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30 Nov 2020 at 01:41
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Bibliography on: Microbial Ecology


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 30 Nov 2020 at 01:41 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.

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Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2020-11-28

Burtseva O, Baulina O, Zaytseva A, et al (2020)

In vitro Biofilm Formation by Bioluminescent Bacteria Isolated from the Marine Fish Gut.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01652-0 [Epub ahead of print].

The internal surface of the animal gastrointestinal tract is covered by microbial biofilms. They play an important role in the development and functioning of the host organism and protect it against pathogens. Microbial communities of gastrointestinal biofilms are less elucidated than luminal microbiota. Therefore, the studies of biofilm formation by gastrointestinal microorganisms are a topical issue. For the first time, we report the formation of a biofilm in vitro by the strains of bioluminescent bacteria isolated from the intestines of marine fish. These bacteria exhibit co-aggregation and tend to attach to solid surfaces. The attachment of cells is accompanied by appearance of the pili. Then, we observed the formation of microcolonies and the production of extracellular polymer substances (EPSs) connecting bacterial cells into an integrated system. The presence of acidic polysaccharides is shown in the EPS when using the ruthenium red staining. Acidic polysaccharides in this matrix is a biochemical evidence of microbial biofilms. On the fibers of the polymer matrix, these bacteria form the "mushroom body"-type structures. Matured biofilms exhibit a specific three-dimensional architecture with pores and channels formed by cells and EPS. We also demonstrated the formation of a biofilm by binary culture of the luminous enterobacterium Kosakonia cowanii and a Gram-positive Macrococcus sp. The data obtained help to understand the role of these bacteria in the intestines of fish. They lead to a new study in the field of investigation of the intestinal microbiome of fish.

RevDate: 2020-11-27

Mathai PP, Bertram JH, Padhi SK, et al (2020)

Influence of Environmental Stressors on the Microbiota of Zebra Mussels (Dreissena polymorpha).

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01642-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Host-associated microbiota play a critical role in host fitness by providing nutrition, enhancing digestion capabilities, and by providing protection from pathogens. Here, we investigated the effects of two environmental stressors, temperature, and salinity, on the microbiota associated with zebra mussels (ZMs), a highly invasive bivalve in North America. To examine this in detail, lake-collected ZMs were acclimated to laboratory conditions, and subjected to temperature and salinity stress conditions. The impact of these stressors on the diversity, composition, and dynamics of ZM-associated microbiota were assessed by using amplicon- and shotgun-based sequencing, and qPCR-based approaches. Elevated temperature was found to be the primary driver of ZM mortality, although salinity alone also increased its likelihood. Stressor-induced ZM mortality, which ranged between 53 and 100%, was concomitant with significant increases in the relative abundance of several genera of putative opportunistic pathogens including Aeromonas. These genera were only present in low relative abundance in ZMs obtained from the control tank with 0% mortality. Shotgun sequencing and qPCR analyses indicated that the relative and absolute abundances of pathogenic Aeromonas species (particularly A. veronii) were significantly greater in temperature-induced dead ZMs. Taken together, our results show that environmental stress, especially elevated temperature (> 25 °C), is associated with the rapid mortality of ZMs as well as the proliferation of putative opportunistic bacterial pathogens.

RevDate: 2020-11-27

Shilts MH, Rosas-Salazar C, Lynch CE, et al (2020)

Evaluation of the upper airway microbiome and immune response with nasal epithelial lining fluid absorption and nasal washes.

Scientific reports, 10(1):20618 pii:10.1038/s41598-020-77289-3.

Despite being commonly used to collect upper airway epithelial lining fluid, nasal washes are poorly reproducible, not suitable for serial sampling, and limited by a dilution effect. In contrast, nasal filters lack these limitations and are an attractive alternative. To examine whether nasal filters are superior to nasal washes as a sampling method for the characterization of the upper airway microbiome and immune response, we collected paired nasal filters and washes from a group of 40 healthy children and adults. To characterize the upper airway microbiome, we used 16S ribosomal RNA and shotgun metagenomic sequencing. To characterize the immune response, we measured total protein using a BCA assay and 53 immune mediators using multiplex magnetic bead-based assays. We conducted statistical analyses to compare common microbial ecology indices and immune-mediator median fluorescence intensities (MFIs) between sample types. In general, nasal filters were more likely to pass quality control in both children and adults. There were no significant differences in microbiome community richness, α-diversity, or structure between pediatric samples types; however, these were all highly dissimilar between adult sample types. In addition, there were significant differences in the abundance of amplicon sequence variants between sample types in children and adults. In adults, total proteins were significantly higher in nasal filters than nasal washes; consequently, the immune-mediator MFIs were not well detected in nasal washes. Based on better quality control sequencing metrics and higher immunoassay sensitivity, our results suggest that nasal filters are a superior sampling method to characterize the upper airway microbiome and immune response in both children and adults.

RevDate: 2020-11-27

Xu M, Wang F, Sheng H, et al (2020)

Does anaerobic condition play a more positive role in dissipation of antibiotic resistance genes in soil?.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(20)37268-5 [Epub ahead of print].

The persistence of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) under the aerobic vs. anaerobic conditions is unknown, especially under different fertilization. Towards this goal, a microcosm experiment was carried out with chemical fertilized and manured soil under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. High throughput qPCR was used to analyze ARGs with 144 primer sets and sequencing for microorganisms. Completely different dynamics of ARGs were observed in soil under aerobic and anaerobic conditions, regardless of the fertilization type. ARGs had different half-lives, even though they confer resistance to the same type of antibiotics. Aminoglycoside, chloramphenicol, macrolide - lincosamide - streptogramin B (MLSB) and tetracycline resistance genes were significantly accumulated in the aerobic soils. Anaerobic soil possessed a higher harboring capacity for exogenous microorganisms and ARGs than aerobic soil. The interaction between ARGs and mobile genetic elements (MGEs) in manured soil under aerobic condition was more pronounced than the anaerobic condition. These findings unveil that anaerobic soil could play a more positive role in reducing potential risk of ARGs in the farmland environment.

RevDate: 2020-11-26

Garrido-Benavent I, Pérez-Ortega S, de Los Ríos A, et al (2020)

Neogene speciation and Pleistocene expansion of the genus Pseudephebe (Parmeliaceae, lichenized fungi) involving multiple colonizations of Antarctica.

Molecular phylogenetics and evolution pii:S1055-7903(20)30292-X [Epub ahead of print].

Widespread geographic distributions in lichens have been usually explained by the high dispersal capacity of their tiny diaspores. However, recent phylogenetic surveys have challenged this assumption and provided compelling evidence for cryptic speciation and more restricted distribution ranges in diverse lineages of lichen-forming fungi. To evaluate these scenarios, we focus on the fungal genus Pseudephebe (Parmeliaceae) which includes amphitropical species, a distribution pattern whose origin has been a matter of debate since first recognized in the nineteenth century. In our study, a six-locus dataset and a broad specimen sampling covering almost all Earth's continents is used to investigate species delimitation in Pseudephebe. Population structure, gene flow and dating analyses, as well as genealogical reconstruction methods, are employed to disentangle the most plausible transcontinental migration routes, and estimate the timing of the origin of the amphitropical distribution and the Antarctic populations. Our results demonstrate the existence of three partly admixed phylogenetic species that diverged between the Miocene and Pliocene, and whose Quaternary distribution has been strongly driven by glacial cycles. Pseudephebe minuscula is the only species showing an amphitropical distribution, with populations in Antarctica, whereas the restricted distribution of P. pubescens and an undescribed Alaskan species might reflect the survival of these species in European and North American refugia. Our microevolutionary analyses suggest a Northern Hemisphere origin for P. minuscula, which could have dispersed into the Southern Hemisphere directly and/or through "mountain-hopping" during the Pleistocene. The Antarctic populations of this species are sorted into two genetic clusters: populations of the Antarctic Peninsula were grouped together with South American ones, and the Antarctic Continental populations formed a second cluster with Bolivian and Svalbard populations. Therefore, our data strongly suggest that the current distribution of P. minuscula in Antarctica is the outcome of multiple, recent colonizations. In conclusion, our results stress the need for integrating species delimitation and population analyses to properly approach historical biogeography in lichen-forming fungi.

RevDate: 2020-11-26

Yue L, Kong W, Li C, et al (2020)

Dissolved inorganic carbon determines the abundance of microbial primary producers and primary production in Tibetan Plateau lakes.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:6006872 [Epub ahead of print].

Climate change globally accelerates the shrinkage of inland lakes, resulting in increases in both water salinity and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). The increases of salinity and DIC generate contrasting effects on microbial primary producers and primary production, however, their combined effects remain unclear in aquatic ecosystems. We hypothesized that increased DIC mitigates the constraints of enhanced salinity on microbial primary producers and primary production. To test this, we employed isotope labeling and molecular methods to explore primary production and four dominant types of microbial primary producers (form IA, IB, IC and ID) in lakes on the Tibetan Plateau. Results exhibited that DIC positively correlated with abundance of microbial primary producers and primary production (all P < 0.001) and offset salinity constraints. Structural equation models elucidated that DIC substantially enhanced primary production by stimulating the abundance of form ID microbial primary producers. The abundance of form ID primary producers explained more variations (14.6%) of primary production than form IAB (6%) and physicochemical factors (6.8%). Diatoms (form ID) played a determinant role in primary production in the lakes, by adapting to high DIC and high salinity. Our findings suggest that inland lakes may support higher primary productivity in future climate change scenarios.

RevDate: 2020-11-26

Stahl LM, JB Olson (2020)

Environmental abiotic and biotic factors affecting the distribution and abundance of Naegleria fowleri.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:6006869 [Epub ahead of print].

Naegleria fowleri is a free-living protozoa that resides in soil and freshwater. Human intranasal amoebae exposure through water or potentially dust particles can culminate in primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), which generally causes death. While many questions remain regarding pathogenesis, the microbial ecology of N. fowleri is even less understood. This review outlines current knowledge of the environmental abiotic and biotic factors that affect the distribution and abundance of N. fowleri. Although the impacts of some abiotic factors remain poorly investigated or inconclusive, N. fowleri appears to have a wide pH range, low salinity tolerance, and thermophilic preference. From what is known about biotic factors, the amoebae preferentially feed upon bacteria and are preyed upon by other free-living amoebae. Additional laboratory and environmental studies are needed to fill in knowledge gaps, which are crucial for surveillance and management of N. fowleri in freshwaters. As surface water temperatures increase with climate change, it is likely that this amoeba will pose a greater threat to human health, suggesting that identifying its abiotic and biotic preferences is critical to mitigating this risk.

RevDate: 2020-11-26

Shaw C, Brooke C, Hawley E, et al (2020)

Phototrophic Co-cultures From Extreme Environments: Community Structure and Potential Value for Fundamental and Applied Research.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:572131.

Cyanobacteria are found in most illuminated environments and are key players in global carbon and nitrogen cycling. Although significant efforts have been made to advance our understanding of this important phylum, still little is known about how members of the cyanobacteria affect and respond to changes in complex biological systems. This lack of knowledge is in part due to our dependence on pure cultures when determining the metabolism and function of a microorganism. We took advantage of the Culture Collection of Microorganisms from Extreme Environments (CCMEE), a collection of more than 1,000 publicly available photosynthetic co-cultures maintained at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and assessed via 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing if samples readily available from public culture collection could be used in the future to generate new insights into the role of microbial communities in global and local carbon and nitrogen cycling. Results from this work support the existing notion that culture depositories in general hold the potential to advance fundamental and applied research. Although it remains to be seen if co-cultures can be used at large scale to infer roles of individual organisms, samples that are publicly available from existing co-cultures depositories, such as the CCMEE, might be an economical starting point for such studies. Access to archived biological samples, without the need for costly field work, might in some circumstances be one of the few remaining ways to advance the field and to generate new insights into the biology of ecosystems that are not easily accessible. The current COVID-19 pandemic, which makes sampling expeditions almost impossible without putting the health of the participating scientists on the line, is a very timely example.

RevDate: 2020-11-26

Props R, Monsieurs P, Vandamme P, et al (2020)

Correction for Props et al., "Gene Expansion and Positive Selection as Bacterial Adaptations to Oligotrophic Conditions".

mSphere, 5(6): pii:5/6/e01143-20.

RevDate: 2020-11-25

Zhang H, Madi A, Yosef N, et al (2020)

An IL-27-Driven Transcriptional Network Identifies Regulators of IL-10 Expression across T Helper Cell Subsets.

Cell reports, 33(8):108433.

Interleukin-27 (IL-27) is an immunoregulatory cytokine that suppresses inflammation through multiple mechanisms, including induction of IL-10, but the transcriptional network mediating its diverse functions remains unclear. Combining temporal RNA profiling with computational algorithms, we predict 79 transcription factors induced by IL-27 in T cells. We validate 11 known and discover 5 positive (Cebpb, Fosl2, Tbx21, Hlx, and Atf3) and 2 negative (Irf9 and Irf8) Il10 regulators, generating an experimentally refined regulatory network for Il10. We report two central regulators, Prdm1 and Maf, that cooperatively drive the expression of signature genes induced by IL-27 in type 1 regulatory T cells, mediate IL-10 expression in all T helper cells, and determine the regulatory phenotype of colonic Foxp3+ regulatory T cells. Prdm1/Maf double-knockout mice develop spontaneous colitis, phenocopying ll10-deficient mice. Our work provides insights into IL-27-driven transcriptional networks and identifies two shared Il10 regulators that orchestrate immunoregulatory programs across T helper cell subsets.

RevDate: 2020-11-25

Buranarom N, Komin O, O Matangkasombut (2020)

Hyposalivation, oral health, and Candida colonization in independent dentate elders.

PloS one, 15(11):e0242832 pii:PONE-D-20-29925.

Hyposalivation is an important problem in elders and could interfere with several oral functions and microbial ecology. While the number of independent elders who retain more natural teeth increases worldwide, few studies examined hyposalivation in this population. Thus, this study aims to examine relationships between hyposalivation, oral health conditions and oral Candida colonization in independent dentate elders and evaluate factors associated with salivary flow and Candida carriage. We conducted a cross-sectional study in fifty-three dentate elders (≥65 years old with at least 4 pairs of posterior occlusal contacts) with no, or well-controlled, systemic conditions. Participants were interviewed for medical history, subjective dry mouth symptoms, oral hygiene practices and denture information. Unstimulated and stimulated salivary flow rates, objective dry mouth signs, gingival, tongue-coating, and root-caries indices were recorded. Stimulated saliva was cultured on Sabouraud-dextrose agar for Candida counts. Candida species were identified using chromogenic Candida agar and polymerase chain reaction. Statistical significance level was set at p<0.05. The results showed that hyposalivation was associated with higher gingival and tongue-coating indices (p = 0.003 and 0.015, respectively), but not root-caries index. Hyposalivation was also associated with higher prevalence of oral Candida colonization (p = 0.010; adjusted OR = 4.36, 95% confidence interval = 1.29-14.72). These two indices and Candida load were negatively correlated with unstimulated and stimulated salivary flow rates. Interestingly, non-albicans Candida species were more prevalent in denture wearers (p = 0.017). Hence, hyposalivation is a risk factor for poorer oral health and oral Candida colonization in independent dentate elders. Because of its potential adverse effects on oral and systemic health, hyposalivation should be carefully monitored in elders.

RevDate: 2020-11-25

Saxena S, GA Strobel (2020)

Marvellous Muscodor spp.: Update on Their Biology and Applications.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01644-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Nearly 20 years ago, the first report appeared on the discovery of a novel genus-Muscodor. This organism was isolated as an endophyte from a cinnamon tree that had been introduced to Honduras from Sri Lanka in the early part of the last century. Characteristically, the original Muscodor albus, and all of its species isolated since that time are non-spore producers and each one exudes a characteristic spectrum of volatile bioactive compounds. The majority have a whitish mycelium, which is sometimes coiling, intertwined and decorated with variously shaped structures. Presently, there are at least 22 type species known/documented and each has been described as an endophyte from various plant families with widely varying habitats. An enormous variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are produced by Muscodor spp. and some of these include esters, acids, aldehydes, ketones, aromatics, alkanes, alcohols, nitrosamides and terpenoids. The VOCs are both inhibitory and lethal to a wide variety of fungi and bacteria including some major pathogens of plants and humans. Interestingly, in almost all cases studied, no one compound by itself can mimic the bioactivity of the complete gas mixture, suggesting that the volatiles are acting in a synergistic manner and this has been tested with individual as well as the VOCs in various mixtures and concentrations. This review will discuss some of the recent findings in all aspects of this unique fungal genus whilst at the same time pointing out some of the major questions that remain about its biology, ecology and its applications in agriculture, medicine and other sectors. Most importantly, the authors provide arguments supporting the claim that Muscodor is taxonomically distinct from Induratia, a recently proposed change to its nomenclature.

RevDate: 2020-11-25

Lianou A, Nychas GE, KP Koutsoumanis (2020)

Strain variability in biofilm formation: A food safety and quality perspective.

Food research international (Ottawa, Ont.), 137:109424.

The inherent differences in microbial behavior among identically treated strains of the same microbial species, referred to as "strain variability", are regarded as an important source of variability in microbiological studies. Biofilms are defined as the structured multicellular communities with complex architecture that enable microorganisms to grow adhered to abiotic or living surfaces and constitute a fundamental aspect of microbial ecology. The research studies assessing the strain variability in biofilm formation are relatively few compared to the ones evaluating other aspects of microbial behavior such as virulence, growth and stress resistance. Among the available research data on intra-species variability in biofilm formation, compiled and discussed in the present review, most of them refer to foodborne pathogens as compared to spoilage microorganisms. Molecular and physiological aspects of biofilm formation potentially related to strain-specific responses, as well as information on the characterization and quantitative description of this type of biological variability are presented and discussed. Despite the considerable amount of available information on the strain variability in biofilm formation, there are certain data gaps and still-existing challenges that future research should cover and address. Current and future advances in systems biology and omics technologies are expected to aid significantly in the explanation of phenotypic strain variability, including biofilm formation variability, allowing for its integration in microbiological risk assessment.

