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30 Mar 2020 at 01:40
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Bibliography on: Microbial Ecology


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 30 Mar 2020 at 01:40 Created: 

Microbial Ecology

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

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)

RevDate: 2020-03-29

Núñez A, DA Moreno (2020)

The Differential Vertical Distribution of the Airborne Biological Particles Reveals an Atmospheric Reservoir of Microbial Pathogens and Aeroallergens.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01505-w [Epub ahead of print].

The most abundant biological particles present in the air are bacteria, fungal propagules and pollen grains. Many of them are proved allergens or even responsible for airborne infectious diseases, which supports the increase of studies in recent years on their composition, diversity, and factors involved in their variability. However, most studies in urban areas are conducted close to ground level and a factor such as height is rarely taken into account. Thus, the information about how the composition of biological particles changes with this variable is scarce. Here, we examined the differential distribution of bacteria, fungi, and plants at four altitudes (up to ∼ 250 m) in a metropolitan area using high-throughput DNA sequencing. Most taxa were present at all levels (common taxa). However, a transitional layer between 80 and 150 m seemed to affect the scattering of these bioaerosols. Taxa not present at all altitudes (non-common) showed an upward tendency of diversity for bacteria and plants with height, while the opposite trend was observed for fungi. Certain patterns were observed for fungi and specific plant genera, while bacterial taxa showed a more arbitrary distribution and no patterns were found. We detected a wide variety of aeroallergens and potential pathogens at all heights, which summed a substantial portion of the total abundance for fungi and plants. We also identified potential connections between the biological particles based on their abundances across the vertical section.

RevDate: 2020-03-29

Wu R, Chai B, Cole JR, et al (2020)

Targeted assemblies of cas1 suggest CRISPR-Cas's response to soil warming.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-020-0635-1 [Epub ahead of print].

There is an increasing interest in the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats CRISPR-associated protein (CRISPR-Cas) system to reveal potential virus-host dynamics. The universal and most conserved Cas protein, cas1 is an ideal marker to elucidate CRISPR-Cas ecology. We constructed eight Hidden Markov Models (HMMs) and assembled cas1 directly from metagenomes by a targeted-gene assembler, Xander, to improve detection capacity and resolve the diverse CRISPR-Cas systems. The eight HMMs were first validated by recovering all 17 cas1 subtypes from the simulated metagenome generated from 91 prokaryotic genomes across 11 phyla. We challenged the targeted method with 48 metagenomes from a tallgrass prairie in Central Oklahoma recovering 3394 cas1. Among those, 88 were near full length, 5 times more than in de-novo assemblies from the Oklahoma metagenomes. To validate the host assignment by cas1, the targeted-assembled cas1 was mapped to the de-novo assembled contigs. All the phylum assignments of those mapped contigs were assigned independent of CRISPR-Cas genes on the same contigs and consistent with the host taxonomies predicted by the mapped cas1. We then investigated whether 8 years of soil warming altered cas1 prevalence within the communities. A shift in microbial abundances was observed during the year with the biggest temperature differential (mean 4.16 °C above ambient). cas1 prevalence increased and even in the phyla with decreased microbial abundances over the next 3 years, suggesting increasing virus-host interactions in response to soil warming. This targeted method provides an alternative means to effectively mine cas1 from metagenomes and uncover the host communities.

RevDate: 2020-03-29

Sims IM, GW Tannock (2020)

Utilization of galacto- and fructo-oligosaccharides for growth by co-cultures of bifidobacterial species characteristic of the infant gut.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.00214-20 [Epub ahead of print].

Bifidobacterial species are common inhabitants of the gut of human infants during the period when milk is a major component of the diet. Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium longum subspecies longum, and B. longum subspecies infantis have been detected frequently in infant feces, but subsp. infantis may be disadvantaged numerically in the gut of infants in westernized countries. This may be due to the different durations of breast milk feeding in different countries. Supplementation of the infant diet or replacement of breast milk using formula feeds is common in western countries. Formula milks often contain galacto- and/or fructo-oligosaccharides ('GOS', 'FOS', respectively) as additives to augment the concentration of oligosaccharides in ruminant milks, but the ability of subsp. infantis to utilize these potential growth substrates when in competition with other bifidobacterial species is unknown. We compared the growth and oligosaccharide utilization of GOS and FOS by bifidobacterial species in pure and co-culture. Short chain GOS and FOS (degree of polymerization [DP] 2 and 3) were favored growth substrates for strains of B. bifidum and B. longum subsp. longum, whereas both B. breve and B. longum subsp. infantis had ability to utilize both short and longer chain GOS and FOS (DP 2-6). B. breve was nevertheless numerically dominant over subsp. infantis in co-cultures. This was probably related to the slower use of GOS of DP3 by subsp. infantis, indicating that the kinetics of substrate utilization is an important ecological factor in the assemblage of gut communities.Importance The kinds of bacteria that form the collection of microbes (the microbiota) in the gut of human infants may influence health and well-being. Knowledge of how the composition of the infant diet influences the assemblage of the bacterial collection is therefore important because dietary interventions may offer opportunities to alter the microbiota with the aim of improving health. Bifidobacterium longum subspecies infantis is a well-known bacterial species, but under modern child-rearing conditions it may be disadvantaged in the gut. Modern formula milks often contain particular oligosaccharide additives that are generally considered to support bifidobacterial growth. However, studies of the ability of various bifidobacterial species to grow together while using these oligosaccharides have not been conducted. These kinds of studies are essential for developing concepts of microbial ecology related to the influence of human nutrition on the development of the gut microbiota.

RevDate: 2020-03-29

Belleggia L, Milanović V, Ferrocino I, et al (2020)

Is there any still undisclosed biodiversity in Ciauscolo salami? A new glance into the microbiota of an artisan production as revealed by high-throughput sequencing.

Meat science, 165:108128 pii:S0309-1740(19)31181-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Ciauscolo is a fermented sausage with the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status. To disclose the microbial ecology of a model Ciauscolo salami manufacture during its natural fermentation, viable counting, amplicon-based sequencing and real-time PCR were applied. The volatilome during fermentation was also characterized. The results allowed previously undetected species to be discovered. The core microbiota was composed by Lactobacillus algidus, Leuconostoc carnosum, Lactobacillus sakei, Debaryomyces hansenii, Glomus hyderabadensis, Tilletiopsis washingtonensis, and Kurtzmaniella zeylanoides. Salmonella spp. and Listeria monocytogenes were absent in all the samples; moreover, multiplex real-time PCR revealed the absence of the target genes bont/A, bont/B, bont/E, bont/F, and 4gyrB (CP), encoding botulinic toxins. Volatilome, deeply depending on microbiological metabolism, was characterized by spices-derived components. Limonene, sabinene, α- and β-pinene, 3-carene, and α-thujene were the most represented monoterpene hydrocarbons, whereas β- and α-copaene were the most represented sesquiterpene hydrocarbons. Allyl methyl sulphide and diallyl disulphide were the major aliphatic sulphur compounds, together with diallyl sulphide and allyl methyl disulphide.

RevDate: 2020-03-28

Zhengchao H, Yue S, Xianqing H, et al (2020)

Microbial diversity of representative traditional fermented sausages in different regions of China.

Journal of applied microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

AIMS: The purpose of this experiment was to study the bacterial diversity of traditional fermented sausages from four typical regions of China (Chengdu, Shenzhen, Changsha and Harbin) and to further evaluate their microbiological safety.

METHODS AND RESULTS: The diversity of the microbiota of the sausages were studied using the Illumina HiSeq platform. The results showed that compared with the highest diversity of fermented bacteria in Guangdong, the bacterial diversity of fermented sausage was the lowest in Sichuan. The percentage of dominant phylum (Firmicutes, Cyanophyta, Proteobacter) were 78.39%, 13.13% and 7.14% in SC, 35.47%, 30.36% and 28.04% in GD, 54.81%, 28.91% and 14.00% in HN, 20.20%, 58.16% and 17.31% in HB, respectively. The dominant genus distribution of fermented sausages in different regions is regions varied, however lactic acid bacteria and cyanobacteria were dominant overall. Traditional fermented sausages using natural fermentation methods have poor microbiological safety, and pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms such as Acinetobacter, Brochothrix and Pseudomonas have been detected in all four regions.

CONCLUSIONS: The results in this paper provide a microbiota profile of four typical fermented sausages in China. There is a big difference in the microbiota of sausages in different regions, and the good flavor of traditional Chinese fermented sausage is related closely with the abundant microbial resources, however, the natural fermentation method also expose to the product security threats, including spoilage, pathogenic microorganisms and biogenic amines, etc. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: The results would offer guidance for industrial fermented sausage production with certain flavor and also improve the microbial resource utilization, and contribute to the control of harmful microorganisms in traditional fermented sausage.

RevDate: 2020-03-28

Sodhi KK, Kumar M, DK Singh (2020)

Potential application in amoxicillin removal of Alcaligenes sp. MMA and enzymatic studies through molecular docking.

Archives of microbiology pii:10.1007/s00203-020-01868-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Antibiotic contamination in environmental matrices is a serious global problem which leads to an increase in the proliferation of antibiotic resistance genes. Amoxicillin is ubiquitous in the environment, but there is hardly any information on the dissipation of amoxicillin by the microbial community. In view of this, the present study focusses on the removal of amoxicillin using amoxicillin-resistant bacteria, Alcaligenes sp. MMA. Bacteria were characterized using antibiotic tests, biochemical and molecular analysis. Alcaligenes sp. MMA was able to remove up to 84% of amoxicillin in 14 days in M9 minimal media, and the degradation products were confirmed using LC-MS/MS, including the benzothiazole, 2-Amino-3-methoxyl benzoic acid, 4-Hydroxy-2-methyl benzoic acid, 5-Amino-2-methylphenol and 3,5-Bis(tert-butyl)-2-hydroxybenzaldehyde, at the end of 14th day which further shows the removal of amoxicillin by the bacterial strain. Differential expression of porins was found in the presence of amoxicillin as a sole source of carbon and energy for the bacterial strain. Molecular interaction using in silico studies were performed which showed the formation of a hydrogen bond between amoxicillin and porins.

RevDate: 2020-03-28

Urra J, Alkorta I, Mijangos I, et al (2020)

Commercial and farm fermented liquid organic amendments to improve soil quality and lettuce yield.

Journal of environmental management, 264:110422 pii:S0301-4797(20)30356-X [Epub ahead of print].

The anaerobic decomposition of organic wastes might lead to the formation of organic-byproducts which can then be successfully used as organic fertilizers. This study evaluated the impact of the application of two fermented liquid organic amendments (commercial vs. farm-made) at two doses of application (optimal vs. suboptimal), compared to mineral fertilization, on lettuce growth and soil quality. To this purpose, two experiments were conducted at microcosm- and field-scale, respectively. In the microcosm experiment, organically amended soils resulted in lower lettuce yield than minerally fertilized soil but, in contrast, they enhanced microbial activity and biomass, thus leading to an improvement in soil quality. The fertilization regime (organic vs. inorganic) significantly affected soil microbial composition but did not have any significant effect on structural or functional prokaryotic diversity. In the field experiment, at the optimal dose of application, organically-amended soils resulted in comparable lettuce yield to that displayed by minerally fertilized soils. The application of organic amendments did not result in an enhanced microbial activity and biomass, compared to mineral fertilization, but led to a higher soil prokaryotic diversity. Among the organically-amended plots, the optimal application dose resulted in a higher lettuce yield and soil microbial activity and biomass, but led to a decline in soil prokaryotic diversity, compared to the suboptimal application dose. Our results indicate that commercial and farm-made fermented liquid organic amendments possess the potential to ameliorate soil quality while sustaining crop yield. Given the strong influence of other factors (e.g., type of soil, dose of application) on the effects exerted by such amendments on soil quality and fertility, we recommend that an exhaustive characterization of both the amendments and the recipient soils should be carried out prior to their application, in order to better ensure their potential beneficial effects.

