 m elevation gradient. The additional variable of early snowmelt by 2-3 weeks had little impact on needle chemistry, microbial composition and gas flux; however, it did result in increased dissolved organic carbon in lodgepole porewater collections suggesting a potential for aqueous export. In contrast to elevation, needle presence and seasonal variability of soil moisture and temperature both played significant roles in soil carbon fluxes. During a pronounced period of lower moisture and higher temperatures, bacterial community diversity increased across elevation with new members supplanting more dominant taxa. Microbial ecological resilience was demonstrated with a return to pre-drought structure and abundance after snowmelt rewetting the following year. These results show similar decomposition processes across a 700 m elevation gradient and reveal the sensitivity but resilience of soil microbial ecology to low moisture conditions.

RevDate: 2021-08-26

Malki K, Sawaya NA, Tisza MJ, et al (2021)

Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Prokaryotic and Viral Community Assemblages in a Lotic System (Manatee Springs, Florida).

Applied and environmental microbiology, 87(18):e0064621.

Flow from high-magnitude springs fed by the Floridan aquifer system contributes hundreds of liters of water per second to rivers, creating unique lotic systems. Despite their importance as freshwater sources and their contributions to the state's major rivers, little is known about the composition and spatiotemporal variability of prokaryotic and viral communities of these spring systems or their influence on downstream river sites. At four time points throughout a year, we determined the abundance and diversity of prokaryotic and viral communities at three sites within the first-magnitude Manatee Springs system (the spring head where water emerges from the aquifer, a mixed region where the spring run ends, and a downstream site in the Suwannee River). The abundance of prokaryotes and virus-like particles increased 100-fold from the spring head to the river and few members from the head communities persisted in the river at low abundance, suggesting the springs play a minor role in seeding downstream communities. Prokaryotic and viral communities within Manatee Springs clustered by site, with seasonal variability likely driven by flow. As water flowed through the system, microbial community composition was affected by changes in physiochemical parameters and community coalescence. Evidence of species sorting and mass effects could be seen in the assemblages. Greater temporal fluctuations were observed in prokaryotic and viral community composition with increasing distance from the spring outflow, reflecting the relative stability of the groundwater environment, and comparisons to springs from prior work reaffirmed that distinct first-magnitude springs support unique communities. IMPORTANCE Prokaryotic and viral communities are central to food webs and biogeochemical processes in aquatic environments, where they help maintain ecosystem health. The Floridan aquifer system (FAS), which is the primary drinking water source for millions of people in the southeastern United States, contributes large amounts of freshwater to major river systems in Florida through its springs. However, there is a paucity of information regarding the spatiotemporal dynamics of microbial communities in these essential flowing freshwater systems. This work explored the prokaryotic and viral communities in a first-magnitude spring system fed by the FAS that discharges millions of liters of water per day into the Suwannee River. This study examined microbial community composition through space and time as well as the environmental parameters and metacommunity assembly mechanisms that shape these communities, providing a foundational understanding for monitoring future changes.

RevDate: 2021-08-25

Roussel C, De Paepe K, Galia W, et al (2021)

Multi-targeted properties of the probiotic saccharomyces cerevisiae CNCM I-3856 against enterotoxigenic escherichia coli (ETEC) H10407 pathogenesis across human gut models.

Gut microbes, 13(1):1953246.

Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is one of the most common causes of acute traveler's diarrhea. Adhesins and enterotoxins constitute the major ETEC virulence traits. With the dramatic increase in antibiotic resistance, probiotics are considered a wholesome alternative to prevent or treat ETEC infections. Here, we examined the antimicrobial properties of the probiotic Saccharomyces cerevisiae CNCM I-3856 against ETEC H10407 pathogenesis upon co-administration in the TNO gastrointestinal Model (TIM-1), simulating the physicochemical and enzymatic conditions of the human upper digestive tract and preventive treatment in the Mucosal Simulator of the Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem (M-SHIME), integrating microbial populations of the ileum and ascending colon. Interindividual variability was assessed by separate M-SHIME experiments with microbiota from six human individuals. The probiotic did not affect ETEC survival along the digestive tract. However, ETEC pathogenicity was significantly reduced: enterotoxin encoding virulence genes were repressed, especially in the TIM-1 system, and a lower enterotoxin production was noted. M-SHIME experiments revealed that 18-days probiotic treatment stimulate the growth of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus in different gut regions (mucosal and luminal, ileum and ascending colon) while a stronger metabolic activity was noted in terms of short-chain fatty acids (acetate, propionate, and butyrate) and ethanol production. Moreover, the probiotic pre-treated microbiota displayed a higher robustness in composition following ETEC challenge compared to the control condition. We thus demonstrated the multi-inhibitory properties of the probiotic S. cerevisiae CNCM I-3856 against ETEC in the overall simulated human digestive tract, regardless of the inherent variability across individuals in the M-SHIME.

RevDate: 2021-08-25

Allsup CM, Lankau RA, KN Paige (2021)

Herbivory and Soil Water Availability Induce Changes in Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Abundance and Composition.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

We tested the prediction that abundance and composition of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in Ipomopsis aggregata roots and soils are influenced by ungulate herbivory and drought conditions by examining the effects in a field setting over two years. We used a multi-metric approach to quantify AMF root colonization, AMF reproduction, and AMF community composition in roots and soils. We incorporated complimentary community characterization assays by morphologically identifying spores from trap cultures and the use of terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) fingerprinting. Herbivory caused a twofold increase in spore production, an increase in AMF taxa diversity in roots, and a shift in AMF species composition in rhizosphere soils. The impact of herbivory was dependent on water availability, which differed in the two contrasting years. This study demonstrates that both soil water availability and herbivory shape arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi communities. The changes to mycorrhizal communities may help in understanding mycorrhizal function in changing climates.

RevDate: 2021-08-25

Babur E, Dindaroğlu T, Riaz M, et al (2021)

Seasonal Variations in Litter Layers' Characteristics Control Microbial Respiration and Microbial Carbon Utilization Under Mature Pine, Cedar, and Beech Forest Stands in the Eastern Mediterranean Karstic Ecosystems.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The forest floor is hotspot of several functions integral to the stability of forest ecosystems. However, seasonal variations in litter decomposition rate contribute to biochemical and structural heterogeneity in the forest floor carbon (C) and nutrient cycling. We investigated the influence of seasonal variations in litter layers' micro-climate (temperature and moisture content) and chemical characteristics such as pH, electrical conductivity (EC), total organic C (TOC), total nitrogen (TN), and C/N ratio on microbial respiration, biomass, and C use efficiency under mature (> 80 years stage age) pine, beech, and cedar forests in eastern Mediterranean Karstic ecosystems. In contrast to significantly higher microbial respiration in fall, winter, and spring under pine, beech, and cedar forests, the significantly lowest microbial biomass C (MBC) and microbial biomass N (MBN) were observed in winter under each forest. Microbial C use efficiency, measured as the metabolic quotient (qCO2 = CO2/MBC), varied strongly between forest stands and seasons but was generally higher in winter. The significant positive correlations between litter layer and microbial biomass C/N ratios, under beech and cedar forests, suggested strong CN stoichiometric coupling and microbial adaptation to substrate resource stoichiometry. qCO2 correlated significantly negatively with litter layers' temperature, positively with moisture content and EC. However, qCO2 had significant negative relationships with pH in pine and beech forests but significant positive under cedar forest. qCO2 showed significant positive relationships with C/N ratios under all forests but much stronger in beech and cedar forests suggesting higher C respired per unit MBC with an increase in C/N ratio. Despite variations between forest species, the highest MBC/TOC and MBN/TN ratios in fall indicated greater C and N incorporation into microbial biomass. Changes in MBC/MBN ratios under pine (9.62-10.6), beech (8.63-15.6), and cedar (7.32-16.2) forests indicated the shift in microbial communities as fungi have a higher C/N ratio than bacteria. Stepwise regression analysis further revealed that microbial respiration and biomass were controlled differently by litter layer characteristics in each forest. This study suggested that qCO2 independently or with other microbial indices can show litter layers' controls on organic matter turnover in Karst ecosystems and, taking into account the strong seasonal variations, can enhance the predictive potential of decomposition models.

RevDate: 2021-08-25

Moreno Morales N, Patel MT, Stewart CJ, et al (2021)

Optogenetic Tools for Control of Public Goods in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

mSphere, 6(4):e0058121.