RevDate: 2020-11-05

Zrimec J (2020)

Multiple plasmid origin-of-transfer regions might aid the spread of antimicrobial resistance to human pathogens.

MicrobiologyOpen [Epub ahead of print].

Antimicrobial resistance poses a great danger to humanity, in part due to the widespread horizontal gene transfer of plasmids via conjugation. Modeling of plasmid transfer is essential to uncovering the fundamentals of resistance transfer and for the development of predictive measures to limit the spread of resistance. However, a major limitation in the current understanding of plasmids is the incomplete characterization of the conjugative DNA transfer mechanisms, which conceals the actual potential for plasmid transfer in nature. Here, we consider that the plasmid-borne origin-of-transfer substrates encode specific DNA structural properties that can facilitate finding these regions in large datasets and develop a DNA structure-based alignment procedure for typing the transfer substrates that outperforms sequence-based approaches. Thousands of putative DNA transfer substrates are identified, showing that plasmid mobility can be twofold higher and span almost twofold more host species than is currently known. Over half of all putative mobile plasmids contain the means for mobilization by conjugation systems belonging to different mobility groups, which can hypothetically link previously confined host ranges across ecological habitats into a robust plasmid transfer network. This hypothetical network is found to facilitate the transfer of antimicrobial resistance from environmental genetic reservoirs to human pathogens, which might be an important driver of the observed rapid resistance development in humans and thus an important point of focus for future prevention measures.

RevDate: 2020-11-24

d'Enfert C, Kaune AK, Alaban LR, et al (2020)

The impact of the Fungus-Host-Microbiota interplay upon Candida albicans infections: current knowledge and new perspectives.

FEMS microbiology reviews pii:6000215 [Epub ahead of print].

Candida albicans is a major fungal pathogen of humans. It exists as a commensal in the oral cavity, gut or genital tract of most individuals, constrained by the local microbiota, epithelial barriers and immune defences. Their perturbation can lead to fungal outgrowth and the development of mucosal infections such as oropharyngeal or vulvovaginal candidiasis, and patients with compromised immunity are susceptible to life-threatening systemic infections. The importance of the interplay between fungus, host and microbiota in driving the transition from C. albicans commensalism to pathogenicity is widely appreciated. However, the complexity of these interactions, and the significant impact of fungal, host and microbiota variability upon disease severity and outcome, are less well understood. Therefore, we summarise the features of the fungus that promote infection, and how genetic variation between clinical isolates influences pathogenicity. We discuss antifungal immunity, how this differs between mucosae, and how individual variation influences a person's susceptibility to infection. Also, we describe factors that influence the composition of gut, oral and vaginal microbiotas, and how these affect fungal colonisation and antifungal immunity. We argue that a detailed understanding of these variables, which underlie fungal-host-microbiota interactions, will present opportunities for directed antifungal therapies that benefit vulnerable patients.

RevDate: 2020-11-24

Coleine C, Stajich JE, de Los Ríos A, et al (2020)

Beyond the extremes: Rocks as ultimate refuge for fungi in drylands.

Mycologia [Epub ahead of print].

In an era of rapid climate change and expansion of desertification, the extremely harsh conditions of drylands are a true challenge for microbial life. Under drought conditions, where most life forms cannot survive, rocks represent the main refuge for life. Indeed, the endolithic habitat provides thermal buffering, physical stability, and protection against incident ultraviolet (UV) radiation and solar radiation and, to some extent, ensures water retention to microorganisms. The study of these highly specialized extreme-tolerant and extremophiles may provide tools for understanding microbial interactions and processes that allow them to keep their metabolic machinery active under conditions of dryness and oligotrophy that are typically incompatible with active life, up to the dry limits for life. Despite lithobiontic communities being studied all over the world, a comprehensive understanding of their ecology, evolution, and adaptation is still nascent. Herein, we survey the fungal component of these microbial ecosystems. We first provide an overview of the main defined groups (i.e., lichen-forming fungi, black fungi, and yeasts) of the most known and studied Antarctic endolithic communities that are almost the only life forms ensuring ecosystem functionality in the ice-free areas of the continent. For each group, we discuss their main traits and their diversity. Then, we focus on the fungal taxonomy and ecology of other worldwide endolithic communities. Finally, we highlight the utmost importance of a global rock survey in order to have a comprehensive view of the diversity, distribution, and functionality of these fungi in drylands, to obtain tools in desert area management, and as early alarm systems to climate change.

RevDate: 2020-11-24

Stothart MR, Greuel RJ, Gavriliuc S, et al (2020)

Bacterial dispersal and drift drive microbiome diversity patterns within a population of feral hindgut fermenters.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Studies of microbiome variation in wildlife often emphasize host physiology and diet as proximate selective pressures acting on host-associated microbiota. In contrast, microbial dispersal and ecological drift are more rarely considered. Using amplicon sequencing, we characterized the bacterial microbiome of adult female (n = 86) Sable Island horses (Nova Scotia, Canada) as part of a detailed individual-based study of this feral population. Using data on sampling date, horse location, age, parental status, and local habitat variables, we contrasted the ability of spatiotemporal, life history, and environmental factors to explain microbiome diversity among Sable Island horses. We extended inferences made from these analyses with both phylogeny-informed and phylogeny-independent null modeling approaches to identify deviations from stochastic expectations. Phylogeny-informed diversity measures were correlated with spatial and local habitat variables, but null modelling results suggested that heterogeneity in ecological drift, rather than differential selective pressures acting on the microbiome, was responsible for these correlations. Conversely, phylogeny-independent diversity measures were best explained by host spatial and social structure, suggesting that taxonomic composition of the microbiome was shaped most strongly by bacterial dispersal. Parental status was important but correlated with measures of β-dispersion rather than β-diversity (mares without foals had lower alpha diversity and more variable microbiomes than mares with foals). Our results suggest that between host microbiome variation within the Sable Island horse population is driven more strongly by bacterial dispersal and ecological drift than by differential selective pressures. These results emphasize the need to consider alternative ecological processes in the study of microbiomes.

RevDate: 2020-11-24

Paul P, Chakraborty P, Chatterjee A, et al (2020)

1,4-Naphthoquinone accumulates reactive oxygen species in Staphylococcus aureus: a promising approach towards effective management of biofilm threat.

Archives of microbiology pii:10.1007/s00203-020-02117-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Staphylococcus aureus, a Gram-positive opportunistic microorganism, promotes pathogenicity in the human host through biofilm formation. Microorganisms associated with biofilm often exhibit drug-resistance property that poses a major threat to public healthcare. Thus, the exploration of new therapeutic approaches is the need of the hour to manage biofilm-borne infections. In the present study, efforts are put together to test the antimicrobial as well as antibiofilm activity of 1,4-naphthoquinone against Staphylococcus aureus. The result showed that the minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of this compound was found to be 100 µg/mL against Staphylococcus aureus. In this regard, an array of experiments (crystal violet, biofilm protein measurement, and microscopic analysis) related to biofilm assay were conducted with the sub-MBC concentrations (1/20 and 1/10 MBC) of 1,4-naphthoquinone. All the results of biofilm assay demonstrated that these tested concentrations (1/20 and 1/10 MBC) of the compound (1,4-naphthoquinone) showed a significant reduction in biofilm development by Staphylococcus aureus. Moreover, the tested concentrations (1/20 and 1/10 MBC) of the compound (1,4-naphthoquinone) were able to reduce the microbial motility of Staphylococcus aureus that might affect the development of biofilm. Further studies revealed that the treatment of 1,4-naphthoquinone to the organism was found to increase the cellular accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that resulted in the inhibition of biofilm formation by Staphylococcus aureus. Hence, it can be concluded that 1,4-naphthoquinone might be considered as a promising compound towards biofilm inhibition caused by Staphylococcus aureus.

RevDate: 2020-11-24

Cano-Ortiz A, Laborda-Illanes A, Plaza-Andrades I, et al (2020)

Connection between the Gut Microbiome, Systemic Inflammation, Gut Permeability and FOXP3 Expression in Patients with Primary Sjögren's Syndrome.

International journal of molecular sciences, 21(22): pii:ijms21228733.

The aims of this study were to explore intestinal microbial composition and functionality in primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS) and to relate these findings to inflammation, permeability and the transcription factor Forkhead box protein P3 (FOXP3) gene expression in peripheral blood. The study included 19 pSS patients and 19 healthy controls matched for age, sex, and body mass index. Fecal bacterial DNA was extracted and analyzed by 16S rRNA sequencing using an Ion S5 platform followed by a bioinformatics analysis using Quantitative Insights into Microbial Ecology (QIIME II) and Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt). Our data suggest that the gut microbiota of pSS patients differs at both the taxonomic and functional levels with respect to healthy controls. The gut microbiota profile of our pSS patients was characterized by a lower diversity and richness and with Bacteroidetes dominating at the phylum level. The pSS patients had less beneficial or commensal butyrate-producing bacteria and a higher proportion of opportunistic pathogens with proinflammatory activity, which may impair intestinal barrier function and therefore contribute to inflammatory processes associated with pSS by increasing the production of proinflammatory cytokines and decreasing the release of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 and the peripheral FOXP3 mRNA expression, implicated in the development and function of regulatory T cells (Treg) cells. Further studies are needed to better understand the real impact of dysbiosis on the course of pSS and to conceive preventive or therapeutic strategies to counteract microbiome-driven inflammation.

RevDate: 2020-11-23

Gonçalves E Silva F, Dos Santos HF, de Assis Leite DC, et al (2020)

Skin and stinger bacterial communities in two critically endangered rays from the South Atlantic in natural and aquarium settings.

MicrobiologyOpen [Epub ahead of print].

Bacterial communities of two critically endangered rays from the South Atlantic, the butterfly ray (Gymnura altavela) and the groovebelly ray (Dasyatis hypostigma), were described using 16S rRNA gene metabarcoding. The study characterized the bacterial communities associated with (i) G. altavela in natural (in situ) and aquarium (ex situ) settings, (ii) skin and stinger of G. altavela, and D. hypostigma in aquaria, and (iii) newborns and adults of D. hypostigma. The results revealed potentially antibiotic-producing bacterial groups on the skin of rays from the natural environment, and some taxa with the potential to benefit ray health, mainly in rays from the natural environment, as well as possible pathogens to other animals, including fish and humans. Differences were observed between the G. altavela and D. hypostigma bacteria composition, as well as between the skin and stinger bacterial composition. The bacterial community associated with D. hypostigma changed with the age of the ray. The aquarium environment severely impacted the G. altavela bacteria composition, which changed from a complex bacterial community to one dominated almost exclusively by two taxa, Oceanimonas sp. and Sediminibacterium sp. on the skin and stinger, respectively.

RevDate: 2020-11-23

Labrador MDM, Doña J, Serrano D, et al (2020)

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

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01634-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Feathers are the habitat of a myriad of organisms, from fungi and bacteria to lice and mites. Although most studies focus on specific taxa and their interaction with the bird host, anecdotal data glimpse feathers as holders of a system with its own ecology, what we call here the stylosphere. A major gap in our knowledge of the stylosphere is the ecology of the total abundance of microorganisms, being also rare to find studies that analyze abundance of more than one group of microorganisms at the bird interspecific level. Here, we quantified bacterial and fungi abundances through qPCR on the wing feathers of 144 birds from 24 passerine and one non-passerine bird species from three localities in Southern Spain. Bacteria and fungi abundances spanned three orders of magnitude among individual birds, but were consistent when comparing the right and the left wing feathers of individuals. Sampling locality explained ca. 14% of the variation in both bacteria and fungi abundances. Even when statistically controlling for sampling locality, microbial abundances consistently differed between birds from different species, but these differences were not explained by bird phylogeny. Finally, bird individuals and species having more bacteria also tended to held larger abundances of fungi. Our results suggest a quite complex explanation for stylosphere microorganisms' abundance, being shaped by bird individual and species traits, as well as environmental factors, and likely bacteria-fungi interactions.

RevDate: 2020-11-21

Hall MA, Brettell LE, Liu H, et al (2020)

Temporal changes in the microbiome of stingless bee foragers following colony relocation.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:5998223 [Epub ahead of print].

Maintaining beneficial interactions with microbial symbionts is vital for animal health. Yet, for social insects, the stability of microbial associations within and between cohorts is largely unknown. We investigated temporal changes in the microbiomes of nine stingless bee (Tetragonula carbonaria) colonies at seven timepoints across a ten-month period when moved between two climatically and florally different sites. Bacterial 16S rRNA gene and fungal ITS amplicon sequencing confirmed that while microbiomes varied between colonies initially, all were diverse at site one. However, following relocation, considerable changes occurred in bacterial community composition within each colony, and the microbiome composition became more similar across colonies. Notably, Snodgrassella disappeared and Zymobacter appeared as relatively abundant taxa. Remarkably, bacterial communities within colonies continued to shift over time but remained similar across colonies, becoming dominated by Acinetobacter six months after returning to the original site. Our results indicate that the stingless bee microbiome can undergo major changes in response to the environment, and that these changes can be long-lasting. Such legacy effects have not been reported for corbiculate bees. Further understanding the microbial ecology of stingless bees will aid future management of colonies used in agricultural production.

RevDate: 2020-11-21

Nilsson JF, Castellani LG, Draghi WO, et al (2020)

Global transcriptome analysis of Rhizobium favelukesii LPU83 in response to acid stress.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:5998221 [Epub ahead of print].

Acidic environments naturally occur worldwide and inappropriate agricultural management may also cause acidification of soils. Low soil pH values are an important barrier in the plant-rhizobia interaction. Acidic conditions disturb the establishment of the efficient rhizobia usually used as biofertilizer. This negative effect on the rhizobia-legume symbiosis is mainly due to the low acid-tolerance of the bacteria. Here, we describe the identification of relevant factors in the acid tolerance of Rhizobium favelukesii using transcriptome sequencing. A total of 1,924 genes were differentially expressed under acidic conditions, with ca. 60% underexpressed. R. favelukesii acid response mainly includes changes in the energy metabolism and protein turnover, as well as a combination of mechanisms that may contribute to this phenotype, including GABA and histidine metabolism, cell envelope modifications and reverse proton efflux. We confirmed the acid-sensitive phenotype of a mutant in the braD gene, which showed higher expression under acid stress. Remarkably, 60% of the CDS encoded in the symbiotic plasmid were underexpressed and we evidenced that a strain cured for this plasmid featured an improved performance under acidic conditions. Hence, this work provides relevant information in the characterization of genes associated with tolerance or adaptation to acidic stress of R. favelukesii.

RevDate: 2020-11-21

Sun M, Li T, Li D, et al (2020)

Conversion of Land Use from Upland to Paddy Field Changes Soil Bacterial Community Structure in Mollisols of Northeast China.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01632-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Mollisols are extremely important soil resource for crop and forage production. In northeast China, it is a major land use management practice from dry land crops to irrigated rice. However, there is few data regarding soil quality and microbial composition in Mollisols during land use transition. Here, we analyzed the upper 30 cm of soil from land with more than 30 years of paddy use and from adjacent areas with upland crops. Our results showed that land use and soil depth had a significant effect on soil properties and enzyme activities. Soil moisture (SM) and soil organic carbon (SOC) contents were substantially higher in paddy fields than in upland crop lands, while nitrogen-related enzyme activities were lower. Following the land use change, bacterial diversity was increased and bacterial community composition changed. Taxonomic analyses showed that Proteobacteria, Chloroflexi, Firmicutes, and Bacteroidetes were the dominant phyla present. At family level, Gemmatimonadaceae decreased with land use change, while Syntrophorhabdaceae and Syntrophacea that play a part in methane cycling and nitrifying bacteria such as Nitrospiraceae increased, indicating that the structure and composition of the bacterial community might be a promising indicator of Mollisol health. Redundancy analysis indicated that land use type had a stronger effect on the soil bacterial community composition than soil depth. Additionally, bacterial community composition was closely associated with soil parameters such as soil moisture, pH, SOC, NO3--N, and NH4+-N. Overall, land use change affects the physical and chemical properties of the soil, resulting in changes in the composition of the soil bacterial community and flora. These changes could provide a view of the bacterial community assembly and functional shifts following land use change.

RevDate: 2020-11-21

Torralba MG, Aleti G, Li W, et al (2020)

Correction to: Oral Microbial Species and Virulence Factors Associated with Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

The original article contained mistakes in the authors' affiliations.

RevDate: 2020-11-21

Khan S, Vancuren SJ, JE Hill (2020)

A Generalist Lifestyle Allows Rare Gardnerella spp. to Persist at Low Levels in the Vaginal Microbiome.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01643-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Gardnerella spp. are considered a hallmark of bacterial vaginosis, a dysbiosis of the vaginal microbiome. There are four cpn60 sequence-based subgroups within the genus (A, B, C and D), and thirteen genome species have been defined recently. Gardnerella spp. co-occur in the vaginal microbiome with varying abundance, and these patterns are shaped by a resource-dependent, exploitative competition, which affects the growth rate of subgroups A, B and C negatively. The growth rate of rarely abundant subgroup D, however, increases with the increasing number of competitors, negatively affecting the growth rate of others. We hypothesized that a nutritional generalist lifestyle and minimal niche overlap with the other more abundant Gardnerella spp. facilitate the maintenance of subgroup D in the vaginal microbiome through negative frequency-dependent selection. Using 40 whole-genome sequences from isolates representing all four subgroups, we found that they could be distinguished based on the content of their predicted proteomes. Proteins associated with carbohydrate and amino acid uptake and metabolism were significant contributors to the separation of subgroups. Subgroup D isolates had significantly more of their proteins assigned to amino acid metabolism than the other subgroups. Subgroup D isolates were also significantly different from others in terms of number and type of carbon sources utilized in a phenotypic assay, while the other three could not be distinguished. Overall, the results suggest that a generalist lifestyle and lack of niche overlap with other Gardnerella spp. leads to subgroup D being favoured by negative frequency-dependent selection in the vaginal microbiome.