RevDate: 2020-03-27

Ji M, Kong W, Stegen J, et al (2020)

Distinct assembly mechanisms underlie similar biogeographical patterns of rare and abundant bacteria in Tibetan Plateau grassland soils.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Rare biosphere represents the majority of Earth's biodiversity and perform vital ecological functions, yet little is known about their biogeographical patterns and community assembly processes in terrestrial ecosystems. Herein we investigated the community composition and phylogeny of rare (relative abundance <0.1%) and abundant (>1%) bacteria in dryland grassland soils on the Tibetan Plateau. Results revealed similar biogeographical patterns of rare and abundant bacteria at both compositional and phylogenetic levels, but rare subcommunity was more heavily influenced by stochasticity (72%) than the abundant (57%). The compositional variation of rare bacteria was less explained by environmental factors (41%) than that of the abundant (80%), while the phylogeny of rare bacteria (36%) was more explained than that of the abundant (29%). The phylogeny of rare bacteria was equally explained by local factors (soil and vegetation) and geospatial distance (11.5% and 11.9%, respectively), while that of the abundant was more explained by geospatial distance (22.1%) than local factors (11.3%). Furthermore, a substantially tighter connection between the community phylogeny and composition was observed in rare (R2 = 0.65) than in abundant bacteria (R2 = 0.08). Our study provides novel insights into the assembly processes and biographical patterns of rare and abundant bacteria in dryland soils. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2020-03-27

Paduano S, Marchesi I, Casali ME, et al (2020)

Characterisation of Microbial Community Associated with Different Disinfection Treatments in Hospital hot Water Networks.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(6): pii:ijerph17062158.

Many disinfection treatments can be adopted for controlling opportunistic pathogens in hospital water networks in order to reduce infection risk for immunocompromised patients. Each method has limits and strengths and it could determine modifications on bacterial community. The aim of our investigation was to study under real-life conditions the microbial community associated with different chemical (monochloramine, hydrogen peroxide, chlorine dioxide) and non-chemical (hyperthermia) treatments, continuously applied since many years in four hot water networks of the same hospital. Municipal cold water, untreated secondary, and treated hot water were analysed for microbiome characterization by 16S amplicon sequencing. Cold waters had a common microbial profile at genera level. The hot water bacterial profiles differed according to treatment. Our results confirm the effectiveness of disinfection strategies in our hospital for controlling potential pathogens such as Legionella, as the investigated genera containing opportunistic pathogens were absent or had relative abundances ≤1%, except for non-tuberculous mycobacteria, Sphingomonas, Ochrobactrum and Brevundimonas. Monitoring the microbial complexity of healthcare water networks through 16S amplicon sequencing is an innovative and effective approach useful for Public Health purpose in order to verify possible modifications of microbiota associated with disinfection treatments.

RevDate: 2020-03-27

Vandekerckhove TGL, Boon N, SE Vlaeminck (2020)

Pioneering on single-sludge nitrification/denitrification at 50 °C.

Chemosphere, 252:126527 pii:S0045-6535(20)30720-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Thermophilic nitrification has been proven in lab-scale bioreactors at 50 °C. The challenge is now to develop a solution for thermophilic nitrogen removal, integrating nitrification with denitrification and aerobic carbon removal. This pioneering study aimed at a single-sludge nitrification/denitrification process at 50 °C, through exposing nitrification in a step by step approach to anoxia and/or organics. Firstly, recurrent anoxia was tolerated by a nitrifying community during long-term membrane bioreactor (MBR) operation (85 days), with high ammonium oxidation efficiencies (>98%). Secondly, five organic carbon sources did not affect thermophilic ammonium and nitrite oxidation rates in three-day aerobic batch flask incubations. Moving to long-term tests with sequencing batch reactors (SBR) and MBR (>250 days), good nitrification performance was obtained at increasing COD/Ninfluent ratios (0, 0.5, 1, 2 and 3). Thirdly, combining nitrification, recurrent anoxia and presence of organic carbon resulted in a nitrogen removal efficiency of 92-100%, with a COD/Nremoved of 4.8 ± 0.6 and a nitrogen removal rate of 50 ± 14 mg N g-1 VSS d-1. Overall, this is the first proof of principle thermophilic nitrifiers can cope with redox fluctuations (aerobic/anoxic) and the aerobic or anoxic presence of organic carbon, can functionally co-exist with heterotrophs and that single-sludge nitrification/denitrification can be achieved.

RevDate: 2020-03-26

Benítez-Páez A, Gómez Del Pugar EM, López-Almela I, et al (2020)

Depletion of Blautia Species in the Microbiota of Obese Children Relates to Intestinal Inflammation and Metabolic Phenotype Worsening.

mSystems, 5(2): pii:5/2/e00857-19.

Cross-sectional studies conducted with obese and control subjects have suggested associations between gut microbiota alterations and obesity, but the links with specific disease phenotypes and proofs of causality are still scarce. The present study aimed to profile the gut microbiota of lean and obese children with and without insulin resistance to characterize associations with specific obesity-related complications and understand the role played in metabolic inflammation. Through massive sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons and data analysis using a novel permutation approach, we have detected decreased incidence of Blautia species, especially Blautia luti and B. wexlerae, in the gut microbiota of obese children, which was even more pronounced in cases with both obesity and insulin resistance. There was also a parallel increase in proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines (gamma interferon [IFN-γ], tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-α], and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 [MCP-1]) in feces of obese children compared to those of lean ones. B. luti and B. wexlerae were also shown to exert an anti-inflammatory effect in peripheral blood mononuclear cell cultures in vitro, compared to non-obesity-associated species. We suggest that the depletion of B. luti and B. wexlerae species in the gut ecosystem may occur in cases of obesity and contribute to metabolic inflammation leading to insulin resistance.IMPORTANCE Child obesity constitutes a risk factor for developing insulin resistance which, if sustained, could lead to more severe conditions like type 2 diabetes (T2D) in adulthood. Our study identified previously unknown species whose depletion (Blautia luti and Blautia wexlerae) is associated with insulin resistance in obese individuals. Our results also indicate that these bacterial species might help to reduce inflammation causally linked to obesity-related complications. Childhood is considered a window of opportunity to tackle obesity. These new findings provide, therefore, valuable information for the future design of microbiota-based strategies for the early prevention of obesity-related complications.

RevDate: 2020-03-26

Rampelli S, Soverini M, D'Amico F, et al (2020)

Shotgun Metagenomics of Gut Microbiota in Humans with up to Extreme Longevity and the Increasing Role of Xenobiotic Degradation.

mSystems, 5(2): pii:5/2/e00124-20.

The gut microbiome of long-lived people display an increasing abundance of subdominant species, as well as a rearrangement in health-associated bacteria, but less is known about microbiome functions. In order to disentangle the contribution of the gut microbiome to the complex trait of human longevity, we here describe the metagenomic change of the human gut microbiome along with aging in subjects with up to extreme longevity, including centenarians (aged 99 to 104 years) and semisupercentenarians (aged 105 to 109 years), i.e., demographically very uncommon subjects who reach the extreme limit of the human life span. According to our findings, the gut microbiome of centenarians and semisupercentenarians is more suited for xenobiotic degradation and shows a rearrangement in metabolic pathways related to carbohydrate, amino acid, and lipid metabolism. Collectively, our data go beyond the relationship between intestinal bacteria and physiological changes that occur with aging by detailing the shifts in the potential metagenomic functions of the gut microbiome of centenarians and semisupercentenarians as a response to progressive dietary and lifestyle modifications.IMPORTANCE The study of longevity may help us understand how human beings can delay or survive the most frequent age-related diseases and morbidities. In this scenario, the gut microbiome has been proposed as one of the variables to monitor and possibly support healthy aging. Indeed, the disruption of host-gut microbiome homeostasis has been associated with inflammation and intestinal permeability as well as a general decline in bone and cognitive health. Here, we performed a metagenomic assessment of fecal samples from semisupercentenarians, i.e., 105 to 109 years old, in comparison to young adults, the elderly, and centenarians, shedding light on the longest compositional and functional trajectory of the human gut microbiome with aging. In addition to providing a fine taxonomic resolution down to the species level, our study emphasizes the progressive age-related increase in degradation pathways of pervasive xenobiotics in Western societies, possibly as a result of a supportive process within the molecular continuum characterizing aging.

RevDate: 2020-03-26

Wilbert SA, Mark Welch JL, GG Borisy (2020)

Spatial Ecology of the Human Tongue Dorsum Microbiome.

Cell reports, 30(12):4003-4015.e3.

A fundamental question in microbial ecology is how microbes are spatially organized with respect to each other and their host. A test bed for examining this question is the tongue dorsum, which harbors a complex and important microbial community. Here, we use multiplexed fluorescence spectral imaging to investigate the organization of the tongue microbiome at micron to hundred-micron scales. We design oligonucleotide probes for taxa both abundant and prevalent, as determined by sequence analysis. Imaging reveals a highly structured spatial organization of microbial consortia, ranging in linear dimension from tens to hundreds of microns. The consortia appear to develop from a core of epithelial cells, with taxa clustering in domains suggestive of clonal expansion. Quantitative proximity analysis provides the basis for a model of tongue dorsum microbiome organization and dynamics. Our work illustrates how high-resolution analysis of micron-scale organization provides insights into physiological functions and microbiome-host interactions.

RevDate: 2020-03-25

Marsland R, Cui W, Goldford J, et al (2020)

The Community Simulator: A Python package for microbial ecology.

PloS one, 15(3):e0230430 pii:PONE-D-19-32186.

Natural microbial communities contain hundreds to thousands of interacting species. For this reason, computational simulations are playing an increasingly important role in microbial ecology. In this manuscript, we present a new open-source, freely available Python package called Community Simulator for simulating microbial population dynamics in a reproducible, transparent and scalable way. The Community Simulator includes five major elements: tools for preparing the initial states and environmental conditions for a set of samples, automatic generation of dynamical equations based on a dictionary of modeling assumptions, random parameter sampling with tunable levels of metabolic and taxonomic structure, parallel integration of the dynamical equations, and support for metacommunity dynamics with migration between samples. To significantly speed up simulations using Community Simulator, our Python package implements a new Expectation-Maximization (EM) algorithm for finding equilibrium states of community dynamics that exploits a recently discovered duality between ecological dynamics and convex optimization. We present data showing that this EM algorithm improves performance by between one and two orders compared to direct numerical integration of the corresponding ordinary differential equations. We conclude by listing several recent applications of the Community Simulator to problems in microbial ecology, and discussing possible extensions of the package for directly analyzing microbiome compositional data.

RevDate: 2020-03-24

Mehta O, Ghosh TS, Kothidar A, et al (2020)

Vaginal Microbiome of Pregnant Indian Women: Insights into the Genome of Dominant Lactobacillus Species.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01501-0 [Epub ahead of print].

The trillions of microorganisms residing in the human body display varying degrees of compositional and functional diversities within and between individuals and contribute significantly to host physiology and susceptibility to disease. Microbial species present in the vaginal milieu of reproductive age women showed a large personal component and varies widely in different ethnic groups at the taxonomic, genomic, and functional levels. Lactobacillus iners, L. crispatus, L. gasseri, L. jensenii, and L. johnsonii are most frequently detected bacterial species in the vaginal milieu of reproductive age women. However, we currently lack (i) an understanding of the baseline vaginal microbiota of reproductive age Indian women, (ii) the extent of taxonomic and functional variations of vaginal microbiota between individuals and (iii) the genomic repertoires of the dominant vaginal microbiota associated with the Indian subjects. In our study, we analyzed the metagenome of high vaginal swab (HVS) samples collected from 40 pregnant Indian women enrolled in the GARBH-Ini cohort. Composition and abundance of bacterial species was characterized by pyrosequencing 16S rRNA gene. We identified 3067 OTUs with ≥ 10 reads from four different bacterial phyla. Several species of lactobacilli were clustered into three community state types (CSTs). L. iners, L. crispatus, L. gasseri, and L. jensenii are the most frequently detected Lactobacillus species in the vaginal environment of Indian women. Other than Lactobacillus, several species of Halomonas were also identified in the vaginal environment of most of the women sampled. To gain genomic and functional insights, we isolated several Lactobacillus species from the HVS samples and explored their whole genome sequences by shotgun sequencing. We analyzed the genome of dominant Lactobacillus species, L. iners, L. crispatus, L. gasseri, and L. paragesseri to represent the CSTs and identify functions that may influence the composition of complex vaginal microbial ecology. This study reports for the first time the vaginal microbial ecology of Indian women and genomic insights into L. iners, L. crispatus, L. gasseri, and L. paragesseri commonly found in the genital tract of reproductive age women.