Microorganisms live in dense and diverse communities, with interactions between cells guiding community development and phenotype. The ability to perturb specific intercellular interactions in space and time provides a powerful route to determining the critical interactions and design rules for microbial communities. Approaches using optogenetic tools to modulate these interactions offer promise, as light can be exquisitely controlled in space and time. We report new plasmids for rapid integration of an optogenetic system into Saccharomyces cerevisiae to engineer light control of expression of a gene of interest. In a proof-of-principle study, we demonstrate the ability to control a model cooperative interaction, namely, the expression of the enzyme invertase (SUC2) which allows S. cerevisiae to hydrolyze sucrose and utilize it as a carbon source. We demonstrate that the strength of this cooperative interaction can be tuned in space and time by modulating light intensity and through spatial control of illumination. Spatial control of light allows cooperators and cheaters to be spatially segregated, and we show that the interplay between cooperative and inhibitory interactions in space can lead to pattern formation. Our strategy can be applied to achieve spatiotemporal control of expression of a gene of interest in S. cerevisiae to perturb both intercellular and interspecies interactions. IMPORTANCE Recent advances in microbial ecology have highlighted the importance of intercellular interactions in controlling the development, composition, and resilience of microbial communities. In order to better understand the role of these interactions in governing community development, it is critical to be able to alter them in a controlled manner. Optogenetically controlled interactions offer advantages over static perturbations or chemically controlled interactions, as light can be manipulated in space and time and does not require the addition of nutrients or antibiotics. Here, we report a system for rapidly achieving light control of a gene of interest in the important model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae and demonstrate that by controlling expression of the enzyme invertase, we can control cooperative interactions. This approach will be useful for understanding intercellular and interspecies interactions in natural and synthetic microbial consortia containing S. cerevisiae and serves as a proof of principle for implementing this approach in other consortia.

RevDate: 2021-08-25

Wang Y, Chen L, Xiang W, et al (2021)

Forest conversion to plantations: A meta-analysis of consequences for soil and microbial properties and functions.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Primary or secondary forests around the world are increasingly being converted into plantations. Soil microorganisms are critical for all biogeochemical processes in ecosystems, but the effects of forest conversion on microbial communities and their functioning remain unclear. Here, we conducted a meta-analysis to quantify the impacts that converting forests to plantations has on soil microbial communities and functioning as well as on the associated plant and soil properties. We collected 524 paired observations from 138 studies globally. We found that conversion leads to broad range of adverse impacts on soils and microorganisms, including on soil organic carbon (-24%), total nitrogen (-29%), bacterial and fungal biomass (-36% and -42%, respectively), microbial biomass carbon (MBC, -31%) and nitrogen (-33%), and fungi to bacteria ratio (F:B, -16%). In addition, we found impacts on the ratio of MBC to soil organic C (qMBC, -20%), microbial respiration (-18%), N mineralization (-18%), and enzyme activities including β-1,4-glucosidase (-54%), β-1,4-N-acetylglucosaminidase (-39%), and acid phosphatase (ACP; -34%). In contrast, conversion to plantations increases bacterial richness (+21%) and microbial metabolic quotient (qCO2 , +21%). The effects of forest conversion were consistent across stand ages, stand types, and climate zone. Soil C and N contents as well as the C:N ratio were the main factors responsible for the changes of microbial C, F:B, and bacterial richness. The responses of qCO2 , N mineralization, and ACP activity were mainly driven by the reductions in F:B, MBC, and soil C:N. Applying macro-ecology theory on ecosystem disturbance in soil microbial ecology, we show that microbial groups shifted from K to r strategists after conversion to plantations. Our meta-analysis underlines the adverse effects of natural forests conversion to plantations on soil microbial communities and functioning, and suggests that the preservation of soil functions should be a consideration in forest management practices.

RevDate: 2021-08-24

Vaezzadeh V, Yi X, Rais FR, et al (2021)

Distribution of black carbon and PAHs in sediments of Peninsular Malaysia.

Marine pollution bulletin, 172:112871 pii:S0025-326X(21)00905-X [Epub ahead of print].

Concentrations, sources and interactions between black carbon (BC) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were investigated in 42 sediment samples collected from riverine, coastal and shelf areas in Peninsular Malaysia. The concentrations of BC measured by benzene polycarboxylic acid (BPCA) method and PAHs showed broad spatial variations between the relatively pristine environment of the East coast and developed environment of the West and South coast ranging from 0.02 to 0.36% dw and 57.7 ng g-1 dw to 19,300 ng g-1 dw, respectively. Among diagnostic ratios of PAHs, the ratios of Ant/(Ant+Phe) and LMW/HMW drew the clearest distinctions between the East coast versus the West and South coast sediments indicating the predominance of petrogenic sources in the former versus pyrogenic sources in the latter. PAHs significantly correlated with BC and total organic carbon (TOC) in the sediments (p < 0.05) having similar correlation coefficients. BC accounted for 6.06 to 30.6% of TOC in sediments.

RevDate: 2021-08-24

Basanta MD, Rebollar EA, García-Castillo MG, et al (2021)

Comparative Analysis of Skin Bacterial Diversity and Its Potential Antifungal Function Between Desert and Pine Forest Populations of Boreal Toads Anaxyrus boreas.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The skin microbiome in amphibians has gained a lot of attention as some of its members play a protective role against pathogens such as the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). The composition of skin bacterial communities has been suggested as one of the factors explaining differences in susceptibility to Bd among amphibian species and populations. The boreal toad Anaxyrus boreas is known to be susceptible to Bd, and severe population declines in its southeastern range have been documented. However, throughout A. boreas distribution, populations present differences in susceptibility to Bd infections which may be associated with differences in skin microbial diversity. This study compared the skin bacterial diversity and Bd infection levels of A. boreas in one desert population and one pine forest population from Baja California, Mexico. We found that desert and pine forest toad populations exhibit differences in skin bacterial community structure but show similar Bd infection levels. Using a predictive method, we found that the abundance of bacteria with potential Bd-inhibitory properties differed between uninfected and infected individuals but not between populations. Our data suggest that several bacteria in the skin community may be offering protection from Bd infections in these A. boreas populations. This study provides foundational evidence for future studies seeking to understand the skin-microbial variation among boreal toads' populations and its relation with Bd susceptibility.

RevDate: 2021-08-24

Saw JHW (2021)

Characterizing the Uncultivated Microbial Minority: towards Understanding the Roles of the Rare Biosphere in Microbial Communities.

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

Microbial communities are frequently numerically dominated by just a few species. Often, the long "tail" of the rank-abundance plots of microbial communities constitutes the so-called "rare biosphere," microorganisms that are highly diverse but are typically found in low abundance in these communities. Their presence in microbial communities has only recently become apparent with advances in high-throughput sequencing technologies. Despite their low numbers, they are thought to play important roles in their communities and may function as potential members to keep the communities intact and resilient. Their phylogenetic diversity also means that they are important subjects for better understanding the interplay between microbial diversity and evolution. I propose that more efforts should be put into characterizing these poorly understood and mostly unknown microbial lineages that hold vast potentials for our understanding of microbial diversity, ecology, and evolution of life on this planet.

RevDate: 2021-08-24

Scanlan PD (2021)

Evolution in a Community Context: towards Understanding the Causes and Consequences of Adaptive Evolution in the Human Gut Microbiota over Short Time Scales.

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

How important is adaptive evolution to the unique diversity that we can observe for each individual human gut microbiome? How do gut microbes evolve in response to changes in their environment, and how does evolution in real time impact microbial functionality in the context of host health? My interdisciplinary research uses in vitro microcosm models to test how different abiotic and biotic factors impact microbial evolution in a community context. We complement this approach by tracking focal species as they evolve in real time and in their natural environment of the human gut. Our aim is to provide a better understanding of how the dynamics and outcomes of microbial evolution differ between individual gut environments, and in response to different selection pressures, so that we can move closer to rational gut microbiome treatments that promote host health and prevent and treat human disease.

RevDate: 2021-08-24

Rodríguez-Verdugo A (2021)

Evolving Interactions and Emergent Functions in Microbial Consortia.

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

Microbial communities are constantly challenged with environmental stressors, such as antimicrobials, pollutants, and global warming. How do they respond to these changes? Answering this question is crucial given that microbial communities perform essential functions for life on Earth. Our research aims to understand and predict communities' responses to change by addressing the following questions. (i) How do eco-evolutionary feedbacks influence microbial community dynamics? (ii) How do multiple interacting species in a microbial community alter evolutionary processes? (iii) To what extent do microbial communities respond to change by ecological versus evolutionary processes? To answer these questions, we use microbial communities of reduced complexity coupled with experimental evolution, genome sequencing, and mathematical modeling. The overall expectation from this integrative research approach is to generate general concepts that extend beyond specific bacterial species and provide fundamental insights into the consequences of evolution on the functioning of whole microbial communities.

RevDate: 2021-08-24

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-08-24

Nicomel NR, Otero-Gonzalez L, Williamson A, et al (2021)

Selective copper recovery from ammoniacal waste streams using a systematic biosorption process.