RevDate: 2020-11-21

Sperling JLH, Fitzgerald D, Sperling FAH, et al (2020)

Microbiome Composition and Borrelia Detection in Ixodes scapularis Ticks at the Northwestern Edge of Their Range.

Tropical medicine and infectious disease, 5(4): pii:tropicalmed5040173.

Lyme disease-causing Borrelia burgdorferi has been reported in 10-19% of Ixodes ticks from Alberta, Canada, where the tick vector Ixodes scapularis is at the northwestern edge of its range. However, the presence of Borrelia has not been verified independently, and the bacterial microbiome of these ticks has not been described. We performed 16S rRNA bacterial surveys on female I. scapularis from Alberta that were previously qPCR-tested in a Lyme disease surveillance program. Both 16S and qPCR methods were concordant for the presence of Borrelia. The 16S studies also provided a profile of associated bacteria that showed the microbiome of I. scapularis in Alberta was similar to other areas of North America. Ticks that were qPCR-positive for Borrelia had significantly greater bacterial diversity than Borrelia-negative ticks, on the basis of generalized linear model testing. This study adds value to ongoing tick surveillance and is a foundation for deeper understanding of tick microbial ecology and disease transmission in a region where I. scapularis range expansion, induced by climate and land use changes, is likely to have increasing public health implications.

RevDate: 2020-11-21

Koller G, Foschi F, Mitchell P, et al (2020)

Amoebae in Chronic, Polymicrobial Endodontic Infections Are Associated with Altered Microbial Communities of Increased Virulence.

Journal of clinical medicine, 9(11): pii:jcm9113700.

BACKGROUND: Infections of the root canal space involve polymicrobial biofilms and lead to chronic, low grade inflammatory responses arising from the seeding of microbes and by-products. Acute exacerbation and/or disseminating infections occur when established microbial communities undergo sudden changes in phenotypic behaviour.

METHODS: Within clinical endodontic infections, we assessedcategorical determinants comprising, and changing microbial composition of, chronic polymicrobial infections and their association with amoebae. After standardised assessment, primary or secondary infections underwent sampling and DNA processing, targeting bacteria, fungi and amoebae, including 16S high-throughput sequencing. After taxonomic assignment, community composition was correlated with clinical signs and symptoms. Diversity and abundance analyses were carried out in relation to the presence of non-bacterial amplicons.

RESULTS: Clinical specimens revealed two distinct community clusters, where specific changes correlated with clinical signs. An association between the compositions of microbiomes was found between these groups and the presence of Entamoeba gingivalis in 44% of cases. When amoebae were present in endodontic infections, we demonstrate changes in microbial community structure that mirror those observed in treatment-resistant or recurrent infections.

CONCLUSIONS: Amoeba are present in endodontic infections at a high prevalence, and may promote increased virulence by enrichment for phagocytosis-resistant bacteria.

RevDate: 2020-11-20

Ontiveros VJ, Capitan JA, Casamayor EO, et al (2020)

The characteristic time of ecological communities.

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

A simple description of temporal dynamics of ecological communities may help us understand how community assembly proceeds, predict ecological responses to environmental disturbances, and improve the performance of biological conservation actions. Although community changes take place at multiple temporal scales, the variation of species composition and richness over time across communities and habitats shows general patterns that may potentially reveal the main drivers of community dynamics. We used the simplest stochastic model of Island Biogeography to propose two quantities to characterize community dynamics: the community characteristic time, as a measure of the typical time scale of species richness change, and (ii) the characteristic Jaccard index, as a measure of temporal β diversity, i.e., the variation of community composition over time. In addition, the community characteristic time, which sets the temporal scale at which null, non-interacting species assemblages operate, allowed us to define a relative sampling frequency (to the characteristic time). Here we estimate these quantities across microbial and macroscopic species assemblages to highlight two related results. First, we illustrated both characteristic time and Jaccard index and their relation with classic time-series in ecology, and found that the most thoroughly sampled communities, relative to their characteristic time, presented the largest similarity between consecutive samples. Second, our analysis across a variety of habitats and taxa show that communities span a large range of species turnover, from potentially very fast (short characteristic times) to rather slow (long characteristic times) communities. This was in agreement with previous knowledge, but indicated that some habitats may have been sampled less frequently than required. Our work provides new perspectives to explore the temporal component in ecological studies and highlights the usefulness of simple approximations to the complex dynamics of ecological communities.

RevDate: 2020-11-20

Glodowska M, Stopelli E, Straub D, et al (2020)

Arsenic behavior in groundwater in Hanoi (Vietnam) influenced by a complex biogeochemical network of iron, methane, and sulfur cycling.

Journal of hazardous materials pii:S0304-3894(20)32388-8 [Epub ahead of print].

The fate of arsenic (As) in groundwater is determined by multiple interrelated microbial and abiotic processes that contribute to As (im)mobilization. Most studies to date have investigated individual processes related to As (im)mobilization rather than the complex networks present in situ. In this study, we used RNA-based microbial community analysis in combination with groundwater hydrogeochemical measurements to elucidate the behavior of As along a 2 km transect near Hanoi, Vietnam. The transect stretches from the riverbank across a strongly reducing and As-contaminated Holocene aquifer, followed by a redox transition zone (RTZ) and a Pleistocene aquifer, at which As concentrations are low. Our analyses revealed fermentation and methanogenesis as important processes providing electron donors, fueling the microbially mediated reductive dissolution of As-bearing Fe(III) minerals and ultimately promoting As mobilization. As a consequence of high CH4 concentrations, methanotrophs thrive across the Holocene aquifer and the redox transition zone. Finally, our results underline the role of SO42--reducing and putative Fe(II)-/As(III)-oxidizing bacteria as a sink for As, particularly at the RTZ. Overall, our results suggest that a complex network of microbial and biogeochemical processes has to be considered to better understand the biogeochemical behavior of As in groundwater.

RevDate: 2020-11-20

Sutherland WJ, Atkinson PW, Broad S, et al (2020)

A 2021 Horizon Scan of Emerging Global Biological Conservation Issues.

Trends in ecology & evolution pii:S0169-5347(20)30306-2 [Epub ahead of print].

We present the results from our 12th annual horizon scan of issues likely to impact biological conservation in the future. From a list of 97 topics, our global panel of 25 scientists and practitioners identified the top 15 issues that we believe society may urgently need to address. These issues are either novel in the biological conservation sector or represent a substantial positive or negative step-change in impact at global or regional level. Six issues, such as coral reef deoxygenation and changes in polar coastal productivity, affect marine or coastal ecosystems and seven relate to human and ecosystem-level responses to climate change. Identification of potential forthcoming issues for biological conservation may enable increased preparedness by researchers, practitioners, and decision-makers.

RevDate: 2020-11-19

Pelikan C, Wasmund K, Glombitza C, et al (2020)

Anaerobic bacterial degradation of protein and lipid macromolecules in subarctic marine sediment.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-020-00817-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Microorganisms in marine sediments play major roles in marine biogeochemical cycles by mineralizing substantial quantities of organic matter from decaying cells. Proteins and lipids are abundant components of necromass, yet the taxonomic identities of microorganisms that actively degrade them remain poorly resolved. Here, we revealed identities, trophic interactions, and genomic features of bacteria that degraded 13C-labeled proteins and lipids in cold anoxic microcosms containing sulfidic subarctic marine sediment. Supplemented proteins and lipids were rapidly fermented to various volatile fatty acids within 5 days. DNA-stable isotope probing (SIP) suggested Psychrilyobacter atlanticus was an important primary degrader of proteins, and Psychromonas members were important primary degraders of both proteins and lipids. Closely related Psychromonas populations, as represented by distinct 16S rRNA gene variants, differentially utilized either proteins or lipids. DNA-SIP also showed 13C-labeling of various Deltaproteobacteria within 10 days, indicating trophic transfer of carbon to putative sulfate-reducers. Metagenome-assembled genomes revealed the primary hydrolyzers encoded secreted peptidases or lipases, and enzymes for catabolism of protein or lipid degradation products. Psychromonas species are prevalent in diverse marine sediments, suggesting they are important players in organic carbon processing in situ. Together, this study provides new insights into the identities, functions, and genomes of bacteria that actively degrade abundant necromass macromolecules in the seafloor.

RevDate: 2020-11-19

Molinaro A, Bel Lassen P, Henricsson M, et al (2020)

Imidazole propionate is increased in diabetes and associated with dietary patterns and altered microbial ecology.

Nature communications, 11(1):5881 pii:10.1038/s41467-020-19589-w.

Microbiota-host-diet interactions contribute to the development of metabolic diseases. Imidazole propionate is a novel microbially produced metabolite from histidine, which impairs glucose metabolism. Here, we show that subjects with prediabetes and diabetes in the MetaCardis cohort from three European countries have elevated serum imidazole propionate levels. Furthermore, imidazole propionate levels were increased in subjects with low bacterial gene richness and Bacteroides 2 enterotype, which have previously been associated with obesity. The Bacteroides 2 enterotype was also associated with increased abundance of the genes involved in imidazole propionate biosynthesis from dietary histidine. Since patients and controls did not differ in their histidine dietary intake, the elevated levels of imidazole propionate in type 2 diabetes likely reflects altered microbial metabolism of histidine, rather than histidine intake per se. Thus the microbiota may contribute to type 2 diabetes by generating imidazole propionate that can modulate host inflammation and metabolism.

RevDate: 2020-11-19

de Melo Pereira GV, de Carvalho Neto DP, Maske BL, et al (2020)

An updated review on bacterial community composition of traditional fermented milk products: what next-generation sequencing has revealed so far?.

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

The emergence of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies has revolutionized the way to investigate the microbial diversity in traditional fermentations. In the field of food microbial ecology, different NGS platforms have been used for community analysis, including 454 pyrosequencing from Roche, Illumina's instruments and Thermo Fisher's SOLiD/Ion Torrent sequencers. These recent platforms generate information about millions of rDNA amplicons in a single running, enabling accurate phylogenetic resolution of microbial taxa. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the application of NGS for microbiome analysis of traditional fermented milk products worldwide. Fermented milk products covered in this review include kefir, buttermilk, koumiss, dahi, kurut, airag, tarag, khoormog, lait caillé, and suero costeño. Lactobacillus-mainly represented by Lb. helveticus, Lb. kefiranofaciens, and Lb. delbrueckii-is the most important and frequent genus with 51 reported species. In general, dominant species detected by culturing were also identified by NGS. However, NGS studies have revealed a more complex bacterial diversity, with estimated 400-600 operational taxonomic units, comprising uncultivable microorganisms, sub-dominant populations, and late-growing species. This review explores the importance of these discoveries and address related topics on workflow, NGS platforms, and knowledge bioinformatics devoted to fermented milk products. The knowledge that has been gained is vital in improving the monitoring, manipulation, and safety of these traditional fermented foods.

RevDate: 2020-11-18

Fernandez-Gonzalez N, Braz GHR, Regueiro L, et al (2020)

Microbial invasions in sludge anaerobic digesters.

Applied microbiology and biotechnology pii:10.1007/s00253-020-11009-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Among processes that control microbial community assembly, microbial invasion has received little attention until recently, especially in the field of anaerobic digestion. However, knowledge of the principles regulating the taxonomic and functional stability of microbial communities is key to truly develop better predictive models and effective management strategies for the anaerobic digestion process. To date, available studies focus on microbial invasions in digesters feed with activated sludge from municipal wastewater treatment plants. Herein, this review summarizes the importance of invasions for anaerobic digestion management, the ecological theories about microbial invasions, the traits of activated sludge microorganisms entering the digesters, and the resident communities of anaerobic reactors that are relevant for invasions and the current knowledge about the success and impacts of invasions, and discusses the research needs on this topic. The initial data indicate that the impact of invasions is low and only a small percentage of the mostly aerobic microorganisms present in the activated sludge feed are able to become stablished in the anaerobic digesters. However, there are still numerous unknowns about microbial invasions in anaerobic digestion including the influence of anaerobic feedstocks or process perturbances that new approaches on microbial ecology could unveil. KEY POINTS: • Microbial invasions are key processes to develop better strategies for digesters management. • Knowledge on pathogen invasions can improve anaerobic digestion microbial safety. • To date, the number of successful invasions on anaerobic digesters from activated sludge organisms is low. • Feed organisms detected in digesters are mostly inactive residual populations. • Need to expand the range of invaders and operational scenarios studied.

RevDate: 2020-11-19

Naseer A, Garrido-Benavent I, Khan J, et al (2020)

Cortinarius pakistanicus and C. pseudotorvus: two new species in oak forests in the Pakistan Himalayas.

MycoKeys, 74:91-108.

The genus of basidiomycetous fungi Cortinarius occurs worldwide, from subtropical to boreal latitudes. Although molecular systematics has triggered the study of these fungi in the Americas and Europe in the last two decades, there is still limited research on its diversity in large portions of the planet, such as the high mountain ranges of Asia. Several collections of Cortinarius were made during mycological field trips conducted between 2014 and 2018 in pure oak forests in the Pakistan Himalayas. An integrative framework combining morphological and phylogenetic data was employed for their study. As a result, the two species C. pakistanicus and C. pseudotorvus are here described as new to science. Detailed macro- and micro-morphological descriptions, including SEM images of spores, and a molecular phylogenetic reconstruction based on nrITS sequence data are provided and used to discriminate the new species from morphologically and phylogenetically close taxa. Whereas our phylogenetic tree inference gave unequivocal support for the inclusion of C. pseudotorvus within C. sect. Telamonia, the assignment of C. pakistanicus to any known sections remained elusive. These species likely establish ectomycorrhizal associations with trees in the genus Quercus, making this type of forest in the Pakistan Himalayas a promising focus for future research on the diversity of Cortinarius.

RevDate: 2020-11-18

Jordaan K, Lappan R, Dong X, et al (2020)

Hydrogen-Oxidizing Bacteria Are Abundant in Desert Soils and Strongly Stimulated by Hydration.

mSystems, 5(6):.

How the diverse bacterial communities inhabiting desert soils maintain energy and carbon needs is much debated. Traditionally, most bacteria are thought to persist by using organic carbon synthesized by photoautotrophs following transient hydration events. Recent studies focused on Antarctic desert soils have revealed, however, that some bacteria use atmospheric trace gases, such as hydrogen (H2), to conserve energy and fix carbon independently of photosynthesis. In this study, we investigated whether atmospheric H2 oxidation occurs in four nonpolar desert soils and compared this process to photosynthesis. To do so, we first profiled the distribution, expression, and activities of hydrogenases and photosystems in surface soils collected from the South Australian desert over a simulated hydration-desiccation cycle. Hydrogenase-encoding sequences were abundant in the metagenomes and metatranscriptomes and were detected in actinobacterial, acidobacterial, and cyanobacterial metagenome-assembled genomes. Native dry soil samples mediated H2 oxidation, but rates increased 950-fold following wetting. Oxygenic and anoxygenic phototrophs were also detected in the community but at lower abundances. Hydration significantly stimulated rates of photosynthetic carbon fixation and, to a lesser extent, dark carbon assimilation. Hydrogenase genes were also widespread in samples from three other climatically distinct deserts, the Namib, Gobi, and Mojave, and atmospheric H2 oxidation was also greatly stimulated by hydration at these sites. Together, these findings highlight that H2 is an important, hitherto-overlooked energy source supporting bacterial communities in desert soils. Contrary to our previous hypotheses, however, H2 oxidation occurs simultaneously rather than alternately with photosynthesis in such ecosystems and may even be mediated by some photoautotrophs.IMPORTANCE Desert ecosystems, spanning a third of the earth's surface, harbor remarkably diverse microbial life despite having a low potential for photosynthesis. In this work, we reveal that atmospheric hydrogen serves as a major previously overlooked energy source for a large proportion of desert bacteria. We show that both chemoheterotrophic and photoautotrophic bacteria have the potential to oxidize hydrogen across deserts sampled across four continents. Whereas hydrogen oxidation was slow in native dry deserts, it increased by three orders of magnitude together with photosynthesis following hydration. This study revealed that continual harvesting of atmospheric energy sources may be a major way that desert communities adapt to long periods of water and energy deprivation, with significant ecological and biogeochemical ramifications.

RevDate: 2020-11-17

Shaffer JP, Marotz C, Belda-Ferre P, et al (2020)

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

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology.

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

RevDate: 2020-11-17

Perona-Vico E, Feliu-Paradeda L, Puig S, et al (2020)

Bacteria coated cathodes as an in-situ hydrogen evolving platform for microbial electrosynthesis.

Scientific reports, 10(1):19852 pii:10.1038/s41598-020-76694-y.

Hydrogen is a key intermediate element in microbial electrosynthesis as a mediator of the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) into added value compounds. In the present work we aimed at studying the biological production of hydrogen in biocathodes operated at - 1.0 V vs. Ag/AgCl, using a highly comparable technology and CO2 as carbon feedstock. Ten bacterial strains were chosen from genera Rhodobacter, Rhodopseudomonas, Rhodocyclus, Desulfovibrio and Sporomusa, all described as hydrogen producing candidates. Monospecific biofilms were formed on carbon cloth cathodes and hydrogen evolution was constantly monitored using a microsensor. Eight over ten bacteria strains showed electroactivity and H2 production rates increased significantly (two to eightfold) compared to abiotic conditions for two of them (Desulfovibrio paquesii and Desulfovibrio desulfuricans). D. paquesii DSM 16681 exhibited the highest production rate (45.6 ± 18.8 µM min-1) compared to abiotic conditions (5.5 ± 0.6 µM min-1), although specific production rates (per 16S rRNA copy) were similar to those obtained for other strains. This study demonstrated that many microorganisms are suspected to participate in net hydrogen production but inherent differences among strains do occur, which are relevant for future developments of resilient biofilm coated cathodes as a stable hydrogen production platform in microbial electrosynthesis.

RevDate: 2020-11-16

Sánchez-Soto MF, Cerqueda-García D, Alcántara-Hernández RJ, et al (2020)

Assessing the Diversity of Benthic Sulfate-Reducing Microorganisms in Northwestern Gulf of Mexico by Illumina Sequencing of dsrB Gene.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01631-5 [Epub ahead of print].