RevDate: 2020-03-23

Botterweg-Paredes E, Blaakmeer A, Hong SY, et al (2020)

Light affects tissue patterning of the hypocotyl in the shade-avoidance response.

PLoS genetics, 16(3):e1008678 pii:PGENETICS-D-19-01478 [Epub ahead of print].

Plants have evolved strategies to avoid shade and optimize the capture of sunlight. While some species are tolerant to shade, plants such as Arabidopsis thaliana are shade-intolerant and induce elongation of their hypocotyl to outcompete neighboring plants. We report the identification of a developmental module acting downstream of shade perception controlling vascular patterning. We show that Arabidopsis plants react to shade by increasing the number and types of water-conducting tracheary elements in the vascular cylinder to maintain vascular density constant. Mutations in genes affecting vascular patterning impair the production of additional xylem and also show defects in the shade-induced hypocotyl elongation response. Comparative analysis of the shade-induced transcriptomes revealed differences between wild type and vascular patterning mutants and it appears that the latter mutants fail to induce sets of genes encoding biosynthetic and cell wall modifying enzymes. Our results thus set the stage for a deeper understanding of how growth and patterning are coordinated in a dynamic environment.

RevDate: 2020-03-23

Kamagata Y (2020)

Recent Biofilm Studies Open a New Door in Microbial Ecology.

Microbes and environments, 35(1):.

RevDate: 2020-03-23

Castledine M, Sierocinski P, Padfield D, et al (2020)

Community coalescence: an eco-evolutionary perspective.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 375(1798):20190252.

Community coalescence, the mixing of different communities, is widespread throughout microbial ecology. Coalescence can result in approximately equal contributions from the founding communities or dominance of one community over another. These different outcomes have ramifications for community structure and function in natural communities, and the use of microbial communities in biotechnology and medicine. However, we have little understanding of when a particular outcome might be expected. Here, we integrate existing theory and data to speculate on how a crucial characteristic of microbial communities-the type of species interaction that dominates the community-might affect the outcome of microbial community coalescence. Given the often comparable timescales of microbial ecology and microevolution, we explicitly consider ecological and evolutionary dynamics, and their interplay, in determining coalescence outcomes. This article is part of the theme issue 'Conceptual challenges in microbial community ecology'.

RevDate: 2020-03-23

VanInsberghe D, Arevalo P, Chien D, et al (2020)

How can microbial population genomics inform community ecology?.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 375(1798):20190253.

Populations are fundamental units of ecology and evolution, but can we define them for bacteria and archaea in a biologically meaningful way? Here, we review why population structure is difficult to recognize in microbes and how recent advances in measuring contemporary gene flow allow us to identify clearly delineated populations among collections of closely related genomes. Such structure can arise from preferential gene flow caused by coexistence and genetic similarity, defining populations based on biological mechanisms. We show that such gene flow units are sufficiently genetically isolated for specific adaptations to spread, making them also ecological units that are differentially adapted compared to their closest relatives. We discuss the implications of these observations for measuring bacterial and archaeal diversity in the environment. We show that operational taxonomic units defined by 16S rRNA gene sequencing have woefully poor resolution for ecologically defined populations and propose monophyletic clusters of nearly identical ribosomal protein genes as an alternative measure for population mapping in community ecological studies employing metagenomics. These population-based approaches have the potential to provide much-needed clarity in interpreting the vast microbial diversity in human and environmental microbiomes. This article is part of the theme issue 'Conceptual challenges in microbial community ecology'.

RevDate: 2020-03-23

Prosser JI (2020)

Putting science back into microbial ecology: a question of approach.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 375(1798):20190240.

Microbial ecology, the scientific study of interactions between natural microbial communities and their environments, has been facilitated by the application of molecular and 'omics'-based techniques that overcome some of the limitations of cultivation-based studies. This has increased emphasis on community ecology and 'microbiome' studies, but the majority address technical, rather than scientific challenges. Most are descriptive, do not address scientific aims or questions and are not designed to increase understanding or test hypotheses. The term 'hypothesis' is increasingly misused and critical testing of ideas or theory is restricted to a small minority of studies. This article discusses current microbial ecology research within the context of four approaches: description, induction, inference to the best explanation and deduction. The first three of these do not follow the established scientific method and are not based on scientific ecological questions. Observations are made and sometimes compared with published data, sometimes with attempts to explain findings in the context of existing ideas or hypotheses, but all lack objectivity and are biased by the observations made. By contrast, deductive studies address ecological questions and attempt to explain currently unexplained phenomena through the construction of hypotheses, from mechanism-based assumptions, that generate predictions that are then tested experimentally. Identification of key scientific questions, research driven by meaningful hypotheses and adoption of scientific method are essential for progress in microbial ecology, rather than the current emphasis on descriptive approaches that address only technical challenges. It is, therefore, imperative that we carefully consider and define the fundamental scientific questions that drive our own research and focus on ideas, concepts and hypotheses that can increase understanding, and only then consider which techniques are required for experimental testing. This article is part of the theme issue 'Conceptual challenges in microbial community ecology'.

RevDate: 2020-03-23

Pascual-García A, Bonhoeffer S, T Bell (2020)

Metabolically cohesive microbial consortia and ecosystem functioning.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 375(1798):20190245.

Recent theory and experiments have reported a reproducible tendency for the coexistence of microbial species under controlled environmental conditions. This observation has been explained in the context of competition for resources and metabolic complementarity given that, in microbial communities (MCs), many excreted by-products of metabolism may also be resources. MCs therefore play a key role in promoting their own stability and in shaping the niches of the constituent taxa. We suggest that an intermediate level of organization between the species and the community level may be pervasive, where tightly knit metabolic interactions create discrete consortia that are stably maintained. We call these units Metabolically Cohesive Consortia (MeCoCos) and we discuss the environmental context in which we expect their formation, and the ecological and evolutionary consequences of their existence. We argue that the ability to identify MeCoCos would open new avenues to link the species-, community- and ecosystem-level properties, with consequences for our understanding of microbial ecology and evolution, and an improved ability to predict ecosystem functioning in the wild. This article is part of the theme issue 'Conceptual challenges in microbial community ecology'.

RevDate: 2020-03-23

Ciccarese D, Zuidema A, Merlo V, et al (2020)

Interaction-dependent effects of surface structure on microbial spatial self-organization.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 375(1798):20190246.

Surface-attached microbial communities consist of different cell types that, at least to some degree, organize themselves non-randomly across space (referred to as spatial self-organization). While spatial self-organization can have important effects on the functioning, ecology and evolution of communities, the underlying determinants of spatial self-organization remain unclear. Here, we hypothesize that the presence of physical objects across a surface can have important effects on spatial self-organization. Using pairs of isogenic strains of Pseudomonas stutzeri, we performed range expansion experiments in the absence or presence of physical objects and quantified the effects on spatial self-organization. We demonstrate that physical objects create local deformities along the expansion frontier, and these deformities increase in magnitude during range expansion. The deformities affect the densities of interspecific boundaries and diversity along the expansion frontier, and thus affect spatial self-organization, but the effects are interaction-dependent. For competitive interactions that promote sectorized patterns of spatial self-organization, physical objects increase the density of interspecific boundaries and diversity. By contrast, for cross-feeding interactions that promote dendritic patterns, they decrease the density of interspecific boundaries and diversity. These qualitatively different outcomes are probably caused by fundamental differences in the orientations of the interspecific boundaries. Thus, in order to predict the effects of physical objects on spatial self-organization, information is needed regarding the interactions present within a community and the general geometric shapes of spatial self-organization that emerge from those interactions. This article is part of the theme issue 'Conceptual challenges in microbial community ecology'.

RevDate: 2020-03-23

Locey KJ, Muscarella ME, Larsen ML, et al (2020)

Dormancy dampens the microbial distance-decay relationship.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 375(1798):20190243.

Much of Earth's biodiversity has the capacity to engage in dormancy, a reversible state of reduced metabolic activity. By increasing resilience to unfavourable conditions, dormancy leads to the accumulation of 'seed banks'. These reservoirs of genetic and phenotypic diversity should diminish the strength of environmental filtering and increase rates of dispersal. Although prevalent among single-celled organisms, evidence that dormancy influences patterns of microbial biogeography is lacking. We constructed geographical and environmental distance-decay relationships (DDRs) for the total (DNA) and active (RNA) portions of bacterial communities in a regional-scale 16S rRNA survey of forested ponds in Indiana, USA. As predicted, total communities harboured greater diversity and exhibited weaker DDRs than active communities. These observations were robust to random resampling and different community metrics. To evaluate the processes underlying the biogeographic patterns, we developed a platform of mechanistic models that used the geographical coordinates and environmental characteristics of our study system. Based on more than 106 simulations, our models approximated the empirical DDRs when there was strong environmental filtering along with the presence of long-lived seed banks. By contrast, the inclusion of dispersal generally decreased model performance. Together, our findings support recent theoretical predictions that seed banks can influence the biogeographic patterns of microbial communities. This article is part of the theme issue 'Conceptual challenges in microbial community ecology'.

RevDate: 2020-03-23

Morris A, Meyer K, B Bohannan (2020)

Linking microbial communities to ecosystem functions: what we can learn from genotype-phenotype mapping in organisms.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 375(1798):20190244.

Microbial physiological processes are intimately involved in nutrient cycling. However, it remains unclear to what extent microbial diversity or community composition is important for determining the rates of ecosystem-scale functions. There are many examples of positive correlations between microbial diversity and ecosystem function, but how microbial communities 'map' onto ecosystem functions remain unresolved. This uncertainty limits our ability to predict and manage crucial microbially mediated processes such as nutrient losses and greenhouse gas emissions. To overcome this challenge, we propose integrating traditional biodiversity-ecosystem function research with ideas from genotype-phenotype mapping in organisms. We identify two insights from genotype-phenotype mapping that could be useful for microbial biodiversity-ecosystem function studies: the concept of searching 'agnostically' for markers of ecosystem function and controlling for population stratification to identify microorganisms uniquely associated with ecosystem function. We illustrate the potential for these approaches to elucidate microbial biodiversity-ecosystem function relationships by analysing a subset of published data measuring methane oxidation rates from tropical soils. We assert that combining the approaches of traditional biodiversity-ecosystem function research with ideas from genotype-phenotype mapping will generate novel hypotheses about how complex microbial communities drive ecosystem function and help scientists predict and manage changes to ecosystem functions resulting from human activities. This article is part of the theme issue 'Conceptual challenges in microbial community ecology'.

RevDate: 2020-03-23

Sorensen JW, A Shade (2020)

Dormancy dynamics and dispersal contribute to soil microbiome resilience.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 375(1798):20190255.

In disturbance ecology, stability is composed of resistance to change and resilience towards recovery after the disturbance subsides. Two key microbial mechanisms that can support microbiome stability include dormancy and dispersal. Specifically, microbial populations that are sensitive to disturbance can be re-seeded by local dormant pools of viable and reactivated cells, or by immigrants dispersed from regional metacommunities. However, it is difficult to quantify the contributions of these mechanisms to stability without, first, distinguishing the active from inactive membership, and, second, distinguishing the populations recovered by local resuscitation from those recovered by dispersed immigrants. Here, we investigate the contributions of dormancy dynamics (activation and inactivation), and dispersal to soil microbial community resistance and resilience. We designed a replicated, 45-week time-series experiment to quantify the responses of the active soil microbial community to a thermal press disturbance, including unwarmed control mesocosms, disturbed mesocosms without dispersal, and disturbed mesocosms with dispersal after the release of the stressor. Communities changed in structure within one week of warming. Though the disturbed mesocosms did not fully recover within 29 weeks, resuscitation of thermotolerant taxa was key for community transition during the press, and both resuscitation of opportunistic taxa and immigration contributed to community resilience. Also, mesocosms with dispersal were more resilient than mesocosms without. This work advances the mechanistic understanding of how microbiomes respond to disturbances in their environment. This article is part of the theme issue 'Conceptual challenges in microbial community ecology'.