Chemosphere, 286(Pt 3):131935 pii:S0045-6535(21)02407-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Cu-NH3 bearing effluents arise from electroplating and metal extraction industries, requiring innovative and sustainable Cu recovery technologies to reduce their adverse environmental impact. CO32- and Zn are often co-occurring, and thus, selective Cu recovery from these complex liquid streams is required for economic viability. This study assessed 23 sustainable biosorbents classified as tannin-rich, lignin-rich, chitosan/chitin, dead biomass, macroalgae or biochar for their Cu adsorption capacity and selectivity in a complex NH3-bearing bioleachate. Under a preliminary screen with 12 mM Cu in 1 M ammoniacal solution, most biosorbents showed optimal Cu adsorption at pH 11, with pinecone remarkably showing high removal efficiencies (up to 68%) at all tested pH values. Further refinements on select biosorbents with pH, contact time, and presence of NH3, Zn and CO32- showed again that pinecone has a high maximum adsorption capacity (1.07 mmol g-1), worked over pH 5-12 and was Cu-selective with 3.97 selectivity quotient (KCu/Zn). Importantly, pinecone performance was maintained in a real Cu/NH3/Zn/CO32- bioleachate, with 69.4% Cu removal efficiency. Unlike synthetic adsorbents, pinecones require no pre-treatment, which together with its abundance, selectivity, and efficiency without the need for prior NH3 removal, makes it a competitive and sustainable Cu biosorbent for complex Cu-NH3 bearing streams. Overall, this study demonstrated the potential of integrating bioleaching and biosorption as a clean Cu recovery technology utilizing only sustainable resources (i.e., bio-lixiviant and biosorbents). This presents a closed-loop approach to Cu extraction and recovery from wastes, thus effectively addressing elemental sustainability.

RevDate: 2021-08-23

Bacha L, Ventura R, Barrios M, et al (2021)

Risk of Collapse in Water Quality in the Guandu River (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The Guandu River, one of the main rivers in the state of Rio de Janeiro, provides water for more than nine million people in the metropolitan region. However, the Guandu has suffered from massive domestic and industrial pollution for more than two decades, leading to high levels of dissolved total phosphorus, cyanobacteria, and enteric bacteria observed during the summers of 2020 and 2021. The use of Phoslock, a palliative compound, was not effective in mitigating the levels of phosphorus in the Guandu River. Furthermore, potable water driven from the river had levels of 2-MIB/geosmin and a mud smell/taste. With all these problems, several solutions are proposed for improving the Guandu River water quality, including establishment of (i) sewage treatment plants (STPs), (ii) strict water quality monitoring, (iii) environmental recovery (e.g., reforestation), and (iv) permanent protected areas. The objective of this paper is to verify the poor water quality in the Guandu and the ineffectiveness and undesired effects of Phoslock.

RevDate: 2021-08-23

de Siqueira KA, Liotti RG, de Sousa JR, et al (2021)

Streptomyces griseocarneus R132 expresses antimicrobial genes and produces metabolites that modulate Galleria mellonella immune system.

3 Biotech, 11(9):396.

Actinobacteria is a phylum composed of aerobic, Gram-positive, and filamentous bacteria with a broad spectrum of biological activity, including antioxidant, antitumor, and antibiotic. The crude extract of Streptomyces griseocarneus R132 was fractionated on a C18 silica column and the isolated compound was identified by 1H and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance as 3-(phenylprop-2-enoic acid), also known as trans-cinnamic acid. Antimicrobial activity against human pathogens was assayed in vitro (disk-diffusion qualitative test) and in vivo using Galleria mellonella larvae (RT-qPCR). The methanol fractions 132-F30%, 132-F50%, 132-F70%, and 132-F100% inhibited the Escherichia coli (ATCC 25922) and Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) growth in vitro the most effectively. Compared with the untreated control (60-80% of larvae death), the fractions and isolated trans-cinnamic acid increased the survival rate and modulated the immune system of G. mellonella larvae infected with pathogenic microorganisms. The anti-infection effect of the S. griseocarneus R132 fermentation product led us to sequence its genome, which was assembled and annotated using the Rast and antiSMASH platforms. The assembled genome consisted of 227 scaffolds represented on a linear chromosome of 8.85 Mb and 71.3% of GC. We detected conserved domains typical of enzymes that produce molecules with biological activity, such as polyketides and non-ribosomal and ribosomal peptides, indicating a great potential for obtaining new antibiotics and molecules with biotechnological application.

Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s13205-021-02942-1.

RevDate: 2021-08-23

Carlson HK, Vuono DC, Glass JB, et al (2021)

Editorial: Selective Controls on Microbial Energy Metabolisms: From the Microscale to the Macroscale.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:728705.

RevDate: 2021-08-21

Mei Z, Xiang L, Wang F, et al (2021)

Bioaccumulation of Manure-borne antibiotic resistance genes in carrot and its exposure assessment.

Environment international, 157:106830 pii:S0160-4120(21)00455-4 [Epub ahead of print].

The effect of manure application on the distribution and accumulation of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in tissue of root vegetables remains unclear, which poses a bottleneck in assessing the health risks from root vegetables due to application of manure. Towards this goal, experiments were conducted in pots to investigate the distribution and bioaccumulation of ARGs in carrot tissues due to application of pig manure. The 144 ARGs targeting nine types of antibiotics were quantified by high throughput qPCR in the soil and plant samples. The rhizosphere was a hot spot for ARGs enrichment in the manured soil. The abundance, diversity, and bioaccumulation factors of ARGs in the phyllosphere were significantly higher than those of carrot root skin and tuber. Manure application increased bioaccumulation of 12 ARGs and 2 MGEs in carrot tuber with 124 the highest factor. The application of manure increased transfer of 10 ARGs and 3 MGEs from carrot skin to inner tuber by factors of 0.1-11.8. The average gene copy number of ARGs of per gram carrot root was about 4.8 × 104 and 1.1 × 106 in the control and the manured treatment, respectively. Children and adults may co-ingest 2.7 × 107 and 3.2 × 107 of ARGs copies/d from carrots grown with pig manure, using estimated human intake values. However, peeling may reduce the intake of ARGs by 28-91% and of MGEs by 46-59%. In conclusion, the application of pig manure increased the accumulation of ARGs in the skin of carrots, whereas peeling was an effective strategy to reduce the risk.

RevDate: 2021-08-21

Verstrepen L, Van den Abbeele P, Pignataro G, et al (2021)

Inclusion of small intestinal absorption and simulated mucosal surfaces further improve the Mucosal Simulator of the Canine Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem (M-SCIME™).

Research in veterinary science, 140:100-108 pii:S0034-5288(21)00263-0 [Epub ahead of print].

While a large set of in vitro models are available to study the effects of specific food ingredients (e.g. pre- and probiotics) on the human gut microbiome, the availability of such models for companion animals is limited. Since improving gut health of such animals is an emerging research field, the Simulator of the Canine Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem (SCIME™) was recently developed and validated with in vivo data. The current study presents a further improvement of this model by using an alternative method for feed preparation, i.e. by administering digestive enzymes to mimic upper gastro-intestinal digestion followed by a dialysis approach to mimic small intestinal absorption. As opposed to the previously implemented method, this resulted in a more optimal simulation of protein digestion and absorption. Further, upon entrance in the colon, increased production of the health-promoting butyrate and lower levels of Lactobacillus spp. and Bifidobacterium spp. were observed, which corresponded better with obtained in vivo data. A second model improvement consisted of the implementation of a mucosal environment to not only simulate luminal but also mucosal microbiota. In consistency with the human model for which this technology was previously validated, it was found that for all canine microbiota mucin beads were enriched with members of the Lachnospiraceae (~ Clostridium cluster XIVa), a family containing multiple well-known butyrate producers. The SCIME™ was thus upgraded to a so-called Mucosal SCIME™ (M-SCIME™). In conclusion, the current study presents improvements of the SCIME™, further increasing the relevance of obtained data with this in vitro model for dogs.

RevDate: 2021-08-21

Tang Y, Ma KY, Cheung MK, et al (2021)

Correction to: Gut Microbiota in Decapod Shrimps: Evidence of Phylosymbiosis.