This study investigates the community composition, structure, and abundance of sulfate-reducing microorganisms (SRM) in surficial sediments of the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico (NWGoM) along a bathymetric gradient. For these purposes, Illumina sequencing and quantitative PCR (qPCR) of the dissimilatory sulfite reductase gene beta subunit (dsrB gene) were performed. Bioinformatic analyses indicated that SRM community was predominantly composed by members of Proteobacteria and Firmicutes across all the samples. However, Actinobacteria, Thermodesulfobacteria, and Chlorobi were also detected. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that unassigned dsrB sequences were related to Deltaproteobacteria and Nitrospirota superclusters, Euryarchaeota, and to environmental clusters. PCoA ordination revealed that samples clustered in three different groups. PERMANOVA indicated that water depth, temperature, redox, and nickel and cadmium content were the main environmental drivers for the SRM communities in the studied sites. Alpha diversity and abundance of SRM were lower for deeper sites, suggesting decreasing sulfate reduction activity with respect to water depth. This study contributes with the understanding of distribution and composition of dsrAB-containing microorganisms involved in sulfur transformations that may contribute to the resilience and stability of the benthic microbial communities facing metal and hydrocarbon pollution in the NWGoM, a region of recent development for oil and gas drilling.

RevDate: 2020-11-16

Jaiswal S, Kumar M, Mandeep , et al (2020)

Systems Biology Approaches for Therapeutics Development Against COVID-19.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 10:560240.

Understanding the systems biology approaches for promoting the development of new therapeutic drugs is attaining importance nowadays. The threat of COVID-19 outbreak needs to be vanished for global welfare, and every section of research is focusing on it. There is an opportunity for finding new, quick, and accurate tools for developing treatment options, including the vaccine against COVID-19. The review at this moment covers various aspects of pathogenesis and host factors for exploring the virus target and developing suitable therapeutic solutions through systems biology tools. Furthermore, this review also covers the extensive details of multiomics tools i.e., transcriptomics, proteomics, genomics, lipidomics, immunomics, and in silico computational modeling aiming towards the study of host-virus interactions in search of therapeutic targets against the COVID-19.

RevDate: 2020-11-16

Abdelhamid MK, Quijada NM, Dzieciol M, et al (2020)

Co-infection of Chicken Layers With Histomonas meleagridis and Avian Pathogenic Escherichia coli Is Associated With Dysbiosis, Cecal Colonization and Translocation of the Bacteria From the Gut Lumen.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:586437.

Histomonosis in chickens often appears together with colibacillosis in the field. Thus, we have experimentally investigated consequences of the co-infection of birds with Histomonas meleagridis and avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) on the pathology, host microbiota and bacterial translocation from the gut. Commercial chicken layers were infected via oral and cloacal routes with lux-tagged APEC with or without H. meleagridis whereas negative controls were left uninfected. Except one bird, which died due to colibacillosis, no clinical signs were recorded in birds infected with bioluminescence lux gene tagged E. coli. In co-infected birds, depression and ruffled feathers were observed in 4 birds and average body weight gain significantly decreased. Typhlitis caused by H. meleagridis was present only in co-infected birds, which also had pronounced microscopic lesions in systemic organs such as liver, heart and spleen. The 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing showed that in co-infected birds, corresponding to the severity of cecal lesions, microbial species richness and diversity in caeca greatly decreased and the abundance of the Escherichia group, Helicobacter and Bacteroides was relatively higher with a reduction of commensals. Most of the shared Amplicon Sequencing Variants between cecum and blood in co-infected birds belonged to Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus, and members of Enterobacteriaceae while those assigned as Lactobacillus and members of Ruminococcaceae and Lachnospiraceae were found mainly in negative controls. In infected birds, E. coli in the cecal lumen penetrated into deeper layers, a phenomenon noticed with higher incidence in the dead and co-infected birds. Furthermore, numbers of lux-tagged E. coli in caeca were significantly higher at every sampling date in co-infected birds. Altogether, infection of layers with H. meleagridis and E. coli resulted in more severe pathological changes, dramatic shift in the cecal mucosa-associated microbiota, higher tissue colonization of pathogenic bacteria such as avian pathogenic E. coli in the gut and increased penetration of E. coli from the cecal lumen toward peritoneum. This study provides novel insights into the parasite-bacteria interaction in vivo highlighting the role of H. meleagridis to support E. coli in the pathogenesis of colibacillosis in chickens.

RevDate: 2020-11-16

Straub D, Blackwell N, Langarica-Fuentes A, et al (2020)

Interpretations of Environmental Microbial Community Studies Are Biased by the Selected 16S rRNA (Gene) Amplicon Sequencing Pipeline.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:550420.

One of the major methods to identify microbial community composition, to unravel microbial population dynamics, and to explore microbial diversity in environmental samples is high-throughput DNA- or RNA-based 16S rRNA (gene) amplicon sequencing in combination with bioinformatics analyses. However, focusing on environmental samples from contrasting habitats, it was not systematically evaluated (i) which analysis methods provide results that reflect reality most accurately, (ii) how the interpretations of microbial community studies are biased by different analysis methods and (iii) if the most optimal analysis workflow can be implemented in an easy-to-use pipeline. Here, we compared the performance of 16S rRNA (gene) amplicon sequencing analysis tools (i.e., Mothur, QIIME1, QIIME2, and MEGAN) using three mock datasets with known microbial community composition that differed in sequencing quality, species number and abundance distribution (i.e., even or uneven), and phylogenetic diversity (i.e., closely related or well-separated amplicon sequences). Our results showed that QIIME2 outcompeted all other investigated tools in sequence recovery (>10 times fewer false positives), taxonomic assignments (>22% better F-score) and diversity estimates (>5% better assessment), suggesting that this approach is able to reflect the in situ microbial community most accurately. Further analysis of 24 environmental datasets obtained from four contrasting terrestrial and freshwater sites revealed dramatic differences in the resulting microbial community composition for all pipelines at genus level. For instance, at the investigated river water sites Sphaerotilus was only reported when using QIIME1 (8% abundance) and Agitococcus with QIIME1 or QIIME2 (2 or 3% abundance, respectively), but both genera remained undetected when analyzed with Mothur or MEGAN. Since these abundant taxa probably have implications for important biogeochemical cycles (e.g., nitrate and sulfate reduction) at these sites, their detection and semi-quantitative enumeration is crucial for valid interpretations. A high-performance computing conformant workflow was constructed to allow FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Re-usable) 16S rRNA (gene) amplicon sequence analysis starting from raw sequence files, using the most optimal methods identified in our study. Our presented workflow should be considered for future studies, thereby facilitating the analysis of high-throughput 16S rRNA (gene) sequencing data substantially, while maximizing reliability and confidence in microbial community data analysis.

RevDate: 2020-11-16

Rosen GL, P Hammrich (2020)

Teaching Microbiome Analysis: From Design to Computation Through Inquiry.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:528051.

In this article, we present our three-class course sequence to educate students about microbiome analysis and metagenomics through experiential learning by taking them from inquiry to analysis of the microbiome: Molecular Ecology Lab, Bioinformatics, and Computational Microbiome Analysis. Students developed hypotheses, designed lab experiments, sequenced the DNA from microbiomes, learned basic python/R scripting, became proficient in at least one microbiome analysis software, and were able to analyze data generated from the microbiome experiments. While over 150 students (graduate and undergraduate) were impacted by the development of the series of courses, our assessment was only on undergraduate learning, where 45 students enrolled in at least one of the three courses and 4 students took all three. Students gained skills in bioinformatics through the courses, and several positive comments were received through surveys and private correspondence. Through a summative assessment, general trends show that students became more proficient in comparative genomic techniques and had positive attitudes toward their abilities to bridge biology and bioinformatics. While most students took individual or 2 of the courses, we show that pre- and post-surveys of these individual classes still showed progress toward learning objectives. It is expected that students trained will enter the workforce with skills needed to innovate in the biotechnology, health, and environmental industries. Students are trained to maximize impact and tackle real world problems in biology and medicine with their learned knowledge of data science and machine learning. The course materials for the new microbiome analysis course are available on Github: https://github.com/EESI/Comp_Metagenomics_resources.

RevDate: 2020-11-15

Yi X, Guo J, Wang M, et al (2020)

Inter-trophic Interaction of Gut Microbiota in a Tripartite System.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01640-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Gut microbiota can be transmitted either environmentally or socially and vertically at intraspecific level; however, whether gut microbiota interact along trophic levels has been largely overlooked. Here, we characterized the gut bacterial communities of weevil larvae of Curculio arakawai that infest acorns of Mongolian oak (Quercus mongolica) as well as acorn-eating mammals, Siberian chipmunk (Tamias sibiricus), to test whether consumption of seed-borne larvae remodels the gut bacterial communities of T. sibiricus. Ingestion of weevil larvae of C. arakawai significantly altered the gut bacterial communities of T. sibiricus. Consequently, T. sibiricus fed larvae of C. arakawai showed higher capability to counter the negative effects of tannins, in terms of body weight maintenance, acorn consumption, N content in feces, urine pH, and blood ALT activity. Our results may first show that seed-borne insects as hidden players have a potential to alter the gut microbiota of seed predators in the tripartite system.

RevDate: 2020-11-15

Miao Y, Heintz MB, Bell CH, et al (2020)

Profiling microbial community structures and functions in bioremediation strategies for treating 1,4-dioxane-contaminated groundwater.

Journal of hazardous materials pii:S0304-3894(20)32447-X [Epub ahead of print].

Microbial community compositions and functional profiles were analyzed in microcosms established using aquifer materials from a former automobile factory site, where 1,4-dioxane was identified as the primary contaminant of concern. Propane or oxygen biostimulation resulted in limited 1,4-dioxane degradation, which was markedly enhanced with the addition of nutrients, resulting in abundant Mycobacterium and Methyloversatilis taxa and high expressions of propane monooxygenase gene, prmA. In bioaugmented treatments, Pseudonocardia dioxanivorans CB1190 or Rhodococcus ruber ENV425 strains dominated immediately after augmentation and degraded 1,4-dioxane rapidly which was consistent with increased representation of xenobiotic and lipid metabolism-related functions. Although the bioaugmented microbes decreased due to insufficient growth substrates and microbial competition, they did continue to degrade 1,4-dioxane, presumably by indigenous propanotrophic and heterotrophic bacteria, inducing similar community structures across bioaugmentation conditions. In various treatments, functional redundancy acted as buffer capacity to ensure a stable microbiome, drove the restoration of the structure and microbial functions to original levels, and induced the decoupling between basic metabolic functions and taxonomy. The results of this study provided valuable information for design and decision-making for ex-situ bioreactors and in-situ bioremediation applications. A metagenomics-based understanding of the treatment process will enable efficient and accurate adjustments when encountering unexpected issues in bioremediation.

RevDate: 2020-11-14

Xu Z, Wu C, Lv Y, et al (2020)

Effects of Aeration on the Formation of Arbuscular Mycorrhiza under a Flooded State and Copper Oxide Nanoparticle Removal in Vertical Flow Constructed Wetlands.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01637-z [Epub ahead of print].

In this study, six vertical flow constructed wetlands (VFCWs) planted with Phragmites australis were operated at different aeration times (4 h day-1 and 8 h day-1), aeration modes (continuous and intermittent), and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) inoculation treatments (inoculation with Rhizophagus intraradices and no inoculation) to explore the effects of different aeration strategies on the formation of arbuscular mycorrhiza under a flooded state in VFCWs. In addition, these VFCWs were further used to treat copper oxide nanoparticle (CuO-NP) wastewater to evaluate the correlations among aeration, colonization, growth, and CuO-NP removal. The highest AMF 28S copy number (1.99×105) and colonization in reed roots, with values of 67%, 21%, and 1% for frequency (F%), intensity (M%), and arbuscule abundance (A%), were observed in the treatment with intermittent aeration for 4 h day-1. Aeration significantly increased the dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration and AMF colonization in VFCWs, thereby promoting plant growth and the purification of the CuO-NPs. However, excessive and continuous aeration had little positive effect on AMF colonization. This study provides a theoretical basis for the application of AMF for improving pollutant removal performance in constructed wetlands.

RevDate: 2020-11-14

Sakoula D, Koch H, Frank J, et al (2020)

Enrichment and physiological characterization of a novel comammox Nitrospira indicates ammonium inhibition of complete nitrification.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-020-00827-4 [Epub ahead of print].

The recent discovery of bacteria within the genus Nitrospira capable of complete ammonia oxidation (comammox) demonstrated that the sequential oxidation of ammonia to nitrate via nitrite can also be performed within a single bacterial cell. Although comammox Nitrospira exhibit a wide distribution in natural and engineered ecosystems, information on their physiological properties is scarce due to the limited number of cultured representatives. Additionally, most available genomic information is derived from metagenomic sequencing and high-quality genomes of Nitrospira in general are limited. In this study, we obtained a high (90%) enrichment of a novel comammox species, tentatively named "Candidatus Nitrospira kreftii", and performed a detailed genomic and physiological characterization. The complete genome of "Ca. N. kreftii" allowed reconstruction of its basic metabolic traits. Similar to Nitrospira inopinata, the enrichment culture exhibited a very high ammonia affinity (Km(app)_NH3 ≈ 0.040 ± 0.01 µM), but a higher nitrite affinity (Km(app)_NO2- = 12.5 ± 4.0 µM), indicating an adaptation to highly oligotrophic environments. Furthermore, we observed partial inhibition of ammonia oxidation at ammonium concentrations as low as 25 µM. This inhibition of "Ca. N. kreftii" indicates that differences in ammonium tolerance rather than affinity could potentially be a niche determining factor for different comammox Nitrospira.

RevDate: 2020-11-14

Zheng Z, Li L, Makhalanyane TP, et al (2020)

The composition of antibiotic resistance genes is not affected by grazing but is determined by microorganisms in grassland soils.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(20)36736-X [Epub ahead of print].

Grazing is expected to exert a substantial influence on antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in grassland ecosystems. However, the precise effects of grazing on the composition of ARGs in grassland soils remain unclear. This is especially the case for grassland soils subject to long-term grazing. Here, we investigated ARGs and bacterial community composition in soils subject to long-term historic grazing (13-39 years) and corresponding ungrazed samples. Using a combination of shotgun metagenomics, amplicon analyses and associated soil physicochemical data, we provide novel insights regarding the structure of ARGs in grassland soils. Interestingly, our analysis revealed that long-term historic grazing had no impacts on the composition of ARGs in grassland soils. An average of 378 ARGs, conferring resistance to 14 major categories of antibiotics (80%), were identified in both grazing and ungrazed sites. Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria and Acidobacteria were the most prevalent predicted hosts in these soils and were also shown to harbour genetic capacity for multiple-resistant ARGs. Our results suggested that positive effects of bacterial community composition on ARGs could potentially be controlled by affecting MGEs. Soil properties had direct effects on the composition of ARGs through affecting the frequency of horizontal gene transfer among bacteria. Twelve novel ARGs were found in S. grandis steppe grasslands, indicating that different vegetation types might induce shifts in soil ARGs. Collectively, these findings suggest that soil properties, plants and microorganisms play critical roles in shaping ARG patterns in grasslands. Together, these data establish a solid baseline for understanding environmental antibiotic resistance in grasslands.

RevDate: 2020-11-13

Murray AE, Freudenstein J, Gribaldo S, et al (2020)

Author Correction: Roadmap for naming uncultivated Archaea and Bacteria.

An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.

RevDate: 2020-11-13

Yadav B, Johri AK, M Dua (2020)

Metagenomic Analysis of the Microbial Diversity in Solid Waste from Okhla Landfill, New Delhi, India.

Microbiology resource announcements, 9(46):.

The Okhla landfill site is consistently in the news for having pollution levels higher than the city average. Here, we report the taxonomic characterization of the microbial diversity of Okhla landfill solid waste. The metagenome analyses revealed the microbial and metabolic diversity of the site.

RevDate: 2020-11-16
CmpDate: 2020-11-16

Chow LKM, Ghaly TM, MR Gillings (2021)

A survey of sub-inhibitory concentrations of antibiotics in the environment.

Journal of environmental sciences (China), 99:21-27.

Antibiotics are poorly metabolized, and can enter the environment via human waste streams, agricultural run-off and pharmaceutical effluent. We consequently expect to see a concentration gradient of antibiotic compounds radiating from areas of human population. Such antibiotics should be thought of as pollutants, as they can accumulate, and have biological effects. These antibiotic pollutants can increase rates of mutation and lateral transfer events, and continue to exert selection pressure even at sub-inhibitory concentrations. Here, we conducted a literature survey on environmental concentrations of antibiotics. We collated 887 data points from 40 peer-reviewed papers. We then determined whether these concentrations were biologically relevant by comparing them to their minimum selective concentrations, usually defined as between 1/4 and 1/230 of the minimum inhibitory concentration. Environmental concentrations of antibiotics surveyed often fall into this range. In general, the antibiotic concentrations recorded in aquatic and sediment samples were similar. These findings indicate that environmental concentrations of antibiotics are likely to be influencing microbial ecology, and to be driving the selection of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

RevDate: 2020-11-16
CmpDate: 2020-11-16

Li M, Mi T, He H, et al (2021)

Active bacterial and archaeal communities in coastal sediments: Biogeography pattern, assembly process and co-occurrence relationship.

The Science of the total environment, 750:142252.