RevDate: 2020-03-23

Nunan N, Schmidt H, X Raynaud (2020)

The ecology of heterogeneity: soil bacterial communities and C dynamics.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 375(1798):20190249.

Heterogeneity is a fundamental property of soil that is often overlooked in microbial ecology. Although it is generally accepted that the heterogeneity of soil underpins the emergence and maintenance of microbial diversity, the profound and far-reaching consequences that heterogeneity can have on many aspects of microbial ecology and activity have yet to be fully apprehended and have not been fully integrated into our understanding of microbial functioning. In this contribution we first discuss how the heterogeneity of the soil microbial environment, and the consequent uncertainty associated with acquiring resources, may have affected how microbial metabolism, motility and interactions evolved and, ultimately, the overall microbial activity that is represented in ecosystem models, such as heterotrophic decomposition or respiration. We then present an analysis of predicted metabolic pathways for soil bacteria, obtained from the MetaCyc pathway/genome database collection (https://metacyc.org/). The analysis suggests that while there is a relationship between phylogenic affiliation and the catabolic range of soil bacterial taxa, there does not appear to be a trade-off between the 16S rRNA gene copy number, taken as a proxy of potential growth rate, of bacterial strains and the range of substrates that can be used. Finally, we present a simple, spatially explicit model that can be used to understand how the interactions between decomposers and environmental heterogeneity affect the bacterial decomposition of organic matter, suggesting that environmental heterogeneity might have important consequences on the variability of this process. This article is part of the theme issue 'Conceptual challenges in microbial community ecology'.

RevDate: 2020-03-22

Ferreira DA, da Silva TF, Pylro VS, et al (2020)

Soil Microbial Diversity Affects the Plant-Root Colonization by Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01502-z [Epub ahead of print].

Terrestrial plants establish symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) to exchange water and nutrients. However, the extent to which soil biodiversity influences such association remains still unclear. Here, we manipulated the soil microbial diversity using a "dilution-to-extinction" approach in a controlled pot microcosm system and quantified the root length colonization of maize plants by the AMF Rhizophagus clarus. The experiment was performed by manipulating the soil microbiome within a native and foreign soil having distinct physicochemical properties. Overall, our data revealed significant positive correlations between the soil microbial diversity and AMF colonization. Most importantly, this finding opposes the diversity-invasibility hypothesis and highlights for a potential overall helper effect of the soil biodiversity on plant-AMF symbiosis.

RevDate: 2020-03-22

Santos A, Rachid C, Pacheco AB, et al (2020)

Biotic and abiotic factors affect microcystin-LR concentrations in water/sediment interface.

Microbiological research, 236:126452 pii:S0944-5013(19)30600-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Harmful cyanobacterial blooms are increasingly common in aquatic environments. This can lead to higher concentrations of cyanotoxins, such as microcystins (MCs), posing a great risk to diverse organisms, including humans. MCs are among the most commonly reported cyanotoxins in freshwater environments worldwide, where they may have different fates. MCs can adsorb to suspended particles into the water column and deposit onto the sediment where they can be affected by physical factors (e.g. winds in shallow lakes causing sediment resuspension) or biological factors (e.g. biodegradation). Here we focused on the conditions of a coastal shallow lagoon contaminated by MCs aiming to estimate the return of pre-existing MCs from the sediment to the water column, to evaluate the adsorption of dissolved MC-LR to the sediment and to verify the occurrence of biodegradation. In experiments with sediment, desorption and adsorption were tested under the influence of temperature, pH and aeration, reproducing conditions observed in the lagoon. MC-desorption was not detected under the tested conditions. Spiking MC-LR into lagoon water samples in the presence of sediment resulted in a 50 % reduction of soluble MC-LR concentration in control conditions (25 °C, pH 8.0, no aeration). Increasing temperature (45 °C) or introducing aeration further stimulated MC-LR removal from the water. Biodegradation was observed in sediment samples and interstitial water (even with tetracycline). The composition of the bacterial community differed in sediment and interstitial water: major phyla were Chloroflexi, Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, and OP3. From the assigned OTUs, we identified genera already described as MC degrading bacteria. Thus, the sediment is a key factor influencing the fate of MC-LR in this shallow coastal lake contributing to stable adsorption and biodegradation.

RevDate: 2020-03-21

Chatzigiannidou I, Teughels W, Van de Wiele T, et al (2020)

Oral biofilms exposure to chlorhexidine results in altered microbial composition and metabolic profile.

NPJ biofilms and microbiomes, 6(1):13 pii:10.1038/s41522-020-0124-3.

Oral diseases (e.g., dental caries, periodontitis) are developed when the healthy oral microbiome is imbalanced allowing the increase of pathobiont strains. Common practice to prevent or treat such diseases is the use of antiseptics, like chlorhexidine. However, the impact of these antiseptics on the composition and metabolic activity of the oral microbiome is poorly addressed. Using two types of oral biofilms-a 14-species community (more controllable) and human tongue microbiota (more representative)-the impact of short-term chlorhexidine exposure was explored in-depth. In both models, oral biofilms treated with chlorhexidine exhibited a pattern of inactivation (>3 log units) and fast regrowth to the initial bacterial concentrations. Moreover, the chlorhexidine treatment induced profound shifts in microbiota composition and metabolic activity. In some cases, disease associated traits were increased (such as higher abundance of pathobiont strains or shift in high lactate production). Our results highlight the need for alternative treatments that selectively target the disease-associated bacteria in the biofilm without targeting the commensal microorganisms.

RevDate: 2020-03-20

Farhana L, Sarkar S, Nangia-Makker P, et al (2020)

Natural agents inhibit colon cancer cell proliferation and alter microbial diversity in mice.

PloS one, 15(3):e0229823 pii:PONE-D-19-08167.

The current study was undertaken to investigate the effect of differentially formulated polyphenolic compound Essential Turmeric Oil-Curcumin (ETO-Cur), and Tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) of vitamin E isomers on colorectal cancer (CRC) cells that produce aggressive tumors. Combinations of ETO-Cur and TRF were used to determine the combinatorial effects of ETO-Cur and TRF-mediated inhibition of growth of CRC cells in vitro and HCT-116 cells xenograft in SCID mice. 16S rRNA gene sequence profiling was performed to determine the outcome of gut microbial communities in mice feces between control and ETO-Cur-TRF groups. Bacterial identifications were validated by performing SYBR-based Real Time (RT) PCR. For metagenomics analysis to characterize the microbial communities, multiple software/tools were used, including Quantitative Insights into Microbial Ecology (QIIME) processing tool. We found ETO-Cur and TRF to synergize and that the combination of ETO-Cur-TRF significantly inhibited growth of HCT-116 xenografts in SCID mice. This was associated with a marked alteration in microbial communities and increased microbial OTU (operation taxonomic unit) number. The relative abundance of taxa was increased and the level of microbial diversity after 34 days of combinatorial treatment was found to be 44% higher over the control. Shifting of microbial family composition was observed in ETO-Cur-TRF treated mice as evidenced by marked reductions in Bacteroidaceae, Ruminococcaceae, Clostridiales, Firmicutes and Parabacteroids families, compared to controls. Interestingly, during the inhibition of tumor growth in ETO-Cur treated mice, probiotic Lactobacillaceae and Bifidobacteriaceae were increased by 20-fold and 6-fold, respectively. The relative abundance of anti-inflammatory Clostridium XIVa was also increased in ETO-Cur-TRF treated mice when compared with the control. Our data suggest that ETO-Cur-TRF show synergistic effects in inhibiting colorectal cancer cell proliferation in vitro and in mouse xenografts in vivo, and might induce changes in microbial diversity in mice.

RevDate: 2020-03-20

Ghosh A, Debnath M, P Bhadury (2020)

Datasets of surface water microbial populations from two anthropogenically impacted sites on the Bhagirathi-Hooghly River.

Data in brief, 29:105371 pii:105371.

The Bhagirathi-Hooghly River, part of the River Ganga, flows along densely urbanized areas in West Bengal, India. The River water is extensively used for household activities, human consumption including bathing, social purposes and multifaceted industrial usage. As a result of discharge of untreated municipal sewage and effluents from industries there is evidence of heavy pollution in this River. Two urbanized sites on the Bhagirathi-Hooghly River, namely Kalyani and Kolkata, were sampled to elucidate the resident microbial communities in lieu of anthropogenic forcing with respect to pollution. The Kalyani station (Kal_Stn1) lies upstream to the Kolkata station (Kol_Stn7) and are approximate 50 km away from each other and located along the bank of Bhagirathi-Hooghly River. Sampling was undertaken in monsoon (September 2018). In situ environmental parameters were measured during sampling and dissolved nutrients were estimated from formalin fixed filtered surface water along with pesticides analysis. One litre surface water sample was collected from each station and environmental DNA was sequenced to identify resident microbial communities (bacterioplankton and oxygenic photoautrophs-phytoplankton). The bacterioplankton community structure was elucidated by sequencing the V4 region of the 16S rDNA on an Illumina MiSeq platform. Proteobacteria was found to be the most abundant bacterioplankton phylum in both sampling stations. Similar to bacterioplankton, variation in oxygenic photoautotrophic community structure including phytoplankton forms was found at phylum, class and family levels. The phytoplankton communities were elucidated by sequencing the V9 region of the 18S rDNA on an Illumina MiSeq platform. Chrysophyta was found to be the most abundant phytoplankton phylum identified from both stations, followed by Chlorophyta and other groups. Variation in phytoplankton community structure between the stations was distinct at phylum, class and family levels.

RevDate: 2020-03-20

Gueneau R, Blanchet D, Rodriguez-Nava V, et al (2020)

Actinomycetoma caused by Gordonia westfalica: first reported case of human infection.

New microbes and new infections, 34:100658 pii:100658.

Bacteria of the genus Gordonia are rarely involved in human infections. We report here the case of a 30-year-old man from Guinea Buissau with mycetoma of the foot. 16S DNA sequencing after surgical biopsy identified Gordonia westfalica. To our knowledge, this is the first report of human infection caused by G. westfalica.

RevDate: 2020-03-20

Flores N, Hoyos S, Venegas M, et al (2020)

Haloterrigena sp. Strain SGH1, a Bacterioruberin-Rich, Perchlorate-Tolerant Halophilic Archaeon Isolated From Halite Microbial Communities, Atacama Desert, Chile.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:324.

An extreme halophilic archaeon, strain SGH1, is a novel microorganism isolated from endolithic microbial communities colonizing halites at Salar Grande, Atacama Desert, in northern Chile. Our study provides structural, biochemical, genomic, and physiological information on this new isolate living at the edge of the physical and chemical extremes at the Atacama Desert. SGH1 is a Gram-negative, red-pigmented, non-motile unicellular coccoid organism. Under the transmission electron microscope, strain SGH1 showed an abundant electro-dense material surrounding electron-lucent globular structures resembling gas vacuoles. Strain SGH1 showed a 16S rRNA gene sequence with a close phylogenetic relationship to the extreme halophilic archaea Haloterrigena turkmenica and Haloterrigena salina and has been denominated Haloterrigena sp. strain SGH1. Strain SGH1 grew at 20-40°C (optimum 37°C), at salinities between 15 and 30% (w/v) NaCl (optimum 25%) and growth was improved by addition of 50 mM KCl and 0.5% w/v casamino acids. Growth was severely restricted at salinities below 15% NaCl and cell lysis is avoided at a minimal 10% NaCl. Maximal concentrations of magnesium chloride and sodium or magnesium perchlorates that supported SGH1 growth were 0.5 and 0.15M, respectively. Haloterrigena sp. strain SGH1 accumulates bacterioruberin (BR), a C50 xanthophyll, as the major carotenoid. Total carotenoids in strain SGH1 amounted to nearly 400 μg BR per gram of dry biomass. Nearly 80% of total carotenoids accumulated as geometric isomers of BR: all-trans-BR (50%), 5-cis-BR (15%), 9-cis-BR (10%), 13-cis-BR (4%); other carotenoids were dehydrated derivatives of BR. Carotenogenesis in SGH1 was a reversible and salt-dependent process; transferring BR-rich cells grown in 25% (w/v) NaCl to 15% (w/v) NaCl medium resulted in depigmentation, and BR content was recovered after transference and growth of unpigmented cells to high salinity medium. Methanol extracts and purified BR isomers showed an 8-9-fold higher antioxidant activity than Trolox or β-carotene. Both, plasma membrane integrity and mitochondrial membrane potential measurements under acute 18-h assays showed that purified BR isomers were non-toxic to cultured human THP-1 cells.