RevDate: 2021-08-21

Sangwan S, R Prasanna (2021)

Mycorrhizae Helper Bacteria: Unlocking Their Potential as Bioenhancers of Plant-Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Associations.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The dynamic interactions of plants and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) that facilitate the efficient uptake of minerals from soil and provide protection from various environmental stresses (biotic and abiotic) are now also attributed to a third component of the symbiosis. These are the less investigated mycorrhizae helper bacteria (MHB), which constitute a dense, active bacterial community, tightly associated with AMF, and involved in the development and functioning of AMF. Although AMF spores are known to host several bacteria in their spore walls and cytoplasm, their role in promoting the ecological fitness and establishment of AMF symbiosis by influencing spore germination, mycelial growth, root colonization, metabolic diversity, and biocontrol of soil borne diseases is now being deciphered. MHB also promote the functioning of arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis by triggering various plant growth factors, leading to better availability of nutrients in the soil and uptake by plants. In order to develop strategies to promote mycorrhization by AMF, and particularly to stimulate the ability to utilize phosphorus from the soil, there is a need to decipher crucial metabolic signalling pathways of MHB and elucidate their functional significance as mycorrhiza helper bacteria. MHB, also referred to as AMF bioenhancers, also improve agronomic efficiency and formulations using AMF along with enriched population of MHB are a promising option. This review covers the aspects related to the specificity and mechanisms of action of MHB, which positively impact the formation and functioning of AMF in mycorrhizal symbiosis, and the need to advocate MHB as AMF bioenhancers towards their inclusion in integrated nutrient management practices in sustainable agriculture.

RevDate: 2021-08-19

Lajoie G, SW Kembel (2021)

Plant-bacteria associations are phylogenetically structured in the phyllosphere.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Determining whether and how global change will lead to novel interactions between hosts and microbes is an important issue in ecology and evolution. Understanding the contribution of host and microbial ecologies and evolutionary histories in driving their contemporary associations is an important step towards addressing this challenge and predicting the fitness consequences of novel associations. Using shotgun metagenomic and amplicon sequencing of bacterial communities from the leaf surfaces (phyllosphere) of trees, we investigated how phylogenetic relatedness among hosts and among their associated bacteria influences the distribution of bacteria among hosts. We also evaluated whether the functional traits of trees and bacteria explained these associations across multiple host species. We show that phylogenetically similar hosts tended to associate with the same bacteria and that phylogenetically similar bacteria tended to associate with the same host species. Phylogenetic interactions between tree and bacterial taxa also explained variation in their associations. The effect of host and symbiont evolutionary histories on bacterial distribution across hosts were observed across phylogenetic scales, but prominently explained variation among higher taxonomic categories of hosts and symbionts. These results suggest that ecological variation arising early in the plant and bacterial phylogenies have been particularly important for driving their contemporary associations. Variation in bacterial functional genes associated with the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids and compounds and with cell motility were notably important in explaining bacterial community turnover among gymnosperm and angiosperm hosts. Overall, our results suggest an influence of host and bacterial traits and evolutionary histories in driving their contemporary associations.

RevDate: 2021-08-19

Baker JL, A Edlund (2021)

Identification of Oral Bacterial Biosynthetic Gene Clusters Associated with Caries.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2327:161-189.

Small molecules are a primary communication media of the microbial world, and play crucial, yet largely unidentified, roles in microbial ecology and disease pathogenesis. Many small molecules are produced by biosynthetic gene clusters, which can be predicted and analyzed computationally given a genome. A recent study examined the biosynthetic repertoire of the oral microbiome and cross-referenced this information against the disease status of the human host, providing leads for biosynthetic gene clusters, and their natural products, which may be key in the oral microbial ecology affecting dental caries and periodontitis. This chapter provides a step-by-step tutorial to bioinformatically to locate biosynthetic gene clusters within genomes, predict the type of natural products that are produced, and cross-reference the identified biosynthetic gene clusters to microbiomes associated with disease or health.

RevDate: 2021-08-19

Atnafu B, Desta A, F Assefa (2021)

Microbial Community Structure and Diversity in Drinking Water Supply, Distribution Systems as well as Household Point of Use Sites in Addis Ababa City, Ethiopia.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Understanding ecology of microbiomes in drinking water distribution systems is the most important notion in delivering safe drinking water. Drinking water distribution systems harbor various microbiota despite efforts made in improving water infrastructures in the water industry, especially, in developing countries. Intermittent water supply, long time of water storage, low water pressure, and contaminated source water are among many of the factors responsible for poor drinking water quality affecting health of people. The aim of this study was to explore microbial diversity and structure in water samples collected from source water, treated water, reservoirs, and household points of use locations (taps). High-throughput Illumina sequencing technology was employed by targeting the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene and the V1-V3 region of the 18S rRNA gene to analyze the microbial community structure. Proteobacteria followed by Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, and Actinobacteria were the core dominating taxa. Gammaproteobacteria was also dominant among other proteobacterial classes across all sampling points. Opportunistic bacterial genera such as Pseudomonas, Legionella, Klebsiella, Escherichia, and Actinobacteria, as well as eukaryotic microbes like Cryptosporidium, Hartmannella, Acanthamoeba, Aspergillus, and Candida were also abundant taxa found along the distribution systems. The shift in microbial community structure from source to point of use locations was influenced by basic factors such as residual chlorine, intermittent water supply, and long-time storage at the household. The complex microbiota detected in different sampling sites in this study brings drinking water quality problem which further causes significant health problems to both human and animal health. Treatment ineffectiveness, disinfection inefficiency, poor maintenance actions, leakage of sewage, and other domestic wastes are few among many other factors responsible for degraded drinking water quality in this study putting health at high risk. Findings of this research provide important and baseline information to understand the microbial profiles of drinking water along source water and distribution systems. Moreover, knowing the microbial profile will help to design proper water quality assurance approaches.

RevDate: 2021-08-19

Yuan Z, Druzhinina IS, Gibbons JG, et al (2021)

Correction: Divergence of a genomic island leads to the evolution of melanization in a halophyte root fungus.

RevDate: 2021-08-18

Cheng XY, Liu XY, Wang HM, et al (2021)

USCγ Dominated Community Composition and Cooccurrence Network of Methanotrophs and Bacteria in Subterranean Karst Caves.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

Karst caves have recently been demonstrated to act as a sink for atmospheric methane, due in part to consumption by microbes residing in caves that can oxidize methane at atmospheric levels. However, our knowledge about the responsible atmospheric methane-oxidizing bacteria (atmMOB) in this vast habitat remains limited to date. To address this issue, weathered rock samples from three karst caves were collected in Guilin City and subjected to high-throughput sequencing of pmoA and 16S rRNA genes. The results showed that members of the high-affinity upland soil cluster (USC), especially upland soil cluster gamma (USCγ), with absolute abundances of 104 to 109 copies · g-1 dry sample, dominated the atmMOB communities, while Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria dominated the overall bacterial communities. Moreover, USCγ was a keystone taxon in cooccurrence networks of both the atmMOB and the total bacterial community, whereas keystone taxa in the bacterial network also included Gaiella and Aciditerrimonas. Positive links overwhelmingly dominated the cooccurrence networks of both atmMOB and the total bacterial community, indicating a consistent response to environmental disturbances. Our study shed new insights on the diversity and abundances underlining atmMOB and total bacterial communities and on microbial interactions in subterranean karst caves, which increased our understanding about USC and supported karst caves as a methane sink. IMPORTANCE Karst caves have recently been demonstrated to be a potential atmospheric methane sink, presumably due to consumption by methane-oxidizing bacteria. However, the sparse knowledge about the diversity, distribution, and community interactions of methanotrophs requires us to seek further understanding of the ecological significance of methane oxidation in these ecosystems. Our pmoA high-throughput results from weathered rock samples from three karst caves in Guilin City confirm the wide occurrence of atmospheric methane-oxidizing bacteria in this habitat, especially those affiliated with the upland soil cluster, with a gene copy number of 104 to 109 copies per gram dry sample. Methanotrophs and the total bacterial communities had more positive than negative interactions with each other as indicated by the cooccurrence network, suggesting their consistent response to environmental disturbance. Our results solidly support caves as an atmospheric methane sink, and they contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the diversity, distribution, and interactions of microbial communities in subsurface karst caves.

RevDate: 2021-08-18

Li X, Wang A, Wan W, et al (2021)

High Salinity Inhibits Soil Bacterial Community Mediating Nitrogen Cycling.