The biogeography of active microbial communities and the underlying mechanisms in marine sediments are important in microbial ecology but remain unclear. Here, using qPCR and high-throughput sequencing, we investigated bacterial and archaeal community abundances and activities by quantifying the abundance and expression of the 16S rRNA gene respectively, RNA-derived bacterial and archaeal community biogeography, assembly mechanisms and co-occurrence relationships in surface sediment samples from the Bohai Sea (BS), South Yellow Sea (SYS) and the north East China Sea (NECS) of the eastern Chinese marginal seas. The results revealed a higher heterogeneity of bacterial and archaeal community activities than of abundances and heterogeneous ecological functions among areas reflected by community compositions. Furthermore, clear geographic groups (i.e., the BS, SYS and NECS groups) were observed for all, abundant and rare active bacterial and archaeal communities, accompanied by significant distance-decay patterns. However, the abundant and rare taxa showed inconsistent geographic patterns. More importantly, deterministic processes played a greater role than stochastic processes in active bacterial and archaeal community assembly. The rare taxa had weaker abilities to disperse and/or adapt and more complex ecological processes than the abundant taxa. In addition, this study also showed that intertaxa competition was the dominant interaction between active bacterial and archaeal members, which could greatly contribute to dispersal limitation. Moreover, active bacterial and archaeal co-occurrence patterns showed significant distance-decay patterns, which were consistent with the community compositions.

RevDate: 2020-11-12

Vadopalas L, Ruzauskas M, Lele V, et al (2020)

Combination of Antimicrobial Starters for Feed Fermentation: Influence on Piglet Feces Microbiota and Health and Growth Performance, Including Mycotoxin Biotransformation in vivo.

Frontiers in veterinary science, 7:528990.

The aim of this study was to apply a combination of the microbial starters Lactobacillus uvarum LUHS245, Lactobacillus casei LUHS210, Pediococcus acidilactici LUHS29, and Pediococcus pentosaceus LUHS183 for feed fermentation and to evaluate the influence of fermentation on feed acidity and microbiological characteristics, as well as on the piglet feces microbiota, health, and growth performance. Additionally, mycotoxin biotransformation was analyzed, including masked mycotoxins, in feed and piglet feces samples. The 36-day experiment was conducted using 25-day-old Large White/Norwegian Landrace (LW/NL) piglets with an initial body weight of 6.9-7.0 kg, which were randomly distributed into two groups (in each 100 piglets): control group, fed with basal diet (based on barley, wheat, potato protein, soybean protein concentrate, and whey powder), and treated group, fed with fermented feed at 500 g kg-1 of total feed. Compared to a commercially available lactic acid bacteria (LAB) combination, the novel LAB mixture effectively reduced feed pH (on average pH 3.65), produced a 2-fold higher content of L(+) lactic acid, increased viable LAB count [on average 8.8 log10 colony-forming units (CFU) g-1], and led to stable feed fermentation during the entire test period (36 days). Fecal microbiota analysis showed an increased number of probiotic bacteria in the treated group, particularly Lactobacillus, when compared with the control group at the end of experiment. This finding indicates that fermented feed can modify microbial profile change in the gut of pigs. In treated piglets' blood (at day 61), the serum high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglycerides (TG) were significantly higher, but the levels of T4, glucose, K, alkaline phosphatase (AP), and urea were significantly decreased (p ≤ 0.05) compared with the control group. Mycotoxin analysis showed that alternariol monomethyl ether (AME) and altenuene were found in 61-day-old control piglets' feces and in fermented feed samples. However, AME was not found in treated piglets' feces. Feed fermentation with the novel LAB combination is a promising means to modulate piglets' microbiota, which is essential to improve nutrient absorption, growth performance, and health parameters. The new LAB composition suggests a novel dietary strategy to positively manipulate fermented feed chemicals and bio-safety and the piglet gut microbial ecology to reduce antimicrobials use in pig production and increase local feed stock uses and economical effectiveness of the process.

RevDate: 2020-11-11

Pascoal F, Costa R, C Magalhães (2020)

The microbial rare biosphere: current concepts, methods and ecological principles.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:5974270 [Epub ahead of print].

Our ability to describe the highly diverse pool of low abundance populations present in natural microbial communities is increasing at an unprecedented pace. Yet we currently lack an integrative view of the key taxa, functions, and metabolic activity which make-up this communal pool, usually referred to as the 'rare biosphere', across the domains of life. In this context, this review examines the microbial rare biosphere in its broader sense, providing an historical perspective on representative studies which enabled to bridge the concept from macroecology to microbial ecology. It then addresses our current knowledge of the prokaryotic rare biosphere, and covers emerging insights into the ecology, taxonomy, and evolution of low abundance microeukaryotic, viral and host-associated communities. We also review recent methodological advances and provide a synthetic overview on how the rare biosphere fits into different conceptual models used to explain microbial community assembly mechanisms, composition, and function.

RevDate: 2020-11-12

Zakem EJ, Polz MF, MJ Follows (2020)

Redox-informed models of global biogeochemical cycles.

Nature communications, 11(1):5680 pii:10.1038/s41467-020-19454-w.

Microbial activity mediates the fluxes of greenhouse gases. However, in the global models of the marine and terrestrial biospheres used for climate change projections, typically only photosynthetic microbial activity is resolved mechanistically. To move forward, we argue that global biogeochemical models need a theoretically grounded framework with which to constrain parameterizations of diverse microbial metabolisms. Here, we explain how the key redox chemistry underlying metabolisms provides a path towards this goal. Using this first-principles approach, the presence or absence of metabolic functional types emerges dynamically from ecological interactions, expanding model applicability to unobserved environments."Nothing is less real than realism. It is only by selection, by elimination, by emphasis, that we get at the real meaning of things." -Georgia O'Keefe.

RevDate: 2020-11-11

Rico-Reséndiz F, Cervantes-Pérez SA, Espinal-Centeno A, et al (2020)

Transcriptional and Morpho-Physiological Responses of Marchantia polymorpha upon Phosphate Starvation.

International journal of molecular sciences, 21(21): pii:ijms21218354.

Phosphate (Pi) is a pivotal nutrient that constraints plant development and productivity in natural ecosystems. Land colonization by plants, more than 470 million years ago, evolved adaptive mechanisms to conquer Pi-scarce environments. However, little is known about the molecular basis underlying such adaptations at early branches of plant phylogeny. To shed light on how early divergent plants respond to Pi limitation, we analyzed the morpho-physiological and transcriptional dynamics of Marchantia polymorpha upon Pi starvation. Our phylogenomic analysis highlights some gene networks present since the Chlorophytes and others established in the Streptophytes (e.g., PHR1-SPX1 and STOP1-ALMT1, respectively). At the morpho-physiological level, the response is characterized by the induction of phosphatase activity, media acidification, accumulation of auronidins, reduction of internal Pi concentration, and developmental modifications of rhizoids. The transcriptional response involves the induction of MpPHR1, Pi transporters, lipid turnover enzymes, and MpMYB14, which is an essential transcription factor for auronidins biosynthesis. MpSTOP2 up-regulation correlates with expression changes in genes related to organic acid biosynthesis and transport, suggesting a preference for citrate exudation. An analysis of MpPHR1 binding sequences (P1BS) shows an enrichment of this cis regulatory element in differentially expressed genes. Our study unravels the strategies, at diverse levels of organization, exerted by M. polymorpha to cope with low Pi availability.

RevDate: 2020-11-10

Rose A, Padovan A, Christian K, et al (2020)

The Diversity of Nitrogen-Cycling Microbial Genes in a Waste Stabilization Pond Reveals Changes over Space and Time that Is Uncoupled to Changing Nitrogen Chemistry.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01639-x [Epub ahead of print].

Nitrogen removal is an important process for wastewater ponds prior to effluent release. Bacteria and archaea can drive nitrogen removal if they possess the genes required to metabolize nitrogen. In the tropical savanna of northern Australia, we identified the previously unresolved microbial communities responsible for nitrogen cycling in a multi-pond wastewater stabilization system by measuring genomic DNA and cDNA for the following: nifH (nitrogen fixation); nosZ (denitrification); hzsA (anammox); archaeal AamoA and bacterial BamoA (ammonia oxidation); nxrB (nitrite oxidation); and nrfA (dissimilatory NO3 reduction to NH3). By collecting 160 DNA and 40 cDNA wastewater samples and measuring nitrogen (N)-cycling genes using a functional gene array, we found that genes from all steps of the N cycle were present and, except for nxrB, were also expressed. As expected, N-cycling communities showed daily, seasonal, and yearly shifts. However, contrary to our prediction, probes from most functional groups, excluding nosZ and AamoA, were different between ponds. Further, different genes that perform the same N-cycling role sometimes had different trends over space and time, resulting in only weak correlations between the different functional communities. Although N-cycling communities were correlated with wastewater nitrogen levels and physico-chemistry, the relationship was not strong enough to reliably predict the presence or diversity of N-cycling microbes. The complex and dynamic response of these genes to other functional groups and the changing physico-chemical environment provides insight into why altering wastewater pond conditions can result an abundance of some gene variants while others are lost.

RevDate: 2020-11-10

Heyse J, Props R, Kongnuan P, et al (2020)

Rearing water microbiomes in white leg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) larviculture assemble stochastically and are influenced by the microbiomes of live feed products.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

The development of effective management strategies to reduce the occurrence of diseases in aquaculture is hampered by the limited knowledge on the microbial ecology of these systems. In this study, the dynamics and dominant community assembly processes in the rearing water of Litopenaeus vannamei larviculture tanks were determined. Additionally, the contribution of peripheral microbiomes, such as those of live and dry feeds, to the rearing water microbiome were quantified. The community assembly in the hatchery rearing water over time was dominated by stochasticity, which explains the observed heterogeneity between replicate cultivations. The community undergoes two shifts that match with the dynamics of the algal abundances in the rearing water. Source tracking analysis revealed that 37% of all bacteria in the hatchery rearing water were introduced either by the live or dry feeds, or during water exchanges. The contribution of the microbiome from the algae was the largest, followed by that of the Artemia, the exchange water and the dry feeds. Our findings provide fundamental knowledge on the assembly processes and dynamics of rearing water microbiomes and illustrate the crucial role of these peripheral microbiomes in maintaining health-promoting rearing water microbiomes. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2020-11-10

Aksenov AA, Laponogov I, Zhang Z, et al (2020)

Auto-deconvolution and molecular networking of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry data.

Nature biotechnology pii:10.1038/s41587-020-0700-3 [Epub ahead of print].

We engineered a machine learning approach, MSHub, to enable auto-deconvolution of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) data. We then designed workflows to enable the community to store, process, share, annotate, compare and perform molecular networking of GC-MS data within the Global Natural Product Social (GNPS) Molecular Networking analysis platform. MSHub/GNPS performs auto-deconvolution of compound fragmentation patterns via unsupervised non-negative matrix factorization and quantifies the reproducibility of fragmentation patterns across samples.

RevDate: 2020-11-10

Oba PM, Holscher HD, Mathai RA, et al (2020)

Diet Influences the Oral Microbiota of Infants during the First Six Months of Life.

Nutrients, 12(11): pii:nu12113400.

Background: Oral microorganisms contribute to oral health and disease, but few have studied how infant feeding methods affect their establishment. Methods: Infant (n = 12) feeding records and tongue and cheek swabs were collected within 48 h of birth, and after 2, 4, and 6 mo. DNA was extracted from samples, bacterial and fungal amplicons were generated and sequenced using Illumina MiSeq, and sequences were analyzed using Quantitative Insights Into Microbial Ecology (QIIME) and Statistical Analysis System (SAS) to evaluate differences over time and among breast-fed, formula-fed, mixed-fed, and solid food-fed infants. Results: Considering all time points, breast milk- and mixed-fed infants had lower oral species richness than solid food-fed infants (p = 0.006). Regardless of feeding mode, species richness was lower at birth than at other time points (p = 0.006). Principal coordinates analysis (PCoA) of unique fraction metric (UniFrac) distances indicated that bacterial communities were impacted by feeding method (p < 0.005). Considering all time points, breast-fed infants had higher Streptococcus, while formula-fed infants had higher Actinomyces and Prevotella. Regardless of feeding mode, Propionibacterium, Porphyromonas, Prevotella, Gemella, Granulicatella, Veillonella, Fusobacterium, Leptotrichia, Neisseria, and Haemophilus increased with age, while Cloacibacterium and Dechloromonas decreased with age. Oral fungi were detected in infants but were not impacted by diet. Conclusions: These findings demonstrate that the establishment of oral bacteria depends on dietary composition and age. More research is necessary to determine whether this affects risk of oral caries and other health outcomes later in life.

RevDate: 2020-11-09

Goraj W, Pytlak A, Kowalska B, et al (2020)

Influence of pipe material on biofilm microbial communities found in drinking water supply system.

Environmental research pii:S0013-9351(20)31330-X [Epub ahead of print].

The biofilms and water samples from a model installation built of PVC-U, PE-HD and cast iron pipes were investigated using standard heterotrophic plate count and 16S rRNA Next Generation Sequencing. The results of the high throughput identification imply that the construction material strongly influences the microbiome composition. PVC-U and PE-HD pipes were dominated with Proteobacteria (54-60%) while the cast pipe was overgrown by Nitrospirae (64%). It was deduced that the plastic pipes create a more convenient environment for the potentially pathogenic taxa than the cast iron. The 7-year old biofilms were described as complex habitats with sharp oxidation-reduction gradients, where co-existence of methanogenic and methanotrophic microbiota takes place. Furthermore, it was found that the drinking water distribution systems (DWDS) are a useful tool for studying the ecology of rare bacterial phyla. New ecophysiological aspects were described for Aquihabitans, Thermogutta and Vampirovibrio. The discrepancy between identity of HPC-derived bacteria and NGS-revealed composition of biofilm and water microbiomes point to the need of introducing new diagnostical protocols to enable proper assessment of the drinking water safety, especially in DWDSs operating without disinfection.

RevDate: 2020-11-09

Nie Y, XL Wu (2020)

Getting back to the nature of the microbial world: from the description and inductive reasoning to deductive study after 'meta-omics'.

Microbial biotechnology [Epub ahead of print].

'Omics' studies have by now deposited massive amounts of data into the databases, and it is now time to return to the question as to what can we actually learn from them. Increased application of the deductive approach in synthetic microbial ecology and synthetic microbiome research will undoubtedly provide exciting new opportunities for advancing our understanding of microbial ecology.

RevDate: 2020-11-09

Zhu M, Ji J, Duan X, et al (2020)

First Report of Powdery Mildew Caused by Blumeria graminis f. sp. bromi on Bromus catharticus in China.

Plant disease [Epub ahead of print].

Bromus catharticus, rescuegrass, is a brome grass that has been cultivated for herbage production, and been widely naturalized in many provinces of China, including Henan province. During April and May 2020, powdery mildew was found on leaves of Br. catharticus on the campus of Henan Normal University, Xinxiang city (35.3°N; 113.9°E), Henan Province, China. Abundant white or grayish irregular or coalesced circular powdery colonies were scattered on the adaxial surface of leaves and 70% of the leaf areas were affected. Some of the infected leaves either were chlorotic or senescent. About 60% of the observed plants showed powdery mildew symptoms. Conidiophores (n = 25) were 32 to 45 μm × 7 to 15 μm and composed of foot cells and conidia (mostly 6 conidia) in chains. Conidia (n = 50) were 25 to 35 μm × 10 to 15 μm, on average 30 × 13 μm, with a length/width ratio of 2.3. Chasmothecia were not found. Based on these morphologic characteristics, the pathogen was initially identified as Blumeria graminis f. sp. bromi (Braun and Cook 2012; Troch et al. 2014). B. graminis mycelia and conidia were collected, and total genomic DNA was extracted (Zhu et al. 2019). The rDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region was amplified with primer pairs ITS1/ITS4. The amplicon was cloned and sequenced. The sequence (574 bp) was deposited into GenBank under Accession No. MT892940. BLASTn analysis revealed that MT892940 was 100% identical to B. graminis f. sp. bromi on Br. catharticus (AB000935, 550 of 550 nucleotides) (Takamatsu et al. 1998). Phylogenetic analysis of MT892940 and ITS of other B. graminis ff. spp. clearly indicated least two phylogenetically distinct clades of B. graminis f. sp. bromi and that MT892940 clustered with the Takamatsu vouchers. Leaf surfaces of five healthy plants were fixed at the base of a settling tower and then inoculated by blowing conidia from diseased leaves using pressurized air. Five non-inoculated plants served as controls. The inoculated and non-inoculated plants were maintained separately in two growth chambers (humidity, 60%; light/dark, 16 h/8 h; temperature, 18℃). Thirteen- to fifteen-days after inoculation, B. graminis signs and symptoms were visible on inoculated leaves, whereas control plants remained asymptomatic. The pathogenicity assays were repeated twice with the same results. The observed signs and symptoms were morphologically identical to those of the originally infected leaves. Accordingly, the causal organism of the powdery mildew was confirmed as B. graminis f. sp. bromi by morphological characteristics and ITS sequence data. B. graminis has been reported on Br. catharticus in the United States (Klingeman et al. 2018), Japan (Inuma et al. 2007) and Argentina (Delhey et al. 2003). To our best knowledge, this is the first report of B. graminis on Br. catharticus in China. Since hybridization of B. graminis ff. spp. is a mechanism of adaptation to new hosts, Br. catharticus may serve as a primary inoculum reservoir of B. graminis to infect other species (Menardo et al. 2016). This report provides fundamental information for the powdery mildew that can be used to develop control management of the disease in Br. catharticus herbage production.

RevDate: 2020-11-09

Hou D, Hong M, Wang K, et al (2020)

Prokaryotic community succession and assembly on different types of microplastics in a mariculture cage.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) pii:S0269-7491(20)36445-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Microplastics have emerged as a new anthropogenic substrate that can readily be colonized by microorganisms. Nevertheless, microbial community succession and assembly among different microplastics in nearshore mariculture cages remains poorly understood. Using an in situ incubation experiment, 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing, and the neutral model, we investigated the prokaryotic communities attached to polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyethylene (PE), and polypropylene (PP) in a mariculture cage in Xiangshan Harbor, China. The α-diversities and compositions of microplastic-attached prokaryotic communities were significantly distinct from free-living and small particle-attached communities in the surrounding water but relatively similar to the large particle-attached communities. Although a distinct prokaryotic community was developed on each type of microplastic, the communities on PE and PP more closely resembled each other. Furthermore, the prokaryotic community dissimilarity among all media (microplastics and water fractions) tended to decrease over time. Hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria Alcanivorax preferentially colonized PE, and the genus Vibrio with opportunistically pathogenic members has the potential to colonize PET. Additionally, neutral processes dominated the prokaryotic community assembly on PE and PP, while selection was more responsible for the prokaryotic assembly on PET. The assembly of Planctomycetaceae and Thaumarchaeota Marine Group I taxa on three microplastics were mainly governed by selection and neutral processes, respectively. Our study provides further understanding of microplastic-associated microbial ecology in mariculture environments.