RevDate: 2020-03-20

Cortes-Tolalpa L, Wang Y, Salles JF, et al (2020)

Comparative Genome Analysis of the Lignocellulose Degrading Bacteria Citrobacter freundii so4 and Sphingobacterium multivorum w15.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:248.

Two bacterial strains, denoted so4 and w15, isolated from wheat straw (WS)-degrading microbial consortia, were found to grow synergistically in media containing WS as the single carbon and energy source. They were identified as Citrobacter freundii so4 and Sphingobacterium multivorum w15 based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing and comparison to the respective C. freundii and S. multivorum type strains. In order to identify the mechanisms driving the synergistic interactions, we analyzed the draft genomes of the two strains and further characterized their metabolic potential. The latter analyses revealed that the strains had largely complementary substrate utilization patterns, with only 22 out of 190 compounds shared. The analyses further indicated C. freundii so4 to primarily consume amino acids and simple sugars, with laminarin as a key exception. In contrast, S. multivorum w15 showed ample capacity to transform complex polysaccharides, including intermediates of starch degradation. Sequence analyses revealed C. freundii so4 to have a genome of 4,883,214 bp, with a G + C content of 52.5%, 4,554 protein-encoding genes and 86 RNA genes. S. multivorum w15 has a genome of 6,678,278 bp, with a G + C content of 39.7%, 5,999 protein-encoding genes and 76 RNA genes. Genes for motility apparatuses (flagella, chemotaxis) were present in the genome of C. freundii so4, but absent from that of S. multivorum w15. In the genome of S. multivorum w15, 348 genes had regions matching CAZy family enzymes and/or carbohydrate-binding modules (CBMs), with 193 glycosyl hydrolase (GH) and 50 CBM domains. Remarkably, 22 domains matched enzymes of glycoside hydrolase family GH43, suggesting a strong investment in the degradation of arabinoxylan. In contrast, 130 CAZy family genes were found in C. freundii so4, with 61 GH and 12 CBM domains identified. Collectively, our results, based on both metabolic potential and genome analyses, revealed the two strains to harbor complementary catabolic armories, with S. multivorum w15 primarily attacking the WS hemicellulose and C. freundii so4 the cellobiose derived from cellulose, next to emerging oligo- or monosaccharides. Finally, C. freundii so4 may secrete secondary metabolites that S. multivorum w15 can consume, and detoxify the system by reducing the levels of (toxic) by-products.

RevDate: 2020-03-20

Corti-Monzón G, Nisenbaum M, Villegas-Plazas M, et al (2020)

Enrichment and characterization of a bilge microbial consortium with oil in water-emulsions breaking ability for oily wastewater treatment.

Biodegradation pii:10.1007/s10532-020-09894-y [Epub ahead of print].

Oily bilge wastewater is one of the main sources of hydrocarbons pollution in marine environments due to accidental or clandestine discharges. The main technical challenge for its effective treatment is the presence of stable oil-in-water (O/W) emulsions. In this work we are reporting an enriched microbial consortium from bilge wastewater with remarkable ability to demulsify oil in water emulsions. The consortium showed emulsion-breaking ratios up to 72.6% in the exponential growth phase, while the values range from 11.9 to 8.5% in stationary phase. A positive association was observed between demulsifying ability and microbial adhesion to hydrocarbons, as well as between cell concentration and demulsifying ability. Also, an interesting ability to demulsify under different temperatures, conditions of agitation, and bilge emulsions from different vessels was observed. The Bacterial and Archaeal composition was analyzed by 16S rRNA gene amplicon lllumina sequencing analyses, revealing an assemblage composed of bacterial types highly related to well characterized bacterial isolates and also to non-yet cultured bacterial types previously detected in marine and sediment samples. Hydrocarbonoclastic microbial types such as Marinobacter, Flavobacteriaceae, Alcanivorax and Gammaproteobacteria PYR10d3 were found in high relative abundance (27.0%-11.1%) and types of marine oligotrophs and surfactant degraders such as Thallasospira, Parvibaculum, Novospirillum, Shewanella algae, and Opitutae were in a group of middle predominance (1.7-3.5%). The microbial consortium reported has promising potential for the biological demulsification of bilge wastewater and other oily wastewaters.

RevDate: 2020-03-20

Kavagutti VS, Andrei AŞ, Mehrshad M, et al (2020)

Correction to: Phage-centric ecological interactions in aquatic ecosystems revealed through ultra-deep metagenomics.

Microbiome, 8(1):40 pii:10.1186/s40168-020-00828-7.

Following publication of the original article [1], the authors reported that an affiliation of the first author was missing.

RevDate: 2020-03-19

Dini-Andreote F (2020)

Endophytes: The Second Layer of Plant Defense.

Trends in plant science, 25(4):319-322.

Microorganisms in association with roots can protect plants against soil-borne diseases. A recent study mechanistically revealed how root endophytes act as a second microbiological layer of plant defense. Integrating ecological concepts with principles of plant pathology provides an innovative way to manipulate and engineer beneficial plant microbiomes.

RevDate: 2020-03-19

Tinker KA, EA Ottesen (2020)

Phylosymbiosis across Deeply Diverging Lineages of Omnivorous Cockroaches (Order Blattodea).

Applied and environmental microbiology, 86(7): pii:AEM.02513-19.

The gut microbiome is shaped by both host diet and host phylogeny. However, separating the relative influence of these two factors over long periods of evolutionary time is often difficult. We conducted a 16S rRNA gene amplicon-based survey of the gut microbiome from 237 individuals and 19 species of omnivorous cockroaches from the order Blattodea. The order Blattodea represents an ancient lineage of insects that emerged over 300 million years ago, have a diverse gut microbiota, and have a typically gregarious lifestyle. All cockroaches shared a broadly similar gut microbiota, with 66 microbial families present across all species and 13 present in every individual examined. Although our network analysis of the cockroach gut microbiome showed a large amount of connectivity, we demonstrated that gut microbiota cluster strongly by host species. We conducted follow-up tests to determine if cockroaches exhibit phylosymbiosis, or the tendency of host-associated microbial communities to parallel the phylogeny of related host species. Across the full data set, gut microbial community similarity was not found to correlate with host phylogenetic distance. However, a weak but significant phylosymbiotic signature was observed using the matching cluster metric, which allows for localized changes within a phylogenetic tree that are more likely to occur over long evolutionary distances. This finding suggests that host phylogeny plays a large role in structuring the cockroach gut microbiome over shorter evolutionary distances and a weak but significant role in shaping the gut microbiome over extended periods of evolutionary time.IMPORTANCE The gut microbiome plays a key role in host health. Therefore, it is important to understand the evolution of the gut microbiota and how it impacts, and is impacted by, host evolution. In this study, we explore the relationship between host phylogeny and gut microbiome composition in omnivorous, gregarious cockroaches within the Blattodea order, an ancient lineage that spans 300 million years of evolutionary divergence. We demonstrate a strong relationship between host species identity and gut microbiome composition and found a weaker but significant role for host phylogeny in determining microbiome similarity over extended periods of evolutionary time. This study advances our understanding of the role of host phylogeny in shaping the gut microbiome over different evolutionary distances.

RevDate: 2020-03-18

Pu X, Li Z, Tian Y, et al (2020)

The honeysuckle genome provides insight into the molecular mechanism of carotenoid metabolism underlying dynamic flower coloration.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

Lonicera japonica is a wide-spread member of the Caprifoliaceae (honeysuckle) family utilized in traditional medical practices. This twining vine honeysuckle is also a much-sought ornamental, in part due to its dynamic flower coloration, which changes from white to gold during development. The molecular mechanism underlying dynamic flower coloration in L. japonica was elucidated by integrating whole genome sequencing, transcriptomic analysis, and biochemical assays. Here, we report a chromosome-level genome assembly of L. japonica, comprising nine pseudo-chromosomes with a total size of 843.2 Mb. We also provide evidence for a whole genome duplication event in the lineage leading to L. japonica, which occurred after its divergence from Dipsacales and Asterales. Moreover, gene expression analysis not only revealed correlated expression of the relevant biosynthetic genes with carotenoid accumulation, but also suggested a role for carotenoid degradation in L. japonica's dynamic flower coloration. The variation of flower color is consistent with not only the observed carotenoid accumulation pattern, but also with the release of volatile apocarotenoids that presumably serve as pollinator attractants. Beyond novel insights into the evolution and dynamics of flower coloration, the high-quality L. japonica genome sequence also provides a foundation for molecular breeding to improve desired characteristics.

RevDate: 2020-03-18

Danczak RE, Daly RA, Borton MA, et al (2020)

Ecological Assembly Processes Are Coordinated between Bacterial and Viral Communities in Fractured Shale Ecosystems.

mSystems, 5(2): pii:5/2/e00098-20.

The ecological drivers that concurrently act upon both a virus and its host and that drive community assembly are poorly understood despite known interactions between viral populations and their microbial hosts. Hydraulically fractured shale environments provide access to a closed ecosystem in the deep subsurface where constrained microbial and viral community assembly processes can be examined. Here, we used metagenomic analyses of time-resolved-produced fluid samples from two wells in the Appalachian Basin to track viral and host dynamics and to investigate community assembly processes. Hypersaline conditions within these ecosystems should drive microbial community structure to a similar configuration through time in response to common osmotic stress. However, viral predation appears to counterbalance this potentially strong homogeneous selection and pushes the microbial community toward undominated assembly. In comparison, while the viral community was also influenced by substantial undominated processes, it assembled, in part, due to homogeneous selection. When the overall assembly processes acting upon both these communities were directly compared with each other, a significant relationship was revealed, suggesting an association between microbial and viral community development despite differing selective pressures. These results reveal a potentially important balance of ecological dynamics that must be in maintained within this deep subsurface ecosystem in order for the microbial community to persist over extended time periods. More broadly, this relationship begins to provide knowledge underlying metacommunity development across trophic levels.IMPORTANCE Interactions between viral communities and their microbial hosts have been the subject of many recent studies in a wide range of ecosystems. The degree of coordination between ecological assembly processes influencing viral and microbial communities, however, has been explored to a much lesser degree. By using a combined null modeling approach, this study investigated the ecological assembly processes influencing both viral and microbial community structure within hydraulically fractured shale environments. Among other results, significant relationships between the structuring processes affecting both the viral and microbial community were observed, indicating that ecological assembly might be coordinated between these communities despite differing selective pressures. Within this deep subsurface ecosystem, these results reveal a potentially important balance of ecological dynamics that must be maintained to enable long-term microbial community persistence. More broadly, this relationship begins to provide insight into the development of communities across trophic levels.

RevDate: 2020-03-18

Fu S, Wei D, Yang Q, et al (2020)

Horizontal Plasmid Transfer Promotes the Dissemination of Asian Acute Hepatopancreatic Necrosis Disease and Provides a Novel Mechanism for Genetic Exchange and Environmental Adaptation.

mSystems, 5(2): pii:5/2/e00799-19.