Applied and environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Salinization is considered as a major threat to soil fertility and agricultural productivity throughout the world. Soil microbes play a crucial role in maintaining ecosystem stability and function (e.g., nitrogen cycling). However, the response of bacterial community composition and community-level function to soil salinity remains uncertain. Herein, we used multiple statistical analyses to assess the effect of high salinity on bacterial community composition and potential metabolism function in the agricultural ecosystem. Results showed that high salinity significantly altered bacterial both alpha (Shannon-Wiener index and phylogenetic diversity) and beta diversity. Salinity, TN, and SOM were the vital environmental factors shaping bacterial community composition. The relative abundance of Actinobacteria, Chloroflexi, Acidobacteria, and Planctomycetes decreased with salinity, whereas Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes increased with salinity. The modularity and the ratio of negative to positive links remarkedly decreased indicated that high salinity destabilized bacterial networks. Variable selection, which belongs to deterministic processes, mediated bacterial community assembly within the saline soils. Function prediction results showed that the key nitrogen metabolism (e.g., ammonification, nitrogen fixation, nitrification, and denitrification processes) was inhibited in high salinity habitats. Miseq sequencing of 16S rRNA genes revealed that the abundance and composition of nitrifying community were influenced by high salinity. The consistency of function prediction and experimental verification demonstrated that high salinity inhibited soil bacterial community mediating nitrogen cycling. Our study provides strong evidence for salinity effect on the bacterial community composition and key metabolism function, which could help us understand how soil microbe responds to ongoing environment perturbation. IMPORTANCE Revealing the response of the soil bacterial community to external environmental disturbances is an important but poorly understood topic in microbial ecology. In this study, we evaluated the effect of high salinity on the bacterial community composition and key biogeochemical processes in salinized agricultural soils (0.22 to 19.98 dS m-1). Our results showed that high salinity significantly decreased bacterial diversity, altered bacterial community composition, and destabilized bacterial network. Moreover, variable selection (61-66%) mediated bacterial community assembly within the saline soils. Functional prediction combined with microbiological verification proved that high salinity inhibited soil bacterial community mediating nitrogen turnover. Understanding the impact of salinity on soil bacterial community is of great significance in managing saline soils and maintaining a healthy ecosystem.

RevDate: 2021-08-18

Yu HW, WM He (2021)

Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Compete Asymmetrically for Amino Acids with Native and Invasive Solidago.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and soil amino acids both affect plant performance. However, little is known about how AMF compete for amino acids with native and invasive congeners. We conducted a factorial experiment (inoculation, native and invasive species, and amino acids) to examine the competition for amino acids between soil microbes and both native and invasive congeners. The competition for amino acids between AMF and invasive Solidago canadensis was weaker than that observed between AMF and native S. decurrens. This asymmetric competition increased the growth advantage of S. canadensis over S. decurrens. The efficacy (biomass production per unit of nitrogen supply) of amino acids compared to ammonium was smaller in S. canadensis than in S. decurrens when both species were grown without inoculation, but the opposite was the case when both species were grown with AMF. AMF and all microbes differentially altered four phenotypic traits (plant height, leaf chlorophyll content, leaf number, and root biomass allocation) and the pathways determining the effects of amino acids on growth advantages. These findings suggest that AMF could enhance plant invasiveness through asymmetric competition for amino acids and that amino acid-driven invasiveness might be differentially regulated by different microbial guilds.

RevDate: 2021-08-18

Harris RL, Vetter MCYL, van Heerden E, et al (2021)

FISH-TAMB, a Fixation-Free mRNA Fluorescent Labeling Technique to Target Transcriptionally Active Members in Microbial Communities.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Keystone species or ecological engineers are vital to the health of an ecosystem; however, often, their low abundance or biomass present challenges for their discovery, identification, visualization and selection. We report the development of fluorescent in situ hybridization of transcript-annealing molecular beacons (FISH-TAMB), a fixation-free protocol that is applicable to archaea and bacteria. The FISH-TAMB method differs from existing FISH methods by the absence of fixatives or surfactants in buffers, the fast hybridization time of as short as 15 min at target cells' growth temperature, and the omission of washing steps. Polyarginine cell-penetrating peptides are employed to deliver molecular beacons (MBs) across prokaryotic cell walls and membranes, fluorescently labeling cells when MBs hybridize to target mRNA sequences. Here, the detailed protocol of the preparation and application of FISH-TAMB is presented. To demonstrate FISH-TAMB's ability to label intracellular mRNA targets, differentiate transcriptional states, detect active and rare taxa, and keep cell viability, labeling experiments were performed that targeted the messenger RNA (mRNA) of methyl-coenzyme M reductase A (mcrA) expressed in (1) Escherichia coli containing a plasmid with a partial mcrA gene of the methanogen Methanosarcina barkeri (E. coli mcrA+); (2) M. barkeri; and (3) an anaerobic methanotrophic (ANME) enrichment from a deep continental borehole. Although FISH-TAMB was initially envisioned for mRNA of any functional gene of interest without a requirement of prior knowledge of 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA)-based taxonomy, FISH-TAMB has the potential for multiplexing and going beyond mRNA and thus is a versatile addition to the molecular ecologist's toolkit, with potentially widespread application in the field of environmental microbiology.

RevDate: 2021-08-18

Whitaker BK, Giauque H, Timmerman C, et al (2021)

Local Plants, Not Soils, Are the Primary Source of Foliar Fungal Community Assembly in a C4 Grass.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Microbial communities, like their macro-organismal counterparts, assemble from multiple source populations and by processes acting at multiple spatial scales. However, the relative importance of different sources to the plant microbiome and the spatial scale at which assembly occurs remains debated. In this study, we analyzed how source contributions to the foliar fungal microbiome of a C4 grass differed between locally abundant plants and soils across an abiotic gradient at different spatial scales. Specifically, we used source-sink analysis to assess the likelihood that fungi in leaves from Panicum hallii came from three putative sources: two plant functional groups (C4 grasses and dicots) and soil. We expected that physiologically similar C4 grasses would be more important sources to P. hallii than dicots. We tested this at ten sites in central Texas spanning a steep precipitation gradient. We also examined source contributions at three spatial scales: individual sites (local), local plus adjacent sites (regional), or all sites (gradient-wide). We found that plants were substantially more important sources than soils, but contributions from the two plant functional groups were similar. Plant contributions overall declined and unexplained variation increased as mean annual precipitation increased. This source-sink analysis, combined with partitioning of beta-diversity into nestedness and turnover components, indicated high dispersal limitation and/or strong environmental filtering. Overall, our results suggest that the source-sink dynamics of foliar fungi are primarily local, that foliar fungi spread from plant-to-plant, and that the abiotic environment may affect fungal community sourcing both directly and via changes to host plant communities.

RevDate: 2021-08-18

Sharma R, Gal L, Garmyn D, et al (2021)

Plant Growth Promoting Bacterial Consortium Induces Shifts in Indigenous Soil Bacterial Communities and Controls Listeria monocytogenes in Rhizospheres of Cajanus cajan and Festuca arundinacea.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The rhizosphere is a dynamic and complex interface between plant roots and microorganisms. Owing to exudates, a web of interactions establishes among the microbial members of this micro-environment. The present study explored the impact of a bacterial consortium (Azotobacter chroococcum, Bacillus megaterium and Pseudomonas fluorescens, ABP), on the fate of a human pathogen, Listeria monocytogenes EGD-e, in soil and in the rhizospheres of Cajanus cajan and Festuca arundinacea, in addition to its plant growth promoting effect. The study further assessed the impact these bioinoculants exert on the autochthonous soil bacterial communities. Experiments in sterilised soil inoculated with bioinoculants and L. monocytogenes revealed the inhibition of L. monocytogenes by approximately 80-fold compared to that without the consortium. Subsequently, experiments were conducted in non-sterile soil microcosms planted with C. cajan and F. arundinacea, and in bulk soil. The consortium led to a significant increase in plant growth in both plants and prevented growth of L. monocytogenes. However, the presence of resident soil bacterial communities overshadowed this inhibitory effect, and a sharp decline in L. monocytogenes populations (5-6 log reduction) was recorded under non-sterile soil conditions. A shift in the soil resident bacterial communities was observed upon amendment with the bioinoculants. A significant increase of potential Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) and biocontrol agents was observed, while the abundance of potential phytopathogens dropped. The present study opens up new avenues for the application of such a consortium given their dual benefits of plant growth promotion and restricting phytopathogens as well as human pathogen.

RevDate: 2021-08-18

Wang Z, Xiao R, Huang J, et al (2021)

The Diversity of Vaginal Microbiota Predicts Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Responsiveness in Locally Advanced Cervical Cancer.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The vaginal microbiota is closely related to HPV infection and cervical cancer (CC), but its relationship with platinum-based chemotherapy responsiveness is unknown. The study aimed to investigate the vaginal microbiota diversity of women with locally advanced cervical cancer (LACC) and compare the differences between responders and nonresponders. We characterized the 16S rRNA gene sequencing of vaginal microbiome of 66 vaginal samples, including 26 LACC patients before neoadjuvant chemotherapy and 40 healthy controls. Compared with the healthy controls, alpha diversity was significantly increased in CC patients (p <0.05) with more unconventionality bacterial colonization. Beta diversity also significantly differed between cervical cancer patients and controls (p <0.01). Within the CC patients, alpha diversity in vaginal samples was significantly higher in the nonresponders versus the responders (p <0.01), and the Ace index and Chao index were negatively correlated with mass reduction (p <0.001). Moreover, the Bacteroides genus enriched in the nonresponders had a ROC-plot AUC value reaching 0.84. The study suggests the vaginal microbiota in LACC patients is associated with platinum-based chemotherapy responsiveness. Alpha diversity and Bacteroides abundance have the potential of identifying platinum-resistant patients at an early time. These findings provide a basis for further research on the relationship between vaginal microbiome and chemotherapy effect in LACC.