RevDate: 2020-11-08

Navarrete AA, de Cássia Bonassi R, Américo-Pinheiro JHP, et al (2021)

Methods to Identify Soil Microbial Bioindicators of Sustainable Management of Bioenergy Crops.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2232:251-263.

Here we describe a suite of methods to identify potential taxonomic and functional soil microbial indicators of soil quality and plant health in biofuel crops in various areas and land types. This approach draws on tools to assess microbial diversity, greenhouse gas fluxes, and soil physicochemical properties in bioenergy cropping systems. Integrative statistical models are then used to identify potential microbial indicators for sustainable management of bioenergy crops.

RevDate: 2020-11-08

Yeoh YK (2021)

Removing Host-derived DNA Sequences from Microbial Metagenomes via Mapping to Reference Genomes.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2232:147-153.

DNA sequencing has become a common tool in environmental microbial ecology, facilitating characterization of microbial populations as well as complex microbial communities by circumventing culture bottlenecks. However, certain samples especially from host-associated environments (rhizosphere, human tissue) or complex communities (soils) can contain a high degree of DNA sequences derived from hosts (plants, human) or other organisms of non-interest (arthropods, unicellular eukaryotes). This chapter presents a simple in silico method to remove contaminating sequences in metagenomes based on aligning sequences to reference genomes of the target organism.

RevDate: 2020-11-08

Rosa LH, Pinto OHB, Convey P, et al (2020)

DNA Metabarcoding to Assess the Diversity of Airborne Fungi Present over Keller Peninsula, King George Island, Antarctica.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01627-1 [Epub ahead of print].

We assessed fungal diversity present in air samples obtained from King George Island, Antarctica, using DNA metabarcoding through high-throughput sequencing. We detected 186 fungal amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) dominated by the phyla Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, Mortierellomycota, Mucoromycota, and Chytridiomycota. Fungi sp. 1, Agaricomycetes sp. 1, Mortierella parvispora, Mortierella sp. 2, Penicillium sp., Pseudogymnoascus roseus, Microdochium lycopodinum, Mortierella gamsii, Arrhenia sp., Cladosporium sp., Mortierella fimbricystis, Moniliella pollinis, Omphalina sp., Mortierella antarctica, and Pseudogymnoascus appendiculatus were the most dominant ASVs. In addition, several ASVs could only be identified at higher taxonomic levels and may represent previously unknown fungi and/or new records for Antarctica. The fungi detected in the air displayed high indices of diversity, richness, and dominance. The airborne fungal diversity included saprophytic, mutualistic, and plant and animal opportunistic pathogenic taxa. The diversity of taxa detected reinforces the hypothesis that the Antarctic airspora includes fungal propagules of both intra- and inter-continental origin. If regional Antarctic environmental conditions ameliorate further in concert with climate warming, these fungi might be able to reactivate and colonize different Antarctic ecosystems, with as yet unknown consequences for ecosystem function in Antarctica. Further aeromycological studies are necessary to understand how and from where these fungi arrive and move within Antarctica and if environmental changes will encourage the development of non-native fungal species in Antarctica.

RevDate: 2020-11-08

Tanuwidjaja I, Vogel C, Pronk GJ, et al (2020)

Microbial Key Players Involved in P Turnover Differ in Artificial Soil Mixtures Depending on Clay Mineral Composition.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01635-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Nutrient turnover in soils is strongly driven by soil properties, including clay mineral composition. One main nutrient is phosphorus (P), which is known to be easily immobilized in soil. Therefore, the specific surface characteristics of clay minerals might substantially influence P availability in soil and thus the microbial strategies for accessing P pools. We used a metagenomic approach to analyze the microbial potential to access P after 842 days of incubation in artificial soils with a clay mineral composition of either non-expandable illite (IL) or expandable montmorillonite (MT), which differ in their surface characteristics like soil surface area and surface charge. Our data indicate that microorganisms of the two soils developed different strategies to overcome P depletion, resulting in similar total P concentrations. Genes predicted to encode inorganic pyrophosphatase (ppa), exopolyphosphatase (ppx), and the pstSCAB transport system were higher in MT, suggesting effective P uptake and the use of internal poly-P stores. Genes predicted to encode enzymes involved in organic P turnover like alkaline phosphatases (phoA, phoD) and glycerophosphoryl diester phosphodiesterase were detected in both soils in comparable numbers. In addition, Po concentrations did not differ significantly. Most identified genes were assigned to microbial lineages generally abundant in agricultural fields, but some were assigned to lineages known to include oligotrophic specialists, such as Bacillaceae and Microchaetaceae.

RevDate: 2020-11-10

Gao Y, Zhang W, Li Y, et al (2020)

Dams shift microbial community assembly and imprint nitrogen transformation along the Yangtze River.

Water research, 189:116579 pii:S0043-1354(20)31114-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Dams are important for flood control, water storage, irrigation, electric generation, navigation, and have been regarded as the largest anthropogenic disturbance in aquatic ecosystems. However, how dams impact nitrogen transformation on a large watershed scale remained less studied. To explicitly address the impact of dams on nitrogen transformation, we used 16S rRNA gene sequencing to investigate the microbial dynamics and ecological processes under different dam conditions along the Yangtze River, as microbial communities are playing a key role in aquatic nitrogen transformation. Compared with landforms, dams exerted a more significant impact on the distribution patterns of microbial communities along the Yangtze River. The results showed that, by controlling suspended sand concentration, dams filtered keystone species, reshaped distribution of metacommunities, and mediated ecological assembly processes of microbial communities. Moreover, direct causal relationships between dams and nitrogen transformation were chained via microbial communities. To summarize, by combining knowledge in hydrology, microbial ecology, and biogeochemistry, this research exhibited the impact of different dams on the nitrogen transformation along a large river, and the key roles of suspended sand and microbial communities were emphasized. We anticipate a more precise modelling and prediction of nitrogen transformation in large watersheds, which may provide new perspectives for controlling the nitrogen in aquatic environments.

RevDate: 2020-11-07

Jiang Y, Brandt BW, Buijs MJ, et al (2020)

Manipulation of saliva-derived microcosm biofilms to resemble dysbiotic subgingival microbiota.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.02371-20 [Epub ahead of print].

Periodontitis is a highly prevalent oral inflammatory disease triggered by dysbiotic subgingival microbiota. For the development of microbiome modulators that can reverse the dysbiotic state and re-establish a health-related microbiota, a high-throughput in vitro multi-species biofilm model is needed. Our aim is to establish a model that resembles a dysbiotic subgingival microbial biofilm by incorporating the major periodontal pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis into microcosm biofilms cultured from pooled saliva of healthy volunteers. The biofilms were grown for 3, 7, and 10 days and analyzed for their microbial composition by 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing as well as dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP4) activity and butyric acid production. The addition of P. gingivalis increased its abundance in saliva-derived microcosm biofilms from 2.7% on day 3 to >50% on day 10, which significantly reduced the Shannon diversity, but did not affect the total number of operational taxonomic units (OTUs). The P. gingivalis-enriched biofilms displayed altered microbial composition as revealed by principle component analysis and reduced interactions among microbial species. Moreover, these biofilms exhibited enhanced DPP4 activity and butyric acid production. In conclusion, by adding P. gingivalis into saliva-derived microcosm biofilms, we established an in vitro pathogen-enriched dysbiotic microbiota, which resembles periodontitis-associated subgingival microbiota in terms of increased P. gingivalis abundance and higher DPP4 activity and butyric acid production. This model may allow for investigating factors that accelerate or hinder microbial shift from symbiosis to dysbiosis and for developing microbiome modulation strategies.IMPORTANCE In line with the new paradigm of the etiology of periodontitis, an inflammatory disorder initiated by dysbiotic subgingival microbiota, novel therapeutic strategies have been proposed, targeting reversing dysbiosis and restoring host-compatible microbiota, rather than eliminating the biofilms unselectively. Thus, appropriate laboratory models are required to evaluate the efficacy of potential microbiome modulators. In the present study, we used the easily obtainable saliva as an inoculum, spiked the microcosm biofilms with the periodontal pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis, and obtained a P. gingivalis-enriched microbiota, which resembles the in vivo pathogen-enriched subgingival microbiota in severe periodontitis. This biofilm model circumvents the difficulties encountered when using subgingival plaque as the inoculum and achieves microbiota in dysbiotic state in a controlled and reproducible manner, which is required for high-throughput and large scale evaluation of strategies that can potentially modulate microbial ecology.

RevDate: 2020-11-07

Rahman MS, Sikder MNA, H Xu (2020)

Insights into β-diversity of periphytic protozoan fauna along the water column of marine ecosystems.

Marine pollution bulletin pii:S0025-326X(20)30919-X [Epub ahead of print].

It has been increasingly recognized that there is high relevance in determining the β-diversity of communities along an environmental gradient for bioassessment of environmental quality status. To evaluate the vertical variations in β-diversity of periphytic protozoan fauna, in response to environmental heterogeneity in marine ecosystems, a baseline survey was conducted at the four water depths in the coastal waters of the Yellow Sea, northern China. Results demonstrated that (1) the species distribution presented different patterns at four water depths; (2) both compositional and community structure showed a significant vertical variation in multivariate dispersions from surface layer to the deeper layers; and (3) β-diversity measures generally increased from depths of 1 m to 5 m. These findings suggest that the homogeneity in the periphytic communities are of a high variability along the water column of marine ecosystems.

RevDate: 2020-11-07

Gui Y, Uroosa , Bai X, et al (2020)

An approach to assessing ecological quality status due to microalgae bloom using biofilm-dwelling protozoa based on biological trait analysis.

Marine pollution bulletin pii:S0025-326X(20)30913-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Functional diversity/distinctness measure based trait has been proved to be a robust indicator to summarize the description of community structures and to assess water quality in different types of aquatic environment. In this study, for identifying the shielding effect of microalgae against protozoan grazing, a nine-day survey was conducted by exposing protozoan communities to a series of concentration gradients (100 (control), 104, 105, 106 and 107 cells ml-1) of two microalgae, respectively. Our results showed clear resistance of two test microalgae against protozoan grazing in five treatments. The functional distinctness measures commonly represented a decreasing trend along the gradient of concentrations of both microalgae. Ellipse tests based on the paired functional distinctness indices revealed that community functioning represented an uptrend departure from the expected pattern with the concentrations of both microalgae increase. Therefore, we suggest that the functional distinctness measures might be a reliable approach to detect the ecological effect of microalgae against protozoan grazing.

RevDate: 2020-11-09

Syrokou MK, Themeli C, Paramithiotis S, et al (2020)

Microbial Ecology of Greek Wheat Sourdoughs, Identified by a Culture-Dependent and a Culture-Independent Approach.

Foods (Basel, Switzerland), 9(11): pii:foods9111603.

The aim of the present study was to assess the microecosystem of 13 homemade spontaneously fermented wheat sourdoughs from different regions of Greece, through the combined use of culture-dependent (classical approach; clustering by Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RAPD-PCR) and identification by PCR species-specific for Lactiplantibacillus plantarum, and sequencing of the 16S-rRNA and 26S-rRNA gene, for Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) and yeasts, respectively) and independent approaches [DNA- and RNA-based PCR-Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE)]. The pH and Total Titratable Acidity (TTA) values ranged from 3.64-5.05 and from 0.50-1.59% lactic acid, respectively. Yeast and lactic acid bacteria populations ranged within 4.60-6.32 and 6.28-9.20 log CFU/g, respectively. The yeast: LAB ratio varied from 1:23-1:10,000. A total of 207 bacterial and 195 yeast isolates were obtained and a culture-dependent assessment of their taxonomic affiliation revealed dominance of Lb. plantarum in three sourdoughs, Levilactobacillus brevis in four sourdoughs and co-dominance of these species in two sourdoughs. In addition, Companilactobacillusparalimentarius dominated in two sourdoughs and Fructilactobacillussanfranciscensis and Latilactobacillus sakei in one sourdough each. Lactococcus lactis, Lb. curvatus, Leuconostoc citreum, Ln. mesenteroides and Lb. zymae were also recovered from some samples. Regarding the yeast microbiota, it was dominated by Saccharomyces cerevisiae in 11 sourdoughs and Pichia membranifaciens and P. fermentans in one sourdough each. Wickerhamomyces anomalus and Kazachstania humilis were also recovered from one sample. RNA-based PCR-DGGE provided with nearly identical results with DNA-based one; in only one sample the latter provided an additional band. In general, the limitations of this approach, namely co-migration of amplicons from different species to the same electrophoretic position and multiband profile of specific isolates, greatly reduced resolution capacity, which resulted in only partial verification of the microbial ecology detected by culture-dependent approach in the majority of sourdough samples. Our knowledge regarding the microecosystem of spontaneously fermented Greek wheat-based sourdoughs was expanded, through the study of sourdoughs originating from regions of Greece that were not previously assessed.

RevDate: 2020-11-10

Kiewra D, Szymanowski M, Czułowska A, et al (2020)

The local-scale expansion of Dermacentor reticulatus ticks in Lower Silesia, SW Poland.

Ticks and tick-borne diseases, 12(1):101599 pii:S1877-959X(20)30469-6 [Epub ahead of print].

The range of D. reticulatus is discontinuous in Europe, with a gap between the Western and Eastern European populations. Recent studies have shown, however, a decrease in the gap as a consequence of D. reticulatus spreading to new areas. This study aims to analyze the dynamic of local-scale changes in the D. reticulatus range in Lower Silesia, SW Poland. All sites of D. reticulatus presence recognized in our research were located in the north-western part of the study area (Wroclaw and its surroundings), whereas the south-eastern part was found to be free of these ticks. However, a five-year observation period (2014-2019) indicates the expansion of D. reticulatus on a local scale, with a general tendency to expand to the east, with northerly or southerly deviations from year to year. The settled sites differed in distance to the nearest built-up area, the density of resident population, as well as land development intensity in the immediate vicinity. The 100% probability isolines of D. reticulatus presence in Wroclaw and its surroundings allowed the determination of the rate of range change, which turned out to be uneven in terms of direction and speed. The average rate of change in the range of tick occurrence was estimated at 7 km in 3 years. A more accurate analysis of the estimated range changes-made using modeling and verification of predicted changes in the field-showed that the likely rate of range change can be estimated at around 0.6-2.3 km/year.

RevDate: 2020-11-06

Köstlbacher S, Collingro A, Halter T, et al (2020)

Coevolving Plasmids Drive Gene Flow and Genome Plasticity in Host-Associated Intracellular Bacteria.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(20)31534-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Plasmids are important in microbial evolution and adaptation to new environments. Yet, carrying a plasmid can be costly, and long-term association of plasmids with their hosts is poorly understood. Here, we provide evidence that the Chlamydiae, a phylum of strictly host-associated intracellular bacteria, have coevolved with their plasmids since their last common ancestor. Current chlamydial plasmids are amalgamations of at least one ancestral plasmid and a bacteriophage. We show that the majority of plasmid genes are also found on chromosomes of extant chlamydiae. The most conserved plasmid gene families are predominantly vertically inherited, while accessory plasmid gene families show significantly increased mobility. We reconstructed the evolutionary history of plasmid gene content of an entire bacterial phylum over a period of around one billion years. Frequent horizontal gene transfer and chromosomal integration events illustrate the pronounced impact of coevolution with these extrachromosomal elements on bacterial genome dynamics in host-dependent microbes.

RevDate: 2020-11-06

Trabelsi ABH, Zaafouri K, Friaa A, et al (2020)

Municipal sewage sludge energetic conversion as a tool for environmental sustainability: production of innovative biofuels and biochar.

Environmental science and pollution research international pii:10.1007/s11356-020-11400-z [Epub ahead of print].

In this study, municipal sewage sludge (MSS) is converted simultaneously into renewable biofuels (bio-oil, syngas) and high value-added products (biochar) using a fixed bed pyrolyzer. This work examines the combined effect of two factors: final pyrolysis temperature (°C) and MSS moisture content (%) on pyrogenic product yields and characteristics. A centered composite experimental design (CCD) is established for pyrolysis process optimization by adopting the response surface methodology (RSM). The statistical results indicate that the optimal conditions considering all studied factors and responses are 550 °C as final pyrolysis temperature and 15% as MSS moisture content. In these optimal conditions, biofuels yield is around 48 wt%, whereas biochar yield is about 52 wt%. The pyrolysis products characterizations reveal that (i) pyrolytic oil has a complex molecular composition rich with n-alkanes, n-alkenes, carboxylic acids, and aromatic compounds; (ii) bio-oil presents a high-energy content (high heating value HHV around 30.6 MJ/kg); (iii) syngas mixture has a good calorific value (HHV up to 8 MJ/kg), which could be used as renewable energy vector or for pyrolysis reactor heating; and (iv) biochar residue has good aliphatic and oxygenated group contents favoring its application as biofertilizer. These findings suggest that MSS conversion into biofuels and biochar is an appropriate approach for MSS treatment. MSS-to-energy could be proposed as an element for circular economy concept due to its effectiveness in producing high value-added and sustainable products and reducing environmental problems linked to MSS disposal.

RevDate: 2020-11-06

Addesso R, Gonzalez-Pimentel JL, D'Angeli IM, et al (2020)

Microbial Community Characterizing Vermiculations from Karst Caves and Its Role in Their Formation.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01623-5 [Epub ahead of print].