Vibrio parahaemolyticus is an important foodborne pathogen and has recently gained particular notoriety because it causes acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) in shrimp, which has caused significant economic loss in the shrimp industry. Here, we report a whole-genome analysis of 233 V. parahaemolyticus strains isolated from humans, diseased shrimp, and environmental samples collected between 2008 and 2017, providing unprecedented insight into the historical spread of AHPND. The results show that V. parahaemolyticus is genetically diverse and can be divided into 84 sequence types (STs). However, genomic analysis of three STs of V. parahaemolyticus identified seven transmission routes in Asia since 1996, which promoted the transfer of an AHPND-associated plasmid. Notably, the insertion sequence (ISVal1) from the plasmid subsequently mediated the genetic exchange among V. parahaemolyticus STs and resulted in the deletion of an 11-kb region regulating cell mobility and the production of capsular polysaccharides. Phenotype assays confirmed that this deletion enhanced biofilm formation, providing a novel mechanism for environmental adaptation. We conclude that the transmission mode of AHPND consists of two steps, the transmission of V. parahaemolyticus and the subsequent horizontal transfer of the AHPND-associated plasmid. This plasmid allows ISVal1 to mediate genetic exchange and improve pathogen fitness in shrimp ponds. Current shrimp farming practices promoted such genetic exchanges, which highlighted a risk of the emergence of new virulent populations, with potentially devastating consequences for both aquaculture and human health. This study addressed the basic questions regarding the transmission mechanism of AHPND and provided novel insights into shrimp and human disease management.IMPORTANCE Global outbreaks of shrimp acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) caused by V. parahaemolyticus represent an urgent issue for the shrimp industry. This study revealed that the transmission mode of AHPND consists of two steps, the transregional dissemination of V. parahaemolyticus and the horizontal transfer of an AHPND-associated plasmid. Surprisingly, the introduction of the AHPND-associated plasmid also offers a novel mechanism of genetic exchange mediated by insertion sequences, and it improved the fitness of V. parahaemolyticus in a harsh environment. The results presented herein suggest that current shrimp farming practices promote genetic mixture between endemic and oceanic V. parahaemolyticus populations, which introduced the plasmid and accelerated bacterial adaptation by the acquisition of ecologically important functions. This entails a risk of the emergence of new virulent populations both for shrimp and humans. This study improves our understanding of the global dissemination of the AHPND-associated plasmid and highlights the urgent need to improve biosecurity for shrimp farming.

RevDate: 2020-03-18

Yang Y, Daims H, Liu Y, et al (2020)

Activity and Metabolic Versatility of Complete Ammonia Oxidizers in Full-Scale Wastewater Treatment Systems.

mBio, 11(2): pii:mBio.03175-19.

The recent discovery of complete ammonia oxidizers (comammox) contradicts the paradigm that chemolithoautotrophic nitrification is always catalyzed by two different microorganisms. However, our knowledge of the survival strategies of comammox in complex ecosystems, such as full-scale wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), remains limited. Analyses of genomes and in situ transcriptomes of four comammox organisms from two full-scale WWTPs revealed that comammox were active and showed a surprisingly high metabolic versatility. A gene cluster for the utilization of urea and a gene encoding cyanase suggest that comammox may use diverse organic nitrogen compounds in addition to free ammonia as the substrates. The comammox organisms also encoded the genomic potential for multiple alternative energy metabolisms, including respiration with hydrogen, formate, and sulfite as electron donors. Pathways for the biosynthesis and degradation of polyphosphate, glycogen, and polyhydroxyalkanoates as intracellular storage compounds likely help comammox survive unfavorable conditions and facilitate switches between lifestyles in fluctuating environments. One of the comammox strains acquired from the anaerobic tank encoded and transcribed genes involved in homoacetate fermentation or in the utilization of exogenous acetate, both pathways being unexpected in a nitrifying bacterium. Surprisingly, this strain also encoded a respiratory nitrate reductase which has not yet been found in any other Nitrospira genome and might confer a selective advantage to this strain over other Nitrospira strains in anoxic conditions.IMPORTANCE The discovery of comammox in the genus Nitrospira changes our perception of nitrification. However, genomes of comammox organisms have not been acquired from full-scale WWTPs, and very little is known about their survival strategies and potential metabolisms in complex wastewater treatment systems. Here, four comammox metagenome-assembled genomes and metatranscriptomic data sets were retrieved from two full-scale WWTPs. Their impressive and-among nitrifiers-unsurpassed ecophysiological versatility could make comammox Nitrospira an interesting target for optimizing nitrification in current and future bioreactor configurations.

RevDate: 2020-03-17

Spanoghe J, Grunert O, Wambacq E, et al (2020)

Storage, fertilization and cost properties highlight the potential of dried microbial biomass as organic fertilizer.

Microbial biotechnology [Epub ahead of print].

The transition to sustainable agriculture and horticulture is a societal challenge of global importance. Fertilization with a minimum impact on the environment can facilitate this. Organic fertilizers can play an important role, given their typical release pattern and production through resource recovery. Microbial fertilizers (MFs) constitute an emerging class of organic fertilizers and consist of dried microbial biomass, for instance produced on effluents from the food and beverage industry. In this study, three groups of organisms were tested as MFs: a high-rate consortium aerobic bacteria (CAB), the microalga Arthrospira platensis ('Spirulina') and a purple non-sulfur bacterium (PNSB) Rhodobacter sp. During storage as dry products, the MFs showed light hygroscopic activity, but the mineral and organic fractions remained stable over a storage period of 91 days. For biological tests, a reference organic fertilizer (ROF) was used as positive control, and a commercial organic growing medium (GM) as substrate. The mineralization patterns without and with plants were similar for all MFs and ROF, with more than 70% of the organic nitrogen mineralized in 77 days. In a first fertilization trial with parsley, all MFs showed equal performance compared to ROF, and the plant fresh weight was even higher with CAB fertilization. CAB was subsequently used in a follow-up trial with petunia and resulted in elevated plant height, comparable chlorophyll content and a higher amount of flowers compared to ROF. Finally, a cost estimation for packed GM with supplemented fertilizer indicated that CAB and a blend of CAB/PNSB (85%/15%) were most cost competitive, with an increase of 6% and 7% in cost compared to ROF. In conclusion, as bio-based fertilizers, MFs have the potential to contribute to sustainable plant nutrition, performing as good as a commercially available organic fertilizer, and to a circular economy.

RevDate: 2020-03-17

Byers AK, Condron L, Donavan T, et al (2020)

Soil microbial diversity in adjacent forest systems- contrasting native, old growth kauri (Agathis australis) forest with exotic pine (Pinus radiata) plantation forest.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:5808812 [Epub ahead of print].

Globally, the conversion of primary forests to plantations and agricultural landscapes is a common land use change. Kauri (Agathis australis) is one of the most heavily impacted indigenous tree species of New Zealand with less than 1% of primary forest remaining as fragments adjacent to pastoral farming and exotic forest plantations. By contrasting two forest systems, we investigated if the fragmentation of kauri forests and introduction of pine plantations (Pinus radiata) is significantly impacting the diversity and composition of soil microbial communities across Waipoua kauri forest, New Zealand. Using NGS-based 16S rRNA and ITS gene region sequencing, we identified that fungal and bacterial community composition significantly differed between kauri and pine forest soils. However, fungal communities displayed the largest differences in diversity and composition. This research revealed significant shifts in the soil microbial communities surrounding remnant kauri fragments, including the loss of microbial taxa with functions in disease suppression and plant health. Kauri dieback disease, caused by Phytophthora agathidicida currently threatens the kauri forest ecosystem. Results from this research highlight the need for further investigations into how changes to soil microbial diversity surrounding remnant kauri fragments impact tree health and disease expression.

RevDate: 2020-03-17

Gurmessa B, Pedretti EF, Cocco S, et al (2020)

Manure anaerobic digestion effects and the role of pre- and post-treatments on veterinary antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes removal efficiency.

The Science of the total environment, 721:137532 pii:S0048-9697(20)31043-3 [Epub ahead of print].

This review was aimed to summarize and critically evaluate studies on removal of veterinary antibiotics (VAs), antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and mobile genetic elements (MGEs) with anaerobic digestion (AD) of manure and demonstrate areas of focus for improved removal efficiency. The environmental risks associated to the release of the same were also critically evaluated. The potential of AD and advanced AD of manure on removal rate of VAs, ARGs and MGEs was thoroughly assessed. In addition, the role of post and pre-AD treatments and their potential to support VAs and ARGs removal efficiency were evaluated. The overall review results show disparity among the different groups of VAs in terms of removal rate with relatively higher efficiency for β-lactams and tetracyclines compared to the other groups. Some of sulfonamides, fluoroquinolones and macrolides were reported to be highly persistent with removal rates as low as zero. Within group differences were also reported in many literatures. Moreover, removal of ARGs and MGEs by AD was widely reported although complete removal was hardly possible. Even in rare scenarios, some AD conditions were reported to increase copies of specific groups of the genes. Temperature pretreatments and temperature phased advanced AD were also reported to improve removal efficiency of VAs while contributing to increased biogas production. Moreover, a few studies also showed the possibility of further removal by post-AD treatments such as liquid-solid separation, drying and composting. In conclusion, the various studies revealed that AD in its current technological level is not a guarantee for complete removal of VAs, ARGs and MGEs from manure. Consequently, their possible release to the soils with digestate could threaten the healthcare and disturb soil microbial ecology. Thus, intensive management strategies need to be designed to increase removal efficiency at the different manure management points along the anaerobic digestion process.

RevDate: 2020-03-16

Ruiz C, Villegas-Plazas M, Thomas OP, et al (2020)

Specialized microbiome of the cave-dwelling sponge Plakina kanaky (Porifera, Homoscleromorpha).

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:5807073 [Epub ahead of print].

The recent description of the polychromatic sponge Plakina kanaky revealed original microsymbionts, with some morphotypes recorded for the first time in Homoscleromorpha, and others never before observed in other sponge groups. Illumina 16S amplicon sequencing was used to characterize this microbial community by comparing contents of seven specimens of this Plakinidae with five other sponge species: 1 Homoscleromopha of the Oscarellidae family and 4 Demospongiae. A total of 256,458 sequences of the hypervariable V5-V6 region of the 16S rRNA gene were clustered into 2,829 OTUs at 97% similarity, with Proteobacteria, Poribacteria and Chloroflexi being the most abundant phyla. The Plakina kanaky specific community appeared to be mainly composed by 5 OTUs representing about 10% of the total microbiome. Among these, the filamentous bacterium Candidatus Entotheonella, which was among the dominant morphotypes previously observed in the mesohyl and the larvae of P. kanaky, was detected in all studied specimens. However, other original and dominant morphotypes could not be assigned to a known prokaryotic taxon. This cave dwelling sponge species harbors a distinctive microbiome composition of potential taxonomic and metabolic novelties that may be linked to its ecological success in such extreme environments.

RevDate: 2020-03-15

Wen D, Valencia A, Ordonez D, et al (2020)

Comparative nitrogen removal via microbial ecology between soil and green sorption media in a rapid infiltration basin for co-disposal of stormwater and wastewater.

Environmental research, 184:109338 pii:S0013-9351(20)30231-0 [Epub ahead of print].

In this study, a rapid infiltration basin (RIB) designed as green infrastructure for co-disposal of wastewater effluent and stormwater runoff was retrofitted for sustainable groundwater recharge after nitrogen removal. For comparison of nitrogen removal efficiency via different filtration media, the RIB was divided into two sub-basins for different filtration processes. One sub-basin was filled with a native sandy soil with about 2-4% clay (Control RIB), and the other sub-basin was modified with Biosorption Activated Media (BAM) (BAM RIB), for the enhancement of microbial nitrogen removal. The two sub-basins accept an equal amount of excess reclaimed wastewater in non-storm periods, and stormwater during periodic storm events. The infiltrate in both the BAM RIB and the Control RIB eventually reaches the Upper Floridan Aquifer. The seven microbial species involved in this microbial ecology study are nitrite oxidizing bacteria (NOB), ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB), anaerobic oxidation of ammonium (anammox) bacteria, complete ammonia oxidizer (Comammox) bacteria, denitrifiers, dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) and ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA). The population dynamics study was conducted with the aid of the quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) for the quantification of the microbial gene population in support of microbial ecology discovery. The qPCR results demonstrated the competition effect between AOA, AOB, and Comammox, the inhibition effect between NOB and DNRA with the presence of anammox, and the complementary effect due to an abundance of NOB and AOB in the microbial ecology. Although, competition between denitrifiers and DNRA was expected to impact population dynamics, both microbial species were found to be the most predominant in both control and BAM RIBs. Research findings indicate that the use of BAM RIB achieves significantly efficient nitrogen removal driven by complementary effects in the microbial ecology.

RevDate: 2020-03-15

Garin-Fernandez A, Glöckner FO, A Wichels (2020)

Genomic characterization of filamentous phage vB_VpaI_VP-3218, an inducible prophage of Vibrio parahaemolyticus.

Marine genomics pii:S1874-7787(20)30028-3 [Epub ahead of print].