RevDate: 2021-08-18

Pascoal F, Costa R, Assmy P, et al (2021)

Exploration of the Types of Rarity in the Arctic Ocean from the Perspective of Multiple Methodologies.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The Arctic Ocean is facing rapid environmental changes with cascading effects on the entire Arctic marine ecosystem. However, we have a limited understanding of the consequences such changes have on bacteria and archaea (prokaryotes) at the base of the marine food web. In this study, we show how the prokaryotic rare biosphere behaves over a range of highly heterogeneous environmental conditions using 16S rRNA gene reads from amplicon and metagenome sequencing data from seawater samples collected during the Norwegian young sea ICE expedition between late winter and early summer. The prokaryotic rare biosphere was analyzed using different approaches: amplicon sequence variants and operational taxonomic units from the 16S rRNA gene amplicons and operational taxonomic units from the 16S rRNA genes of the metagenomes. We found that prokaryotic rare biosphere communities are specific to certain water masses, and that the majority of the rare taxa identified were always rare and disappeared in at least one sample under changing conditions, suggesting their high sensitivity to environmental heterogeneity. In addition, our methodological comparison revealed a good performance of 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing in describing rare biosphere patterns, while the metagenome-derived data were better to capture a significant diversity of so-far uncultivated rare taxa. Our analysis on the dynamics of the rare prokaryotic biosphere, by combining different methodological approaches, improves the description of the types of rarity predicted from Community Assembly theory in the Arctic Ocean.

RevDate: 2021-08-17

van de Peppel LJJ, Nieuwenhuis M, Auxier B, et al (2021)

Ancestral predisposition toward a domesticated lifestyle in the termite-cultivated fungus Termitomyces.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(21)01060-5 [Epub ahead of print].

The ancestor of termites relied on gut symbionts for degradation of plant material, an association that persists in all termite families.1,2 However, the single-lineage Macrotermitinae has additionally acquired a fungal symbiont that complements digestion of food outside the termite gut.3 Phylogenetic analysis has shown that fungi grown by these termites form a clade-the genus Termitomyces-but the events leading toward domestication remain unclear.4 To address this, we reconstructed the lifestyle of the common ancestor of Termitomyces using a combination of ecological data with a phylogenomic analysis of 21 related non-domesticated species and 25 species of Termitomyces. We show that the closely related genera Blastosporella and Arthromyces also contain insect-associated species. Furthermore, the genus Arthromyces produces asexual spores on the mycelium, which may facilitate insect dispersal when growing on aggregated subterranean fecal pellets of a plant-feeding insect. The sister-group relationship between Arthromyces and Termitomyces implies that insect association and asexual sporulation, present in both genera, preceded the domestication of Termitomyces and did not follow domestication as has been proposed previously. Specialization of the common ancestor of these two genera on an insect-fecal substrate is further supported by similar carbohydrate-degrading profiles between Arthromyces and Termitomyces. We describe a set of traits that may have predisposed the ancestor of Termitomyces toward domestication, with each trait found scattered in related taxa outside of the termite-domesticated clade. This pattern indicates that the origin of the termite-fungus symbiosis may not have required large-scale changes of the fungal partner.

RevDate: 2021-08-17

Bolívar A, Tarlak F, Costa JCCP, et al (2021)

A new expanded modelling approach for investigating the bioprotective capacity of Latilactobacillus sakei CTC494 against Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat fish products.

Food research international (Ottawa, Ont.), 147:110545.

Understanding the role of food-related factors on the efficacy of protective cultures is essential to attain optimal results for developing biopreservation-based strategies. The aim of this work was to assess and model growth of Latilactobacillus sakei CTC494 and Listeria monocytogenes CTC1034, and their interaction, in two different ready-to-eat fish products (i.e., surimi-based product and tuna pâté) at 2 and 12 °C. The existing expanded Jameson-effect and a new expanded Jameson-effect model proposed in this study were evaluated to quantitatively describe the effect of microbial interaction. The inhibiting effect of the selected lactic acid bacteria strain on the pathogen growth was product dependent. In surimi product, a reduction of lag time of both strains was observed when growing in coculture at 2 °C, followed by the inhibition of the pathogen when the bioprotective L. sakei CTC494 reached the maximum population density, suggesting a mutualism-antagonism continuum phenomenon between populations. In tuna pâté, L. sakei CTC494 exerted a strong inhibition of L. monocytogenes at 2 °C (<0.5 log increase) and limited the growth at 12 °C (<2 log increase). The goodness-of-fit indexes indicated that the new expanded Jameson-effect model performed better and appropriately described the different competition patterns observed in the tested fish products. The proposed expanded competition model allowed for description of not only antagonistic but also mutualism-based interactions based on their influence on lag time.

RevDate: 2021-08-16

Barbosa RG, Oliveira FC, Andrés-Torres M, et al (2021)

Effective orthophosphate removal from surface water using hydrogen-oxidizing bacteria: Moving towards applicability.

The Science of the total environment, 800:149648 pii:S0048-9697(21)04723-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Effective orthophosphate removal strategies are needed to counteract eutrophication and guarantee water quality. Previously, we established that hydrogen-oxidizing bacteria (HOB) have the ability to remove orthophosphate from artificial surface water. In the present study, we expand the application of the HOB orthophosphate removal strategy (1) to treat artificial surface water with low initial orthophosphate concentrations, (2) to treat real surface water and real wastewater effluent, and (3) to remove orthophosphate continuously. For synthetic surface water, irrespective of the initial concentration of 0.7, 0.5, 0.3, and 0.1 mg PO43--P/L, ultra-low concentrations (0.0058 ± 0.0028 mg PO43--P/L) were obtained. When artificial surface water was replaced by real surface water, without added nutrients or other chemicals, it was shown that over 90% orthophosphate could be removed within 30 min of operation in a batch configuration (0.031 ± 0.023 mg PO43--P/L). In continuous operation, orthophosphate removal from surface water left an average concentration of 0.040 ± 0.036 for 60 days, and the lowest orthophosphate concentration measured was 0.013 mg PO43-/L. Simultaneously, nitrate was continuously removed for 60 days below 0.1 mg/L. The ability to remove orthophosphate even under nitrogen limiting conditions might be related to the ability of HOB to fix nitrogen. This study brings valuable insights into the potential use of HOB biofilms for nutrient remediation and recovery.

RevDate: 2021-08-16

Du P, He H, Zhou L, et al (2021)

Different biodegradation potential and the impacted soil functions of epoxiconazole in two soils.

Journal of hazardous materials, 422:126787 pii:S0304-3894(21)01754-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Epoxiconazole is an effective pesticide to control Fusarium head blight (FHB), and the application will increase. To investigate the ecotoxicity of epoxiconazole to soil microbiome, we carried out an indoor experiment in which soils from two main regions of wheat production in China (Nanjing and Anyang) were treated with epoxiconazole (0, 0.0625, 0.625, or 6.25 mg kg-1) and incubated for 90 days. Under epoxiconazole stress, for bacteria and fungi, the abundance was increased and the diversity and community were impacted. In Anyang soil, the half-life of epoxiconazole was short with more increased species (linear discriminant analysis effect size biomarkers) and more increased xenobiotics biodegradation pathways in epoxiconazole treatments. The increased species mostly due to high abundance in initial state and more positive connections of the species. Co-occurrences revealed that epoxiconazole tightened bacterial connection, and increased positive correlations in Anyang soil. The N transformation was influenced with increased nifH and amoA; and the contents of NH4+-N and NO3--N were also increased. The functions of C, S, and manganese metabolisms were also impacted by epoxiconazole. This work expands our understanding about epoxiconazole degradation and help us to properly assess the risk of epoxiconazole in soil.

RevDate: 2021-08-16

Li Y, Lin H, Gao P, et al (2021)

Synergistic Impacts of Arsenic and Antimony Co-contamination on Diazotrophic Communities.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Nitrogen (N) shortage poses a great challenge to the implementation of in situ bioremediation practices in mining-contaminated sites. Diazotrophs can fix atmospheric N2 into a bioavailable form to plants and microorganisms inhabiting adverse habitats. Increasing numbers of studies mainly focused on the diazotrophic communities in the agroecosystems, while those communities in mining areas are still not well understood. This study compared the variations of diazotrophic communities in composition and interactions in the mining areas with different extents of arsenic (As) and antimony (Sb) contamination. As and Sb co-contamination increased alpha diversities and the abundance of nifH encoding the dinitrogenase reductase, while inhibited the diazotrophic interactions and substantially changed the composition of communities. Based on the multiple lines of evidence (e.g., the enrichment analysis of diazotrophs, microbe-microbe network, and random forest regression), six diazotrophs (e.g., Sinorhizobium, Dechloromonas, Trichormus, Herbaspirillum, Desmonostoc, and Klebsiella) were identified as keystone taxa. Environment-microbe network and random forest prediction demonstrated that these keystone taxa were highly correlated with the As and Sb contamination fractions. All these results imply that the above-mentioned diazotrophs may be resistant to metal(loid)s.