The microbiota associated with vermiculations from karst caves is largely unknown. Vermiculations are enigmatic deposits forming worm-like patterns on cave walls all over the world. They represent a precious focus for geomicrobiological studies aimed at exploring both the microbial life of these ecosystems and the vermiculation genesis. This study comprises the first approach on the microbial communities thriving in Pertosa-Auletta Cave (southern Italy) vermiculations by next-generation sequencing. The most abundant phylum in vermiculations was Proteobacteria, followed by Acidobacteria > Actinobacteria > Nitrospirae > Firmicutes > Planctomycetes > Chloroflexi > Gemmatimonadetes > Bacteroidetes > Latescibacteria. Numerous less-represented taxonomic groups (< 1%), as well as unclassified ones, were also detected. From an ecological point of view, all the groups co-participate in the biogeochemical cycles in these underground environments, mediating oxidation-reduction reactions, promoting host rock dissolution and secondary mineral precipitation, and enriching the matrix in organic matter. Confocal laser scanning microscopy and field emission scanning electron microscopy brought evidence of a strong interaction between the biotic community and the abiotic matrix, supporting the role of microbial communities in the formation process of vermiculations.

RevDate: 2020-11-06

Torralba MG, Aleti G, Li W, et al (2020)

Oral Microbial Species and Virulence Factors Associated with Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01596-5 [Epub ahead of print].

The human microbiome has been the focus of numerous research efforts to elucidate the pathogenesis of human diseases including cancer. Oral cancer mortality is high when compared with other cancers, as diagnosis often occurs during late stages. Its prevalence has increased in the USA over the past decade and accounts for over 40,000 new cancer patients each year. Additionally, oral cancer pathogenesis is not fully understood and is likely multifactorial. To unravel the relationships that are associated with the oral microbiome and their virulence factors, we used 16S rDNA and metagenomic sequencing to characterize the microbial composition and functional content in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) tumor tissue, non-tumor tissue, and saliva from 18 OSCC patients. Results indicate a higher number of bacteria belonging to the Fusobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Firmicutes phyla associated with tumor tissue when compared with all other sample types. Additionally, saliva metaproteomics revealed a significant increase of Prevotella in five OSCC subjects, while Corynebacterium was mostly associated with ten healthy subjects. Lastly, we determined that there are adhesion and virulence factors associated with Streptococcus gordonii as well as from known oral pathogens belonging to the Fusobacterium genera found mostly in OSCC tissues. From these results, we propose that not only will the methods utilized in this study drastically improve OSCC diagnostics, but the organisms and specific virulence factors from the phyla detected in tumor tissue may be excellent biomarkers for characterizing disease progression.

RevDate: 2020-11-06

Gu Z, Liu K, Pedersen MW, et al (2020)

Community assembly processes underlying the temporal dynamics of glacial stream and lake bacterial communities.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(20)36708-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Community assembly processes are important in structuring aquatic microbial communities; however, the influence of these processes on the dynamics of bacterial communities in glacial streams and lakes remains largely unstudied. To investigate the assembly processes underlying the temporal variation of the bacterial community, we collected 50 water samples over five months in an ephemeral glacial stream and its downstream lake at the terminus of the Qiangyong glacier on the Tibetan Plateau. Using the V4 hypervariable region of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene combined with environmental measurements, such as water temperature, pH, total nitrogen (TN), dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and water conductivity, we found that temporal variation in the environmental factors promoted the shift in the proglacial stream and the lake bacterial communities. The quantification of ecological processes showed that the stream microbial communities were influenced by the ecological drift (40%) in June, then changed to homogeneous selection (40%) in July and variable selection (60%) in September, while the dynamic pattern of proglacial lake bacterioplankton was governed by homogeneous selection (≥ 50%) over the time. Overall, the dynamic of bacterial community in the proglacial stream and lake water is influenced by environmental factors, and the community composition assembly of the Qiangyong glacial stream and lake could be dynamic and primarily governed by deterministic processes.

RevDate: 2020-11-05

Yang Q, Fu S, Zou P, et al (2020)

Coordination of primary metabolism and virulence factors expression mediates the virulence of Vibrio parahaemolyticus towards cultured shrimp (Penaeus vannamei).

Journal of applied microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

AIMS: Acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus has emerged as a severe bacterial disease of cultured shrimp. To identify the key virulence factors, two AHPND-causing V. parahaemolyticus (VpAHPND) strains (123 and 137) and two non-VpAHPND strains (HZ56 and ATCC17082) were selected.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Challenge tests showed that the four strains exhibited different virulence towards shrimp with cumulative mortalities at 48 hours post-infection (hpi) ranging from 10% to 92%. The expression of pirABVP in strain 123 and 137 was not significantly different. Genomic analysis revealed that the two VpAHPND strains contain a plasmid with the PirABVP toxins (pirABVP) flanked by the insertion sequence (ISVal1) that has been identified in various locations of chromosomes in VpAHPND strains. The two VpAHPND strains possessed almost identical virulence factors, while ISVal1 disrupted three genes related to flagellar motility in strain 137. Phenotype assay showed that strain 123 possessed the highest growth rate and swimming motility, followed by strain 137, suggesting the disruption of essential genes mediated by ISVal1 significantly affected the virulence level. Transcriptome analysis of two VpAHPND strains (123 and 137) further suggested that virulence genes related to the capsule, flagella, and primary metabolism were highly expressed in strain 123.

CONCLUSIONS: Here, for the first time, it is demonstrated that the virulence of VpAHPND is not only determined by the expression of pirABVP , but also is mediated by ISVal1 which affects the genes involved in flagellar motility and primary metabolism.

The genomic and transcriptomic analysis of VpAHPND strains provides valuable information on the virulence factors affecting the pathogenicity of VpAHPND.

RevDate: 2020-11-05

Waite DW, Chuvochina M, Pelikan C, et al (2020)

Proposal to reclassify the proteobacterial classes Deltaproteobacteria and Oligoflexia, and the phylum Thermodesulfobacteria into four phyla reflecting major functional capabilities.

International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

The class Deltaproteobacteria comprises an ecologically and metabolically diverse group of bacteria best known for dissimilatory sulphate reduction and predatory behaviour. Although this lineage is the fourth described class of the phylum Proteobacteria, it rarely affiliates with other proteobacterial classes and is frequently not recovered as a monophyletic unit in phylogenetic analyses. Indeed, one branch of the class Deltaproteobacteria encompassing Bdellovibrio-like predators was recently reclassified into a separate proteobacterial class, the Oligoflexia. Here we systematically explore the phylogeny of taxa currently assigned to these classes using 120 conserved single-copy marker genes as well as rRNA genes. The overwhelming majority of markers reject the inclusion of the classes Deltaproteobacteria and Oligoflexia in the phylum Proteobacteria. Instead, the great majority of currently recognized members of the class Deltaproteobacteria are better classified into four novel phylum-level lineages. We propose the names Desulfobacterota phyl. nov. and Myxococcota phyl. nov. for two of these phyla, based on the oldest validly published names in each lineage, and retain the placeholder name SAR324 for the third phylum pending formal description of type material. Members of the class Oligoflexia represent a separate phylum for which we propose the name Bdellovibrionota phyl. nov. based on priority in the literature and general recognition of the genus Bdellovibrio. Desulfobacterota phyl. nov. includes the taxa previously classified in the phylum Thermodesulfobacteria, and these reclassifications imply that the ability of sulphate reduction was vertically inherited in the Thermodesulfobacteria rather than laterally acquired as previously inferred. Our analysis also indicates the independent acquisition of predatory behaviour in the phyla Myxococcota and Bdellovibrionota, which is consistent with their distinct modes of action. This work represents a stable reclassification of one of the most taxonomically challenging areas of the bacterial tree and provides a robust framework for future ecological and systematic studies.

RevDate: 2020-11-05

Hopkins JR, Semenova-Nelsen T, BA Sikes (2020)

Fungal community structure and seasonal trajectories respond similarly to fire across pyrophilic ecosystems.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:5956485 [Epub ahead of print].

Fire alters microbial community composition, and is expected to increase in frequency due to climate change. Testing whether microbes in different ecosystems will respond similarly to increased fire disturbance is difficult though, because fires are often unpredictable and hard to manage. Fire recurrent or pyrophilic ecosystems, however, may be useful models for testing the effects of frequent disturbance on microbes. We hypothesized that across pyrophilic ecosystems, fire would drive similar alterations to fungal communities including altering seasonal community dynamics. We tested fire's effects on fungal communities in two pyrophilic ecosystems, a Longleaf pine savanna and tallgrass prairie. Fire caused similar fungal community shifts including a) driving immediate changes that favored taxa able to survive fire and take advantage of post-fire environments, and b) altering seasonal trajectories due to fire-associated changes to soil nutrient availability. This suggests that fire has predictable effects on fungal community structure and intra-annual community dynamics in pyrophilic ecosystems, and that these changes could significantly alter fungal function. Parallel fire responses in these key microbes may also suggest that recurrent fires drive convergent changes across ecosystems, including less fire frequented systems that may start burning more often.

RevDate: 2020-11-05

Landazuri CFG, Gomez JS, Raaijmakers JM, et al (2020)

Restoring degraded microbiome function with self-assembled communities.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:5956484 [Epub ahead of print].

The natural microbial functions of many soils are severely degraded. Current state-of-the-art technology to restore these functions is through the isolation, screening, formulation and application of microbial inoculants and synthetic consortia. These approaches have inconsistent success, in part due to the incompatibility between the biofertilizer, crop, climate, existing soil microbiome, and physicochemical characteristics of the soils. Here, we review the current state-of-the-art in biofertilization and identify two key deficiencies in current strategies: the difficulty in designing complex multispecies biofertilizers and the bottleneck scaling the production of complex multispecies biofertilizers. To address the challenge of producing scalable, multi-species biofertilizers, we propose to merge ecological theory with bioprocess engineering to produce 'self-assembled communities' enriched for particular functional guilds and adapted to a target soil and host plant. Using the nitrogen problem as an anchor, we review relevant ecology (microbial, plant and environmental), as well as reactor design strategies and operational parameters for the production of functionally enriched self-assembled communities. The use of self-assembled communities for biofertilization addresses two major hurdles in microbiome engineering: the importance of enriching microbes indigenous to (and targeted for) a specific environment, and the recognized potential benefits of microbial consortia over isolates (e.g. functional redundancy). The proposed community enrichment model could also be instrumental for other microbial functions such as P-solubilization, plant growth promotion or disease suppression.

RevDate: 2020-11-05

Rasmussen AN, Damashek J, Eloe-Fadrosh EA, et al (2020)

In-depth Spatiotemporal Characterization of Planktonic Archaeal and Bacterial Communities in North and South San Francisco Bay.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01621-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Despite being the largest estuary on the west coast of North America, no in-depth survey of microbial communities in San Francisco Bay (SFB) waters currently exists. In this study, we analyze bacterioplankton and archaeoplankton communities at several taxonomic levels and spatial extents (i.e., North versus South Bay) to reveal patterns in alpha and beta diversity. We assess communities using high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene in 177 water column samples collected along a 150-km transect over a 2-year monthly time-series. In North Bay, the microbial community is strongly structured by spatial salinity changes while in South Bay seasonal variations dominate community dynamics. Along the steep salinity gradient in North Bay, we find that operational taxonomic units (OTUs; 97% identity) have higher site specificity than at coarser taxonomic levels and turnover ("species" replacement) is high, revealing a distinct brackish community (in oligo-, meso-, and polyhaline samples) from fresh and marine end-members. At coarser taxonomic levels (e.g., phylum, class), taxa are broadly distributed across salinity zones (i.e., present/abundant in a large number of samples) and brackish communities appear to be a mix of fresh and marine communities. We also observe variations in brackish communities between samples with similar salinities, likely related to differences in water residence times between North and South Bay. Throughout SFB, suspended particulate matter is positively correlated with richness and influences changes in beta diversity. Within several abundant groups, including the SAR11 clade (comprising up to 30% of reads in a sample), OTUs appear to be specialized to a specific salinity range. Some other organisms also showed pronounced seasonal abundance, including Synechococcus, Ca. Actinomarina, and Nitrosopumilus-like OTUs. Overall, this study represents the first in-depth spatiotemporal survey of SFB microbial communities and provides insight into how planktonic microorganisms have specialized to different niches along the salinity gradient.

RevDate: 2020-11-05

Pino-Bodas R, S Stenroos (2020)

Global Biodiversity Patterns of the Photobionts Associated with the Genus Cladonia (Lecanorales, Ascomycota).

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01633-3 [Epub ahead of print].

The diversity of lichen photobionts is not fully known. We studied here the diversity of the photobionts associated with Cladonia, a sub-cosmopolitan genus ecologically important, whose photobionts belong to the green algae genus Asterochloris. The genetic diversity of Asterochloris was screened by using the ITS rDNA and actin type I regions in 223 specimens and 135 species of Cladonia collected all over the world. These data, added to those available in GenBank, were compiled in a dataset of altogether 545 Asterochloris sequences occurring in 172 species of Cladonia. A high diversity of Asterochloris associated with Cladonia was found. The commonest photobiont lineages associated with this genus are A. glomerata, A. italiana, and A. mediterranea. Analyses of partitioned variation were carried out in order to elucidate the relative influence on the photobiont genetic variation of the following factors: mycobiont identity, geographic distribution, climate, and mycobiont phylogeny. The mycobiont identity and climate were found to be the main drivers for the genetic variation of Asterochloris. The geographical distribution of the different Asterochloris lineages was described. Some lineages showed a clear dominance in one or several climatic regions. In addition, the specificity and the selectivity were studied for 18 species of Cladonia. Potentially specialist and generalist species of Cladonia were identified. A correlation was found between the sexual reproduction frequency of the host and the frequency of certain Asterochloris OTUs. Some Asterochloris lineages co-occur with higher frequency than randomly expected in the Cladonia species.

RevDate: 2020-11-05

Skelly E, Johnson NW, Kapellas K, et al (2020)

Response of Salivary Microbiota to Caries Preventive Treatment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children.

Journal of oral microbiology, 12(1):1830623 pii:1830623.

A once-annual caries preventive (Intervention) treatment was offered to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander schoolchildren-a population with disproportionately poorer oral health than non-Indigenous Australian children-in the Northern Peninsula Area (NPA) of Far North Queensland (FNQ), which significantly improved their oral health. Here, we examine the salivary microbiota of these children (mean age = 10 ± 2.96 years; n = 103), reconstructing the bacterial community composition with high-throughput sequencing of the V4 region of bacterial 16S rRNA gene. Microbial communities of children who received the Intervention had lower taxonomic diversity than those who did not receive treatment (Shannon, p < 0.05). Moreover, the Intervention resulted in further decreased microbial diversity in children with active carious lesions existing at the time of saliva collection. Microbial species associated with caries were detected; Lactobacillus salivarius, Lactobacillus reuteri, Lactobacillus gasseri, Prevotella multisaccharivorax, Parascardovia denticolens, and Mitsuokella HMT 131 were significantly increased (p < 0.05) in children with severe caries, especially in children who did not receive the Intervention. These insights into microbial associations and community differences prompt future considerations to the mechanisms behind caries-preventive therapy induced change; important for understanding the long-term implications of like treatment to improve oral health disparities within Australia. Trial registration: ANZCTR, ACTRN12615000693527. Registered 3 July 2015, https://www.anzctr.org.au/Trial/Registration/TrialReview.aspx?id=368750&isReview=true.

RevDate: 2020-11-05

Pereira LM, Messias EA, Sorroche BP, et al (2020)

In-depth transcriptome reveals the potential biotechnological application of Bothrops jararaca venom gland.

The journal of venomous animals and toxins including tropical diseases, 26:e20190058.

Background: Lack of complete genomic data of Bothrops jararaca impedes molecular biology research focusing on biotechnological applications of venom gland components. Identification of full-length coding regions of genes is crucial for the correct molecular cloning design.

Methods: RNA was extracted from the venom gland of one adult female specimen of Bothrops jararaca. Deep sequencing of the mRNA library was performed using Illumina NextSeq 500 platform. De novo assembly of B. jararaca transcriptome was done using Trinity. Annotation was performed using Blast2GO. All predicted proteins after clustering step were blasted against non-redundant protein database of NCBI using BLASTP. Metabolic pathways present in the transcriptome were annotated using the KAAS-KEGG Automatic Annotation Server. Toxins were identified in the B. jararaca predicted proteome using BLASTP against all protein sequences obtained from Animal Toxin Annotation Project from Uniprot KB/Swiss-Pro database. Figures and data visualization were performed using ggplot2 package in R language environment.

Results: We described the in-depth transcriptome analysis of B. jararaca venom gland, in which 76,765 de novo assembled isoforms, 96,044 transcribed genes and 41,196 unique proteins were identified. The most abundant transcript was the zinc metalloproteinase-disintegrin-like jararhagin. Moreover, we identified 78 distinct functional classes of proteins, including toxins, inhibitors and tumor suppressors. Other venom proteins identified were the hemolytic lethal factors stonustoxin and verrucotoxin.

Conclusion: It is believed that the application of deep sequencing to the analysis of snake venom transcriptomes may represent invaluable insight on their biotechnological potential focusing on candidate molecules.

RevDate: 2020-11-05

Du Q, Ren B, He J, et al (2020)

Candida albicans promotes tooth decay by inducing oral microbial dysbiosis.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-020-00823-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Candida albicans has been detected in root carious lesions. The current study aimed to explore the action of this fungal species on the microbial ecology and the pathogenesis of root caries. Here, by analyzing C. albicans in supragingival dental plaque collected from root carious lesions and sound root surfaces of root-caries subjects as well as caries-free individuals, we observed significantly increased colonization of C. albicans in root carious lesions. Further in vitro and animal studies showed that C. albicans colonization increased the cariogenicity of oral biofilm by altering its microbial ecology, leading to a polymicrobial biofilm with enhanced acidogenicity, and consequently exacerbated tooth demineralization and carious lesion severity. More importantly, we demonstrated that the cariogenicity-promoting activity of C. albicans was dependent on PHR2. Deletion of PHR2 restored microbial equilibrium and led to a less cariogenic biofilm as demonstrated by in vitro artificial caries model or in vivo root-caries rat model. Our data indicate the critical role of C. albicans infection in the occurrence of root caries. PHR2 is the major factor that determines the ecological impact and caries-promoting activity of C. albicans in a mixed microbial consortium.