The seawater temperature rise can promote the growth of potentially pathogenic Vibrio species. In the North Sea, V. parahaemolyticus strains have been isolated and characterized. These strains contain prophages that may contribute to the emergence of pathogenic strains in the marine environment. Here, we present the genome structure and possible biological functions of the inducible phage vB_VpaI_VP-3218, a novel filamentous phage carried by the V. parahaemolyticus strain VN-3218. Prophages of the strain VN-3218 were induced with mitomycin C and the DNA from the phage induction was sequenced. Two incomplete prophages were identified, only one complete phage genome with length of 11,082 bp was characterized. The phage vB_VpaI_VP-3218 belongs to the Inoviridae family and shows close homology to the Saetivirus genus. This phage can integrate into the chromosomal host genome and carries host-related regions absent in similar phage genomes, suggesting that this phage might integrate in other Vibrio host genomes from the environment. Furthermore, this phage might have a role in pathogenicity due to potential zonula occludens toxin genes. Based on its genomic similarity, the genome of vB_VpaI_VP-3218 phage probably integrates into the lysogen's chromosome and replicates as episome. This study complements prophage induction and bioinformatic studies applied to non-model species of potentially pathogenic Vibrio species. The characterization of this phage provides new insights with respect to the presence of filamentous phages in environmental V. parahaemolyticus strains, which might have a role in the emergence of new pathogenic strains in the North Sea.

RevDate: 2020-03-14

Props R, VJ Denef (2020)

Temperature and nutrient levels correspond with lineage-specific microdiversification in the ubiquitous and abundant Limnohabitans freshwater genus.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.00140-20 [Epub ahead of print].

Most freshwater bacterial communities are characterized by a few dominant taxa that are often ubiquitous across freshwater biomes worldwide. Our understanding of the genomic diversity within these taxonomic groups is limited to a subset of taxa. Here, we investigated the genomic diversity that enables Limnohabitans, a freshwater genus key in funneling carbon from primary producers to higher trophic levels, to achieve abundance and ubiquity. We reconstructed eight putative Limnohabitans metagenome assembled genomes (MAGs) from stations located along broad environmental gradients existing in Lake Michigan, part of Earth's largest surface freshwater system. De novo strain inference analysis resolved a total of 23 strains from these MAGs, which strongly partitioned into two habitat-specific clusters with co-occurring strains from different lineages. The largest number of strains belonged to the abundant LimB lineage, for which robust in situ strain-delineation had not previously been achieved. Our data show that temperature and nutrient levels may be important environmental parameters associated with microdiversification within the Limnohabitans genus. Additionally, strains predominant in low and high phosphorus conditions had larger genomic divergence than strains abundant under different temperatures. Comparative genomics and gene expression analysis yielded evidence for the ability of LimB populations to exhibit cellular motility and chemotaxis, a phenotype not yet associated with available Limnohabitans isolates. Our findings broaden historical marker gene-based surveys of Limnohabitans microdiversification, and provide in situ evidence of genome diversity and its functional implications across freshwater gradients.ImportanceLimnohabitans is an important bacterial taxonomic group for cycling carbon in freshwater ecosystems worldwide. Here we examined the genomic diversity of different Limnohabitans lineages. We focused on the LimB lineage of this genus, which is globally distributed and often abundant, and its abundance has shown to be largely invariant to environmental change. Our data show that the LimB lineage is actually comprised of multiple co-occurring populations of which the composition and genomic characteristics are associated with variations in temperature and nutrient levels. The gene expression profiles of this lineage suggest the importance of chemotaxis and motility, traits that had not yet been associated with the Limnohabitans genus, in adapting to environmental conditions.

RevDate: 2020-03-13

Paramasivan S, Bassiouni A, Shiffer A, et al (2020)

The international sinonasal microbiome study (ISMS): a multi-centre, multi-national characterization of sinonasal bacterial ecology.

Allergy [Epub ahead of print].

The sinonasal microbiome remains poorly defined, with our current knowledge based on a few cohort studies whose findings are inconsistent. Furthermore, the variability of the sinus microbiome across geographical divides remains unexplored. We characterise the sinonasal microbiome and its geographical variations in both health and disease using 16S rRNA gene sequencing of 410 individuals from across the world. Although the sinus microbial ecology is highly variable between individuals, we identify a core microbiome comprised of Corynebacterium, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Haemophilus, and Moraxella species in both healthy and chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) cohorts. Corynebacterium (mean relative abundance = 44.02%) and Staphylococcus (mean relative abundance = 27.34%) appear particularly dominant in the majority of patients sampled. Amongst patients suffering from CRS with nasal polyps, a statistically significant reduction in relative abundance of Corynebacterium (40.29% vs 50.43%; p = 0.02) was identified. Despite some measured differences in microbiome composition and diversity between some of the participating centres in our cohort, these differences would not alter the general pattern of core organisms described. Nevertheless, atypical or unusual organisms reported in short-read amplicon sequencing studies and that are not part of the core microbiome should be interpreted with caution. The delineation of the sinonasal microbiome and standardised methodology described within our study will enable further characterisation and translational application of the sinus microbiota.

RevDate: 2020-03-12

van Hougenhouck-Tulleken WG, Lebre PH, Said M, et al (2020)

Bacterial pathogens in peritoneal dialysis peritonitis: Insights from next-generation sequencing.

Peritoneal dialysis international : journal of the International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Peritoneal dialysis (PD) peritonitis is a feared complication of PD, with significant sequelae for the patient. The cause of PD peritonitis is largely due to a single organism (≥75% of cases) and rarely due to multiple organisms.

METHODS: In this pilot study, we investigated 25 cases of PD peritonitis with 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) next-generation sequencing (NGS) techniques.

RESULTS: Total concordance between culture and NGS was noted. In addition, the NGS technique was highly sensitive, identifying 33 different bacteria (including a nonculturable bacterium), compared to 13 bacterial species using culture-based techniques. This was counterbalanced by a lack of specificity with NGS, largely due to the small size of the 16S rRNA gene segment sequenced.

CONCLUSIONS: For the clinician, our results suggest that PD peritonitis may often be a polymicrobial disease and that treating a dominant organism may not totally eradicate all bacterial contamination within the peritoneum. For the clinical scientist, additional use of a larger 16S rRNA segment (V5 or V6) is likely to outperform the use of the V4 segment only.

RevDate: 2020-03-12

Neissi A, Rafiee G, Farahmand H, et al (2020)

Cold-Resistant Heterotrophic Ammonium and Nitrite-Removing Bacteria Improve Aquaculture Conditions of Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01498-6 [Epub ahead of print].

The aim of this study was isolation and characterization of heterotrophic bacteria capable of ammonium and nitrite removal at 15 °C (optimal temperature for growing rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss). Environmental isolates were grown in liquid media containing ammonium or nitrite, and best strains in terms of growth and ammonium or nitrite removal were identified via 16S rRNA sequencing. Dyadobacter sp. (no. 68) and Janthinobacterium sp. (no. 100) were selected for optimal adaptation to growth at 15 °C and best ammonium and nitrite removal (P < 0.05), respectively. A heterotrophic ammonium and nitrite removal (HAN) microbial complex, containing selected strains, was prepared and applied in a trout culture system. After 10 days, the effect of microbial HAN complex was investigated in terms of ammonium and nitrite removal, as well as stress and immune indices present in the plasma of cultivated trout. Compared to a standard cultivation setup, addition of the HAN complex had a clear beneficial effect on keeping the un-ionized ammonia and nitrite level below prescribed standards (P < 0.05). This resulted in reduction of stress and immune reactions of cultivated fish (P < 0.05), leading to an augmentation of final weight and survival. Application of the selected microbial complex resulted in a significant improvement of the aquaculture ecosystem.

RevDate: 2020-03-11

Glodowska M, Stopelli E, Schneider M, et al (2020)

Role of in Situ Natural Organic Matter in Mobilizing As during Microbial Reduction of FeIII-Mineral-Bearing Aquifer Sediments from Hanoi (Vietnam).

Environmental science & technology [Epub ahead of print].

Natural organic matter (NOM) can contribute to arsenic (As) mobilization as an electron donor for microbially-mediated reductive dissolution of As-bearing Fe(III) (oxyhydr)oxides. However, to investigate this process, instead of using NOM, most laboratory studies used simple fatty acids or sugars, often at relatively high concentrations. To investigate the role of relevant C sources, we therefore extracted in situ NOM from the upper aquitard (clayey silt) and lower sandy aquifer sediments in Van Phuc (Hanoi area, Vietnam), characterized its composition, and used 100-day microcosm experiments to determine the effect of in situ OM on Fe(III) mineral reduction, As mobilization, and microbial community composition. We found that OM extracted from the clayey silt (OMC) aquitard resembles young, not fully degraded plant-related material, while OM from the sandy sediments (OMS) is more bioavailable and related to microbial biomass. Although all microcosms were amended with the same amount of C (12 mg C/L), the extent of Fe(III) reduction after 100 days was the highest with acetate/lactate (43 ± 3.5% of total Fe present in the sediments) followed by OMS (28 ± 0.3%) and OMC (19 ± 0.8%). Initial Fe(III) reduction rates were also higher with acetate/lactate (0.53 mg Fe(II) in 6 days) than with OMS and OMC (0.18 and 0.08 mg Fe(II) in 6 days, respectively). Although initially more dissolved As was detected in the acetate/lactate setups, after 100 days, higher concentrations of As (8.3 ± 0.3 and 8.8 ± 0.8 μg As/L) were reached in OMC and OMS, respectively, compared to acetate/lactate-amended setups (6.3 ± 0.7 μg As/L). 16S rRNA amplicon sequence analyses revealed that acetate/lactate mainly enriched Geobacter, while in situ OM supported growth and activity of a more diverse microbial community. Our results suggest that although the in situ NOM is less efficient in stimulating microbial Fe(III) reduction than highly bioavailable acetate/lactate, it ultimately has the potential to mobilize the same amount or even more As.

RevDate: 2020-03-11

Stastney P, S Black (2020)

Bog Microtopography and the Climatic Sensitivity of Testate Amoeba Communities: Implications for Transfer Function-Based Paleo-Water Table Reconstructions.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01499-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Although the use of sub-fossil testate amoebae as a proxy for raised bog hydrology in Holocene paleoecological studies is well-established, some detailed aspects of species-environment relationships remain under-researched. One such issue is the effect of bog surface microtopography on the climatic sensitivity of testate amoeba communities. Although it has been suggested that some microforms-especially hummocks-may be less sensitive to climatic forcing than others, this has rarely been objectively tested. To investigate this, subfossil testate amoebae assemblages have been examined in a series of shallow cores collected along a hummock-lawn-hollow transect from a bog in central Ireland and the resulting reconstructed water table records, dated using 210Pb, have been compared with instrumental weather data. Testate amoebae communities in the hollow microform were found to be significantly less diverse than those in the hummock and lawn, and both the hummock and lawn showed statistically significant correlations with instrumental temperature and precipitation data. Therefore, whilst the suggestion that paleoecological investigations should target intermediate bog microforms remains sound, the notion that hummock-based testate amoebae hydrological data are climatically-insensitive is challenged.

RevDate: 2020-03-15

Alteio LV, Schulz F, Seshadri R, et al (2020)

Complementary Metagenomic Approaches Improve Reconstruction of Microbial Diversity in a Forest Soil.

mSystems, 5(2):.