RevDate: 2021-08-16

Bamary Z, A Einali (2021)

Changes in Carbon Partitioning and Pattern of Antioxidant Enzyme Activity Induced by Arginine Treatment in the Green Microalga Dunaliella salina Under Long-Term Salinity.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

In this work, the effects of arginine (Arg) on biochemical responses and antioxidant enzyme activity in the green microalga Dunaliella salina grown at different salt concentrations were investigated. Suspensions adapted with the concentrations of 1, 2, and 3 M NaCl were treated at the exponential growth phase with a concentration of 5 mM Arg. Salt stress was associated with a large decrease in the number of cells and non-reducing sugar levels but accumulated higher amounts of chlorophyll, β-carotene, reducing sugar, starch, total protein, free amino acid, and glycerol. Increased levels of protein carbonylation, lipid peroxidation, proteolysis, hydrogen peroxide, and antioxidant enzyme activity also occurred during salinity. Arg treatment changed the pattern of biochemical responses in the cells grown at high salinity by directing carbon flow to the biosynthesis of non-reducing sugars instead of starch, lowering levels of hydrogen peroxide, and downregulating antioxidant enzyme activity, but the levels of lipid peroxidation, glycerol, and β-carotene remained nearly unchanged. These results suggest that Arg treatment alleviates salinity-induced oxidative stress in D. salina cells by modifying carbon partitioning and inducing signaling molecules rather than antioxidant enzymes.

RevDate: 2021-08-16

Chu XL, Zhang QG, Buckling A, et al (2021)

Interspecific Niche Competition Increases Morphological Diversity in Multi-Species Microbial Communities.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:699190.

Intraspecific competition for limited niches has been recognized as a driving force for adaptive radiation, but results for the role of interspecific competition have been mixed. Here, we report the adaptive diversification of the model bacteria Pseudomonas fluorescens in the presence of different numbers and combinations of four competing bacterial species. Increasing the diversity of competitive community increased the morphological diversity of focal species, which is caused by impeding the domination of a single morphotype. Specifically, this pattern was driven by more diverse communities being more likely to contain key species that occupy the same niche as otherwise competitively superior morphotype, and thus preventing competitive exclusion within the focal species. Our results suggest that sympatric adaptive radiation is driven by the presence or absence of niche-specific competitors.

RevDate: 2021-08-16

Danko D, Malli Mohan GB, Sierra MA, et al (2021)

Characterization of Spacesuit Associated Microbial Communities and Their Implications for NASA Missions.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:608478.

Background: Crewed National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) missions to other solar system bodies are currently being planned. One high-profile scientific focus during such expeditions would be life detection, specifically the discovery of past or present microbial life, if they exist. However, both humans and associated objects typically carry a high microbial burden. Thus, it is essential to distinguish between microbes brought with the expedition and those present on the exploring planets. Modern spacesuits are unique, customized spacecraft which provide protection, mobility and life support to crew during spacewalks, yet they vent, and the mobility of microbes through spacesuits has not been studied.

Results: To evaluate the microbial colonization of spacesuits, NASA used an Extravehicular Activity swab kit to examine viable microbial populations of 48 samples from spacesuits using both traditional microbiological methods and molecular sequencing methods. The cultivable microbial population ranged from below the detection limit to 9 × 102 colony forming units per 25 cm2 of sample and also significantly varied by the location. The cultivable microbial diversity was dominated by members of Bacillus, Arthrobacter, and Ascomycota. However, 16S rRNA-based viable bacterial burden ranged from 105 to 106 copies per 25 cm2 of sample. Shotgun metagenome sequencing revealed the presence of a diverse microbial population on the spacesuit surfaces, including Curtobacterium and Methylobacterium from across all sets of spacesuits in high abundance. Among bacterial species identified, higher abundance of Cutibacterium acnes, Methylobacterium oryzae, and M. phyllosphaerae reads were documented.

Conclusion: The results of this study provide evidence that identical microbial strains may live on the wrist joint, inner gauntlet, and outer gauntlet of spacesuits. This raises the possibility, but does not confirm that microbial contaminants on the outside of the suits could contaminate planetary science operations unless additional measures are taken. Overall, these data provide the first estimate of microbial distribution associated with spacesuit surfaces, which will help future mission planners develop effective planetary protection strategies.

RevDate: 2021-08-14

Huang Z, Liu B, Yin Y, et al (2021)

Impact of Biocontrol Microbes on Soil Microbial Diversity in Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe).

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Bacteria are the most diverse and abundant group of soil organisms that influence plant growth and health. Bacillus and Trichoderma are commonly used as biological control agents (BCA) directly or indirectly act on soil bacteria. Therefore, it is essential to understand how the applied microbes impact the indigenous microbial community before exploring their activity in the control of soilborne diseases.

RESULTS: MiSeq sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene was employed to decipher the shift of rhizosphere bacterial community in ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) treated with Bacillus subtilus and Trichoderma harzianum at different concentration. The dominant phyla in treated and nontreated samples were Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Acidobacteria and comprised up to 54.7% of the total sequences. There were significant differences between BCA treated and nontreated samples in the bacteria community. BCA treated plants presented higher bacterial diversity than nontreated and higher dosage of BCA had a larger impact on rhizosphere microbiota, but the 'dose-response relationship' varied in different bacterial groups. Potential biomarkers at genus level were found, such as RB41, Pseudomonas, Nitrospira, Candidatus_Udaeobacter.

CONCLUSION: The combined use of Bacillus subtilus and Trichoderma harzianum could alter bacterial community structure and diversity in rhizosphere soil. BCA-microbes interactions as well as soil microbial ecology should get noticed in plant disease management.

RevDate: 2021-08-14

Boeuf D, Eppley JM, Mende DR, et al (2021)

Metapangenomics reveals depth-dependent shifts in metabolic potential for the ubiquitous marine bacterial SAR324 lineage.

Microbiome, 9(1):172.

BACKGROUND: Oceanic microbiomes play a pivotal role in the global carbon cycle and are central to the transformation and recycling of carbon and energy in the ocean's interior. SAR324 is a ubiquitous but poorly understood uncultivated clade of Deltaproteobacteria that inhabits the entire water column, from ocean surface waters to its deep interior. Although some progress has been made in elucidating potential metabolic traits of SAR324 in the dark ocean, very little is known about the ecology and the metabolic capabilities of this group in the euphotic and twilight zones. To investigate the comparative genomics, ecology, and physiological potential of the SAR324 clade, we examined the distribution and variability of key genomic features and metabolic pathways in this group from surface waters to the abyss in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, one of the largest biomes on Earth.

RESULTS: We leveraged a pangenomic ecological approach, combining spatio-temporally resolved single-amplified genome, metagenomic, and metatranscriptomic datasets. The data revealed substantial genomic diversity throughout the SAR324 clade, with distinct depth and temporal distributions that clearly differentiated ecotypes. Phylogenomic subclade delineation, environmental distributions, genomic feature similarities, and metabolic capacities revealed strong congruence. The four SAR324 ecotypes delineated in this study revealed striking divergence from one another with respect to their habitat-specific metabolic potentials. The ecotypes living in the dark or twilight oceans shared genomic features and metabolic capabilities consistent with a sulfur-based chemolithoautotrophic lifestyle. In contrast, those inhabiting the sunlit ocean displayed higher plasticity energy-related metabolic pathways, supporting a presumptive photoheterotrophic lifestyle. In epipelagic SAR324 ecotypes, we observed the presence of two types of proton-pumping rhodopsins, as well as genomic, transcriptomic, and ecological evidence for active photoheterotrophy, based on xanthorhodopsin-like light-harvesting proteins.

CONCLUSIONS: Combining pangenomic and both metagenomic and metatranscriptomic profiling revealed a striking divergence in the vertical distribution, genomic composition, metabolic potential, and predicted lifestyle strategies of geographically co-located members of the SAR324 bacterial clade. The results highlight the utility of metapangenomic approaches employed across environmental gradients, to decipher the properties and variation in function and ecological traits of specific phylogenetic clades within complex microbiomes. Video abstract.

RevDate: 2021-08-14

Rogiers T, Merroun ML, Williamson A, et al (2021)

Cupriavidus metallidurans NA4 actively forms polyhydroxybutyrate-associated uranium-phosphate precipitates.