RevDate: 2020-11-04

Albornoz FE, Orchard S, Standish RJ, et al (2020)

Evidence for Niche Differentiation in the Environmental Responses of Co-occurring Mucoromycotinian Fine Root Endophytes and Glomeromycotinian Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01628-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Fine root endophytes (FRE) were traditionally considered a morphotype of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), but recent genetic studies demonstrate that FRE belong within the subphylum Mucoromycotina, rather than in the subphylum Glomeromycotina with the AMF. These findings prompt enquiry into the fundamental ecology of FRE and AMF. We sampled FRE and AMF in roots of Trifolium subterraneum from 58 sites across temperate southern Australia. We investigated the environmental drivers of composition, richness, and root colonization of FRE and AMF by using structural equation modelling and canonical correspondence analyses. Root colonization by FRE increased with increasing temperature and rainfall but decreased with increasing phosphorus (P). Root colonization by AMF increased with increasing soil organic carbon but decreased with increasing P. Richness of FRE decreased with increasing temperature and soil pH. Richness of AMF increased with increasing temperature and rainfall but decreased with increasing soil aluminium (Al) and pH. Aluminium, soil pH, and rainfall were, in decreasing order, the strongest drivers of community composition of FRE; they were also important drivers of community composition of AMF, along with temperature, in decreasing order: rainfall, Al, temperature, and soil pH. Thus, FRE and AMF showed the same responses to some (e.g. soil P, soil pH) and different responses to other (e.g. temperature) key environmental factors. Overall, our data are evidence for niche differentiation among these co-occurring mycorrhizal associates.

RevDate: 2020-11-04

Manus MB, Kuthyar S, Perroni-Marañón AG, et al (2020)

Infant Skin Bacterial Communities Vary by Skin Site and Infant Age across Populations in Mexico and the United States.

mSystems, 5(6):.

Daily practices put humans in close contact with the surrounding environment, and differences in these practices have an impact on human physiology, development, and health. There is mounting evidence that the microbiome represents an interface that mediates interactions between the human body and the environment. In particular, the skin microbiome serves as the primary interface with the external environment and aids in host immune function by contributing as the first line of defense against pathogens. Despite these important connections, we have only a basic understanding of how the skin microbiome is first established, or which environmental factors contribute to its development. To this end, this study compared the skin bacterial communities of infants (n = 47) living in four populations in Mexico and the United States that span the socioeconomic gradient, where we predicted that variation in physical and social environments would shape the infant skin microbiome. Results of 16S rRNA bacterial gene sequencing on 119 samples (armpit, hand, and forehead) showed that infant skin bacterial diversity and composition are shaped by population-level factors, including those related to socioeconomic status and household composition, and vary by skin site and infant age. Differences in infant-environment interactions, including with other people, appear to vary across the populations, likely influencing infant microbial exposures and, in turn, the composition of infant skin bacterial communities. These findings suggest that variation in microbial exposures stemming from the local environment in infancy can impact the establishment of the skin microbiome across body sites, with implications for developmental and health outcomes.IMPORTANCE This study contributes to the sparse literature on the infant skin microbiome in general, and the virtually nonexistent literature on the infant skin microbiome in a field setting. While microbiome research often addresses patterns at a national scale, this study addresses the influence of population-level factors, such as maternal socioeconomic status and contact with caregivers, on infant skin bacterial communities. This approach strengthens our understanding of how local variables influence the infant skin microbiome, and paves the way for additional studies to combine biological sample collection with questionnaires to adequately capture how specific behaviors dictate infant microbial exposures. Work in this realm has implications for infant care and health, as well as for investigating how the microbial communities of different body sites develop over time, with applications to specific health outcomes associated with the skin microbiome (e.g., immune system development or atopic dermatitis).

RevDate: 2020-11-04

Sánchez-Clemente R, Guijo MI, Nogales J, et al (2020)

Carbon Source Influence on Extracellular pH Changes along Bacterial Cell-Growth.

Genes, 11(11): pii:genes11111292.

The effect of initial pH on bacterial cell-growth and its change over time was studied under aerobic heterotrophic conditions by using three bacterial strains: Escherichia coli ATCC 25922, Pseudomonas putida KT2440, and Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligenes CECT 5344. In Luria-Bertani (LB) media, pH evolved by converging to a certain value that is specific for each bacterium. By contrast, in the buffered Minimal Medium (MM), pH was generally more stable along the growth curve. In MM with glucose as carbon source, a slight acidification of the medium was observed for all strains. In the case of E. coli, a sudden drop in pH was observed during exponential cell growth that was later recovered at initial pH 7 or 8, but was irreversible below pH 6, thus arresting further cell-growth. When using other carbon sources in MM at a fixed initial pH, pH changes depended mainly on the carbon source itself. While glucose, glycerol, or octanoate slightly decreased extracellular pH, more oxidized carbon sources, such as citrate, 2-furoate, 2-oxoglutarate, and fumarate, ended up with the alkalinization of the medium. These observations are in accordance with pH change predictions using genome-scale metabolic models for the three strains, thus revealing the metabolic reasons behind pH change. Therefore, we conclude that the composition of the medium, specifically the carbon source, determines pH change during bacterial growth to a great extent and unravel the main molecular mechanism behind this phenotype. These findings pave the way for predicting pH changes in a given bacterial culture and may anticipate the interspecies interactions and fitness of bacteria in their environment.

RevDate: 2020-11-04

Van Herreweghen F, Amberg C, Marques R, et al (2020)

Biological and Chemical Processes that Lead to Textile Malodour Development.

Microorganisms, 8(11): pii:microorganisms8111709.

The development of malodour on clothing is a well-known problem with social, economic and ecological consequences. Many people still think malodour is the result of a lack of hygiene, which causes social stigma and embarrassment. Clothing is washed more frequently due to odour formation or even discarded when permastink develops. The malodour formation process is impacted by many variables and processes throughout the textile lifecycle. The contact with the skin with consequent transfer of microorganisms, volatiles and odour precursors leads to the formation of a distinctive textile microbiome and volatilome. The washing and drying processes further shape the textile microbiome and impact malodour formation. These processes are impacted by interindividual differences and fabric type as well. This review describes the current knowledge on the volatilome and microbiome of the skin, textile and washing machine, the multiple factors that determine malodour formation on textiles and points out what information is still missing.

RevDate: 2020-11-03

Zhu M, Ji J, Shi W, et al (2020)

Occurrence of Powdery Mildew Caused by Blumeria graminis f. sp. poae on Poa pratensis in China.

Plant disease [Epub ahead of print].

Poa pratensis, known as bluegrass, is a perennial grass and one of the best varieties with highly valued pasture and turf grass uses. It is widely grown on golf courses and used for lawns in squares and parks (Luo et al. 2020). During April and May 2020, powdery mildew-like signs and symptoms were observed on leaves of P. pratensis in Muye Park, Xinxiang city (35.3°N; 113.9°E), Henan Province, China. White or grayish powdery masses in spots- or coalesced lesions were abundant on the adaxial surfaces of leaves and covered up to 90 % of the leaf area. Some of the mildew-infested leaves appeared chlorotic or began senescence. Mildew-infested leaves were collected to microscopically observe the morphological characteristics of this pathogen. Conidiophores were composed of foot cells, followed by one or two cells, and conidia. The ellipsoid- shaped conidia (n = 50) were 25 - 36 × 10 - 15 μm (length × width), on average 30 × 13 μm, with a length/width ratio of 2.3. Foot-cells (n = 15) were 30 - 44 μm long and 7 - 15 μm wide. On leaf surfaces, germinated conidia produced a short primary germ tube and then a long secondary germ tube that finally differentiated into a hooked appressorium. Chasmothecia were not found. Based on these morphological characteristics, the pathogen was initially identified as B. graminis f. sp. poae, the known forma specialis (f. sp.) of B. graminis on P. pratensis (Braun and Cook 2012; Troch et al. 2014). Mycelia of the pathogen were scraped from infected leaves and total genomic DNA was isolated using the method described previously (Zhu et al. 2019). The rDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region was amplified applying primer pairs ITS1/ITS4 (White et al. 1990). The amplicon was cloned and sequenced by Invitrogen (Shanghai, China). The obtained sequence for the pathogen was deposited into GenBank under Accession No. MT892956 and was 100 % identical (549/549 bp) to B. graminis on P. pratensis (AB273530) (Inuma et al. 2007). In addition, the phylogenetic analysis clearly showed that the identified fungus and B. graminis f. sp. poae were clustered in the same branch. To perform pathogenicity analysis, leaf surfaces of eight healthy plants were inoculated by dusting fungal conidia from diseased leaves. Eight non-inoculated plants served as a control. The non-inoculated and inoculated plants were separately maintained in two growth chambers (humidity, 60 %; light/dark, 16 h/8 h; temperature, 18 ℃). Twelve to fourteen days after inoculation, B. graminis signs were visible on inoculated leaves, while control plants remained healthy. The pathogenicity assays were repeated twice and showed same results. Therefore, based on the morphological characteristics and molecular analysis, the pathogen was identified and confirmed as B. graminis f. sp. poae. This pathogen has been reported on P. pratensis in Switzerland and Japan (Inuma et al. 2007). This is, to our best knowledge, the first disease note reporting B. graminis on P. pratensis in China. Because the hybridization of B. graminis formae speciales (ff. spp.). allow the pathogens to adapt to new hosts, P. pratensis may serve as a primary inoculum reservoir of B. graminis to threaten other species, including cereal crops (Klingeman et al. 2018; Menardo et al. 2016). In addition, powdery mildew may negatively affect the yield and quality of grasses. Our report expands the knowledge of B. graminis f. sp. poae and provides the fundamental information for future powdery mildew control.

RevDate: 2020-11-03

Sharma K, Palatinszky M, Nikolov G, et al (2020)

Transparent soil microcosms for live-cell imaging and non-destructive stable isotope probing of soil microorganisms.

eLife, 9: pii:56275.

Microscale processes are critically important to soil ecology and biogeochemistry yet are difficult to study due to soil's opacity and complexity. To advance the study of soil processes, we constructed transparent soil microcosms that enable the visualization of microbes via fluorescence microscopy and the non-destructive measurement of microbial activity and carbon uptake in situ via Raman microspectroscopy. We assessed the polymer Nafion and the crystal cryolite as optically transparent soil substrates. We demonstrated that both substrates enable the growth, maintenance, and visualization of microbial cells in three dimensions over time, and are compatible with stable isotope probing using Raman. We applied this system to ascertain that after a dry-down/rewetting cycle, bacteria on and near dead fungal hyphae were more metabolically active than those far from hyphae. These data underscore the impact fungi have facilitating bacterial survival in fluctuating conditions and how these microcosms can yield insights into microscale microbial activities.

RevDate: 2020-11-03

Zhao Y, Chen J, Bai B, et al (2020)

Pathogen determination from clinical abscess fluids using metagenomic next-generation sequencing.

Folia microbiologica pii:10.1007/s12223-020-00829-x [Epub ahead of print].

Abscesses are often clinically manifested as local necrotic tissues in various organs or systems of the human body, which is commonly caused by microbial infection. Rapid and accurate identification of pathogens from clinical abscetic samples would greatly guide a clinician to make the precise choices of the antimicrobial treatment. Here, this study aimed to investigate the application of metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) in the microbial detection of clinical samples of abscess fluids from various organs or systems. Nine patients with abscess from various organs or systems were enrolled in this study. The pathogenic bacteria in abscess fluid were detected and compared by the conventional bacterial culture and mNGS respectively. The dominant pathogens of abscess fluids in 8 cases can be found directly from mNGS, dominating over 80% of the total reads abundance of the microbiome. Although the pathogens from 6 cases detected by mNGS were consistent with that from the conventional bacteria culture method, the fastidious obligate anaerobic bacteria in 2 cases additionally detected by mNGS were not found by the conventional culture method. Moreover, complex polymicrobial infection containing Parvimonas micra in one case negatively with conventional bacterial culture were demonstrated by the mNGS method. And the mNGS method can directly reflect the diversity of microbial ecology in the abscess fluids from the different parts of the human body. Conclusively, mNGS can be used as a supplemental method for the pathogen detection of clinically abscess fluids.

RevDate: 2020-11-03

Lecoeuvre A, Ménez B, Cannat M, et al (2020)

Microbial ecology of the newly discovered serpentinite-hosted Old City hydrothermal field (southwest Indian ridge).

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-020-00816-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Lost City (mid-Atlantic ridge) is a unique oceanic hydrothermal field where carbonate-brucite chimneys are colonized by a single phylotype of archaeal Methanosarcinales, as well as sulfur- and methane-metabolizing bacteria. So far, only one submarine analog of Lost City has been characterized, the Prony Bay hydrothermal field (New Caledonia), which nonetheless shows more microbiological similarities with ecosystems associated with continental ophiolites. This study presents the microbial ecology of the 'Lost City'-type Old City hydrothermal field, recently discovered along the southwest Indian ridge. Five carbonate-brucite chimneys were sampled and subjected to mineralogical and geochemical analyses, microimaging, as well as 16S rRNA-encoding gene and metagenomic sequencing. Dominant taxa and metabolisms vary between chimneys, in conjunction with the predicted redox state, while potential formate- and CO-metabolizing microorganisms as well as sulfur-metabolizing bacteria are always abundant. We hypothesize that the variable environmental conditions resulting from the slow and diffuse hydrothermal fluid discharge that currently characterizes Old City could lead to different microbial populations between chimneys that utilize CO and formate differently as carbon or electron sources. Old City discovery and this first description of its microbial ecology opens up attractive perspectives for understanding environmental factors shaping communities and metabolisms in oceanic serpentinite-hosted ecosystems.

RevDate: 2020-11-03

Lyu Y, Debevere S, Bourgeois H, et al (2020)

Dose-Dependent Effects of Dietary Xylooligosaccharides Supplementation on Microbiota, Fermentation and Metabolism in Healthy Adult Cats.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 25(21): pii:molecules25215030.

In order to investigate the effect and appropriate dose of prebiotics, this study evaluated the effect of two levels of xylooligosaccharides (XOS) in cats. Twenty-four healthy adult cats were divided into three groups: no-XOS control diet with 1% cellulose; low XOS supplementation (LXOS) with 0.04% XOS and 0.96% cellulose; and high XOS supplementation (HXOS) with 0.40% XOS and 0.60% cellulose. Both XOS groups increased blood 3-hydroxybutyryl carnitine levels and decreased hexadecanedioyl carnitine levels. Both XOS treatments displayed an increased bacterial abundance of Blautia, Clostridium XI, and Collinsella and a decreased abundance of Megasphaera and Bifidobacterium. LXOS groups increased fecal pH and bacterial abundance of Streptococcus and Lactobacillus, decreased blood glutaryl carnitine concentration, and Catenibacterium abundance. HXOS group showed a more distinct microbiome profile and higher species richness, and an increased bacterial abundance of Subdoligranulum, Ruminococcaceae genus (unassigned genus), Erysipelotrichaceae genus, and Lachnospiraceae. Correlations between bacterial abundances and blood and fecal parameters were also observed. In conclusion, XOS could benefit feline gut health by altering microbiota; its effects dependant on the dose. The higher-dose XOS increased bacterial populations that possibly promoted intestinal fermentation, while the lower dose altered populations of carbohydrate-metabolic microbiota and possibly modulated host metabolism. Low-dose prebiotics may become a trend in future studies.

RevDate: 2020-11-03

Boulard L, Parrhysius P, Jacobs B, et al (2020)

Development of an analytical method to quantify pharmaceuticals in fish tissues by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry detection and application to environmental samples.

Journal of chromatography. A, 1633:461612 pii:S0021-9673(20)30886-4 [Epub ahead of print].

A sensitive multiresidue method was developed to quantify 35 pharmaceuticals and 28 metabolites/transformation products (TPs) in fish liver, fish fillet and fish plasma via LC-MS/MS. The method was designed to cover a broad range of substance polarities. This objective was realized by using non-discriminating sample clean-ups including separation technique based on size exclusion, namely restricted access media (RAM) chromatography. This universal clean-up allows for an easy integration of further organic micropollutants into the analytical method. Limits of quantification (LOQ) ranged from 0.05 to 5.5 ng/mL in fish plasma, from 0.1 to 19 ng/g d.w. (dry weight) in fish fillet and from 0.46 to 48 ng/g d.w. in fish liver. The method was applied for the analysis of fillets and livers of breams from the rivers Rhine and Saar, the Teltow Canal as well as carps kept in fish monitoring ponds fed by effluent from municipal wastewater treatment plants. This allowed for the first detection of 17 analytes including 10 metabolites/TPs such as gabapentin lactam and norlidocaine in fish tissues. These results highlight the importance of including metabolites and transformation products of pharmaceuticals in fish monitoring campaigns and further investigating their potential effects.

RevDate: 2020-11-02

Latorre-Pérez A, Pascual J, Porcar M, et al (2020)

A lab in the field: applications of real-time, in situ metagenomic sequencing.

Biology methods & protocols, 5(1):bpaa016 pii:bpaa016.

High-throughput metagenomic sequencing is considered one of the main technologies fostering the development of microbial ecology. Widely used second-generation sequencers have enabled the analysis of extremely diverse microbial communities, the discovery of novel gene functions, and the comprehension of the metabolic interconnections established among microbial consortia. However, the high cost of the sequencers and the complexity of library preparation and sequencing protocols still hamper the application of metagenomic sequencing in a vast range of real-life applications. In this context, the emergence of portable, third-generation sequencers is becoming a popular alternative for the rapid analysis of microbial communities in particular scenarios, due to their low cost, simplicity of operation, and rapid yield of results. This review discusses the main applications of real-time, in situ metagenomic sequencing developed to date, highlighting the relevance of this technology in current challenges (such as the management of global pathogen outbreaks) and in the next future of industry and clinical diagnosis.


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

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