Journal of hazardous materials, 421:126737 pii:S0304-3894(21)01702-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Cupriavidus metallidurans is a model bacterium to study molecular metal resistance mechanisms and its use for the bioremediation of several metals has been shown. However, its mechanisms for radionuclide resistance are unexplored. We investigated the interaction with uranium and associated cellular response to uranium for Cupriavidus metallidurans NA4. Strain NA4 actively captured 98 ± 1% of the uranium in its biomass after growing 24 h in the presence of 100 µM uranyl nitrate. TEM HAADF-EDX microscopy confirmed intracellular uranium-phosphate precipitates that were mainly associated with polyhydroxybutyrate. Furthermore, whole transcriptome sequencing indicated a complex transcriptional response with upregulation of genes encoding general stress-related proteins and several genes involved in metal resistance. More in particular, gene clusters known to be involved in copper and silver resistance were differentially expressed. This study provides further insights into bacterial interactions with and their response to uranium. Our results could be promising for uranium bioremediation purposes with the multi-metal resistant bacterium C. metallidurans NA4.

RevDate: 2021-08-13

de Siqueira KA, Senabio JA, Pietro-Souza W, et al (2021)

Aspergillus sp. A31 and Curvularia geniculata P1 mitigate mercury toxicity to Oryza sativa L.

Archives of microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Aspergillus sp. A31 and Curvularia geniculata P1 are endophytes that colonize the roots of Aeschynomene fluminensis Vell. and Polygonum acuminatum Kunth. in humid environments contaminated with mercury. The two strains mitigated mercury toxicity and promoted Oryza sativa L growth. C. geniculata P1 stood out for increasing the host biomass by fourfold and reducing the negative effects of the metal on photosynthesis. Assembling and annotation of Aspergillus sp. A31 and C. geniculata P1 genomes resulted in 28.60 Mb (CG% 53.1; 10,312 coding DNA sequences) and 32.92 Mb (CG% 50.72; 8,692 coding DNA sequences), respectively. Twelve and 27 genomes of Curvularia/Bipolaris and Aspergillus were selected for phylogenomic analyzes, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis inferred the separation of species from the genus Curvularia and Bipolaris into different clades, and the separation of species from the genus Aspergillus into three clades; the species were distinguished by occupied niche. The genomes had essential gene clusters for the adaptation of microorganisms to high metal concentrations, such as proteins of the phytoquelatin-metal complex (GO: 0090423), metal ion binders (GO: 0046872), ABC transporters (GO: 0042626), ATPase transporters (GO: 0016887), and genes related to response to reactive oxygen species (GO: 0000302) and oxidative stress (GO: 0006979). The results reported here help to understand the unique regulatory mechanisms of mercury tolerance and plant development.

RevDate: 2021-08-13

Qin M, Jiang L, Kholmatov BR, et al (2021)

Phylosymbiotic Structures of the Microbiota in Mollitrichosiphum tenuicorpus (Hemiptera: Aphididae: Greenideinae).

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Aphids harbor an array of symbionts that provide hosts with ecological benefits. Microbial community assembly generally varies with respect to aphid species, geography, and host plants. However, the influence of host genetics and ecological factors on shaping intraspecific microbial community structures has not been fully understood. In the present study, using Illumina sequencing of the V3 - V4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene, we characterized the microbial compositions associated with Mollitrichosiphum tenuicorpus from different regions and plants in China. The primary symbiont Buchnera aphidicola and the secondary symbiont Arsenophonus dominated the microbial flora in M. tenuicorpus. Ordination analyses and statistical tests suggested that geography and aphid genetics primarily contributed to the variation in the microbiota of M. tenuicorpus. We further confirmed the combined effect of aphid genetics and geography on shaping the structures of symbiont and secondary symbiont communities. Moreover, the significant correlation between aphid genetic divergence and symbiont community dissimilarity provides evidence for intraspecific phylosymbiosis in natural systems. Our study helped to elucidate the eco-evolutionary relationship between symbiont communities and aphids within one given species.

RevDate: 2021-08-13

Yang S, Liebner S, Svenning MM, et al (2021)

Decoupling of microbial community dynamics and functions in Arctic peat soil exposed to short term warming.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Temperature is an important factor governing microbe-mediated carbon feedback from permafrost soils. The link between taxonomic and functional microbial responses to temperature change remains elusive due to the lack of studies assessing both aspects of microbial ecology. Our previous study reported microbial metabolic and trophic shifts in response to short-term temperature increases in Arctic peat soil, and linked these shifts to higher CH4 and CO2 production rates (Tveit et al., 2015). Here, we studied the taxonomic composition and functional potential of samples from the same experiment. We see that along a high-resolution temperature gradient (1 - 30 °C), microbial communities change discretely, but not continuously or stochastically, in response to rising temperatures. The taxonomic variability may thus in part reflect the varied temperature responses of individual taxa and the competition between these taxa for resources. These taxonomic responses contrast the stable functional potential (metagenomics-based) across all temperatures or the previously observed metabolic or trophic shifts at key temperatures. Furthermore, with rising temperatures we observed a progressive decrease in species diversity (Shannon Index) and increased dispersion of greenhouse gas (GHG) production rates. We conclude that the taxonomic variation is decoupled from both the functional potential of the community and the previously observed temperature-dependent changes in microbial function. However, the reduced diversity at higher temperatures might help explain the higher variability in GHG production at higher temperatures.

RevDate: 2021-08-13

Shoemaker WR, Jones SE, Muscarella ME, et al (2021)

Microbial population dynamics and evolutionary outcomes under extreme energy limitation.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(33):.

Microorganisms commonly inhabit energy-limited ecosystems where cellular maintenance and reproduction is highly constrained. To gain insight into how individuals persist under such conditions, we derived demographic parameters from a collection of 21 heterotrophic bacterial taxa by censusing 100 populations in an effectively closed system for 1,000 d. All but one taxon survived prolonged resource scarcity, yielding estimated times to extinction ranging over four orders of magnitude from 100 to 105 y. Our findings corroborate reports of long-lived bacteria recovered from ancient environmental samples, while providing insight into mechanisms of persistence. As death rates declined over time, lifespan was extended through the scavenging of dead cells. Although reproduction was suppressed in the absence of exogenous resources, populations continued to evolve. Hundreds of mutations were acquired, contributing to genome-wide signatures of purifying selection as well as molecular signals of adaptation. Consistent ecological and evolutionary dynamics indicate that distantly related bacteria respond to energy limitation in a similar and predictable manner, which likely contributes to the stability and robustness of microbial life.

RevDate: 2021-08-13

Marzorati M, Calatayud M, Rotsaert C, et al (2021)

Comparison of protection and release behavior of different capsule polymer combinations based on L. acidophilus survivability and function and caffeine release.

International journal of pharmaceutics pii:S0378-5173(21)00783-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Oral administration of active pharmaceutical ingredients, nutraceuticals, enzymes or probiotics requires an appropriate delivery system for optimal bioactivity and absorption. The harsh conditions during the gastrointestinal transit can degrade the administered products, hampering their efficacy. Enteric or delayed-release pharmaceutical formulations may help overcome these issues. In a Simulator of Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem model (SHIME) and using caffeine as a marker for release kinetics and L. acidophilus survivability as an indicator for protection, we compared the performance of ten capsule configurations, single or in DUOCAP® combinations. The function of L. acidophilus and its impact on the gut microbiota was further tested in three selected capsule types, combinations of DRcaps® capsule in DRcaps® capsule (DR-in-DR) and DRcaps® capsule in Vcaps® capsule (DR-in-VC) and single Vcaps® Plus capsule under colonic conditions. We found that under stomach and small intestine conditions, DR-in-DR and DR-in-VC led to the best performance both under fed and fasted conditions based on the slow caffeine release and the highest L. acidophilus survivability. The Vcaps® Plus capsule however, led the quickest caffeine and probiotic release. When DR-in-DR, DR-in-VC and single Vcaps® Plus capsules were tested through the whole gastrointestinal tract including under colonic conditions, caffeine release was found to be slower in capsules containing DRcaps® capsules compared to the single Vcaps® capsules. In addition, colonic survival of L. acidophilus was significantly increased under fasted conditions in DR-in-DR or DR-in-VC formulation compared to Vcaps® Plus capsule. To assess the impact of these formulations on the microbial function, acetate, butyrate and propionate as well as ammonia were measured. L. acidophilus released from DR-in-DR or DR-in-VC induced significant increase in butyrate and decrease in ammonia, suggesting a proliferation of butyrate-producing bacteria and reduction in ammonia-producing bacteria. These data suggest that L. acidophilus included in DR-in-DR or DR-in-VC reaching the colon is viable and functional, contributing to changes in colonic microbiota composition and diversity.


RJR Experience and Expertise


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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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.

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

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

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

short personal version

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

long standard version

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