Soil ecosystems harbor diverse microorganisms and yet remain only partially characterized as neither single-cell sequencing nor whole-community sequencing offers a complete picture of these complex communities. Thus, the genetic and metabolic potential of this "uncultivated majority" remains underexplored. To address these challenges, we applied a pooled-cell-sorting-based mini-metagenomics approach and compared the results to bulk metagenomics. Informatic binning of these data produced 200 mini-metagenome assembled genomes (sorted-MAGs) and 29 bulk metagenome assembled genomes (MAGs). The sorted and bulk MAGs increased the known phylogenetic diversity of soil taxa by 7.2% with respect to the Joint Genome Institute IMG/M database and showed clade-specific sequence recruitment patterns across diverse terrestrial soil metagenomes. Additionally, sorted-MAGs expanded the rare biosphere not captured through MAGs from bulk sequences, exemplified through phylogenetic and functional analyses of members of the phylum Bacteroidetes Analysis of 67 Bacteroidetes sorted-MAGs showed conserved patterns of carbon metabolism across four clades. These results indicate that mini-metagenomics enables genome-resolved investigation of predicted metabolism and demonstrates the utility of combining metagenomics methods to tap into the diversity of heterogeneous microbial assemblages.IMPORTANCE Microbial ecologists have historically used cultivation-based approaches as well as amplicon sequencing and shotgun metagenomics to characterize microbial diversity in soil. However, challenges persist in the study of microbial diversity, including the recalcitrance of the majority of microorganisms to laboratory cultivation and limited sequence assembly from highly complex samples. The uncultivated majority thus remains a reservoir of untapped genetic diversity. To address some of the challenges associated with bulk metagenomics as well as low throughput of single-cell genomics, we applied flow cytometry-enabled mini-metagenomics to capture expanded microbial diversity from forest soil and compare it to soil bulk metagenomics. Our resulting data from this pooled-cell sorting approach combined with bulk metagenomics revealed increased phylogenetic diversity through novel soil taxa and rare biosphere members. In-depth analysis of genomes within the highly represented Bacteroidetes phylum provided insights into conserved and clade-specific patterns of carbon metabolism.

RevDate: 2020-03-11

Cabello-Olmo M, Oneca M, Torre P, et al (2020)

Influence of Storage Temperature and Packaging on Bacteria and Yeast Viability in a Plant-Based Fermented Food.

Foods (Basel, Switzerland), 9(3): pii:foods9030302.

Optimization of food storage has become a central issue for food science and biotechnology, especially in the field of functional foods. The aim of this work was to investigate the influence of different storage strategies in a fermented food product (FFP) and further determine whether the regular storage (room temperature (RT) and standard packaging (SP)) could be refined. Eight experimental conditions (four different temperatures × two packaging) were simulated and changes in FFP's microbial ecology (total bacteria, lactic acid bacteria (LAB), and yeasts) and physicochemical characteristics (pH and moisture content (MC)) were determined following 1, 3, 6, and 12 months. All conditions tested showed a decline in microbial content due to the effect of the temperature, 37 °C being the most detrimental condition, while -20 and 4 °C seemed to be better than RT in some parameters. Vacuum packaging (VP) only had a major effect on MC and we found that VP preserved greater MC values than SP at 3, 6, and 12 months. The correlation analysis revealed that total bacteria, LAB, and yeasts were positively associated, and also both pH and MC showed a correlation. According to our results and with the purpose to maintain the load of viable microorganisms, we observed that the best storage conditions should contemplate SP and freezing or cooling temperature during a period no longer than 3 months.

RevDate: 2020-03-10

Moscoviz R, Quéméner ED, Trably E, et al (2020)

Novel Outlook in Microbial Ecology: Nonmutualistic Interspecies Electron Transfer.

Trends in microbiology, 28(4):245-253.

Recent advances in microbial electrochemical technologies have revealed the existence of numerous and highly diverse microorganisms able to exchange electrons with electrodes. This diversity could reflect the capacity of microorganisms to release and/or retrieve electrons with each other in natural environments. So far, this interspecies electron transfer has been studied with a special focus on syntrophy and was successfully demonstrated for several couples of species. In this article we argue that electron exchange between microbes exists beyond syntrophy or mutualism and could also promote competitive and even parasitic behaviour. Based on three interesting case studies identified from the literature, we also highlight that such nonmutualistic interactions could be widespread and of particular significance for the survival of pathogens or the shaping of complex microbial communities.

RevDate: 2020-03-10

Mukherjee S, Naha S, Bhadury P, et al (2020)

Emergence of OXA-232-producing hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae ST23 causing neonatal sepsis.

The Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy pii:5802604 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2020-03-13

Cliffe L, Nixon SL, Daly RA, et al (2020)

Identification of Persistent Sulfidogenic Bacteria in Shale Gas Produced Waters.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:286.

Produced waters from hydraulically fractured shale formations give insight into the microbial ecology and biogeochemical conditions down-well. This study explores the potential for sulfide production by persistent microorganisms recovered from produced water samples collected from the Marcellus shale formation. Hydrogen sulfide is highly toxic and corrosive, and can lead to the formation of "sour gas" which is costly to refine. Furthermore, microbial colonization of hydraulically fractured shale could result in formation plugging and a reduction in well productivity. It is vital to assess the potential for sulfide production in persistent microbial taxa, especially when considering the trend of reusing produced waters as input fluids, potentially enriching for problematic microorganisms. Using most probable number (MPN) counts and 16S rRNA gene sequencing, multiple viable strains of bacteria were identified from stored produced waters, mostly belonging to the Genus Halanaerobium, that were capable of growth via fermentation, and produced sulfide when supplied with thiosulfate. No sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) were detected through culturing, despite the detection of relatively low numbers of sulfate-reducing lineages by high-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing. These results demonstrate that sulfidogenic produced water populations remain viable for years post production and, if left unchecked, have the potential to lead to natural gas souring during shale gas extraction.

RevDate: 2020-03-10

Chriswell ME, KA Kuhn (2020)

Microbiota-mediated mucosal inflammation in arthritis.

Best practice & research. Clinical rheumatology pii:S1521-6942(20)30009-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Mucosal surfaces are a unique symbiotic environment between a host and a vast and diverse ecology of microbes. These microbes have great immunomodulatory potential with respect to the host organism. Indeed, the mucosal immune system strikes a delicate balance between tolerance of commensal organisms and overt inflammation to ward off pathogens. Disruptions of the microbial ecology at mucosal surfaces has been described in a vast number of different human disease processes including many forms of arthritis, and the resulting implications are still being understood to their fullest. Herein, we review the current state of knowledge in microbe-host interactions as it relates to the development of arthritis through bacterial translocation, bacterial metabolite production, education of the immune response, and molecular mimicry.

RevDate: 2020-03-13

Moore RM, Harrison AO, McAllister SM, et al (2020)

Iroki: automatic customization and visualization of phylogenetic trees.

PeerJ, 8:e8584.

Phylogenetic trees are an important analytical tool for evaluating community diversity and evolutionary history. In the case of microorganisms, the decreasing cost of sequencing has enabled researchers to generate ever-larger sequence datasets, which in turn have begun to fill gaps in the evolutionary history of microbial groups. However, phylogenetic analyses of these types of datasets create complex trees that can be challenging to interpret. Scientific inferences made by visual inspection of phylogenetic trees can be simplified and enhanced by customizing various parts of the tree. Yet, manual customization is time-consuming and error prone, and programs designed to assist in batch tree customization often require programming experience or complicated file formats for annotation. Iroki, a user-friendly web interface for tree visualization, addresses these issues by providing automatic customization of large trees based on metadata contained in tab-separated text files. Iroki's utility for exploring biological and ecological trends in sequencing data was demonstrated through a variety of microbial ecology applications in which trees with hundreds to thousands of leaf nodes were customized according to extensive collections of metadata. The Iroki web application and documentation are available at https://www.iroki.net or through the VIROME portal http://virome.dbi.udel.edu. Iroki's source code is released under the MIT license and is available at https://github.com/mooreryan/iroki.

RevDate: 2020-03-07

Nuzzo A, Satpute A, Albrecht U, et al (2020)

Impact of Soil Microbial Amendments on Tomato Rhizosphere Microbiome and Plant Growth in Field Soil.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01497-7 [Epub ahead of print].

There is increased interest by the agricultural industry in microbial amendments that leverage natural beneficial interactions between plants and soil microbes to improve crop production. However, translating fundamental knowledge from laboratory experiments into efficient field application often has mixed results, and there is less clarity about the interaction between added microbes and the native microbial community, where microorganisms belonging to the same phylogenic clades often reside. In this study, four commercially available microbial amendments were examined in two greenhouse experiments using field soil to assess their impact on tomato plant growth and the native soil microbial communities. The amendments contained different formulations of plant growth-promoting bacteria (Lactobacilli, Rhizobia, etc.), yeasts, and mycorrhizal fungi. The application of the tested amendments in greenhouse conditions resulted in no significant impact on plant growth. A deeper statistical analysis detected variations in the microbial communities that accounted only for 0.25% of the total species, particularly in native taxa not related to the inoculated species and represented less than 1% of the total variance. This suggests that under commercial field conditions, additional confounding variables may play a role in the efficacy of soil microbial amendments. This study confirms the necessity of more in-depth validation requirements for the formulations of soil microbial amendments before delivery to the agricultural market in order to leverage their benefits for the producers, the consumers, and the environment.

RevDate: 2020-03-07

Zhang Y, Hao X, Garcia-Lemos AM, et al (2020)

Soil fertilization has different effects on bacterial community composition in the Penicillium canescens hyphosphere and in bulk soil.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.02969-19 [Epub ahead of print].

This study investigated the effects of long-term soil fertilization on the composition and potential for phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) cycling of bacterial communities associated with hyphae of the P-solubilizing fungus Penicillium canescens Using a baiting approach, hyphosphere bacterial communities were recovered from three soils that had received long-term amendment in the field with mineral or mineral plus organic fertilizers. Compared with the soil communities, P. canescens hyphae recruited bacterial communities with a decreased diversity and an increased abundance of Proteobacteria. As core bacterial taxa, Delftia and Pseudomonas were present in all hyphosphere samples irrespective of soil fertilization. However, the type of fertilization showed significant impacts on the diversity, composition and distinctive taxa/OTUs of hyphosphere communities. The soil factors P (Olsen method), exchangeable Mg, exchangeable K and pH were important for shaping soil and hyphosphere bacterial community compositions. An increased relative abundance of organic P metabolism genes was found in hyphosphere communities from soil that had not received P fertilizers, which could indicate a P limitation near the fungal hyphae. Additionally, P. canescens hyphae recruited bacterial communities with a higher abundance of N fixation genes compared to soil communities, which might imply a role of hyphosphere communities for fungal N nutrition. Furthermore, the relative abundances of denitrification genes were greater in several hyphosphere communities indicating an, at least partly, anoxic microenvironment with high carbon to N ratio around the hyphae. In conclusion, soil fertilization legacy shapes P. canescens hyphosphere microbiomes and their functional potential related to P and N cycling.IMPORTANCE P-solubilizing Penicillium spp. strains are introduced as biofertilizers to agricultural soils to improve plant P nutrition. Currently little is known about the ecology of these biofertilizers, including their interactions with other soil microorganisms. This study shows that communities dominated by Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria colonize P. canescens hyphae in soil, and that the composition of these communities depends on the soil conditions. The potential of these communities for N and organic P cycling is generally higher than that of soil communities. The high potential for organic P metabolism might complement the ability of the fungus to solubilize inorganic P and points to the hyphosphere as a hotspot for P metabolism. Furthermore, the high potential for N fixation could indicate that P. canescens recruits bacteria that are able to improve its N nutrition. Hence, this community study identifies functional groups relevant for future optimization of next-generation biofertilizer consortia for applications in soil.

RevDate: 2020-03-10

Song J, Jongmans-Hochschulz E, Mauder N, et al (2020)

The Travelling Particles: Investigating microplastics as possible transport vectors for multidrug resistant E. coli in the Weser estuary (Germany).

The Science of the total environment, 720:137603 pii:S0048-9697(20)31114-1 [Epub ahead of print].

The prevalence of multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria in aquatic environments has been a long withstanding health concern, namely extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) producing Escherichia coli. Given increasing reports on microplastic (MP) pollution in these environments, it has become crucial to better understand the role of MP particles as transport vectors for such multidrug-resistant bacteria. In this study, an incubation experiment was designed where particles of both synthetic and natural material (HDPE, tyre wear, and wood) were sequentially incubated at multiple sites along a salinity gradient from the Lower Weser estuary (Germany) to the offshore island Helgoland (German Bight, North Sea). Following each incubation period, particle biofilms and water samples were assessed for ESBL-producing E. coli, first by the enrichment and detection of E. coli using Fluorocult® LMX Broth followed by cultivation on CHROMAgar™ ESBL media to select for ESBL-producers. Results showed that general E. coli populations were present on the surfaces of wood particles across all sites but none were found to produce ESBLs. Additionally, neither HDPE nor tyre wear particles were found to harbour any E. coli. Conversely, ESBL-producing E. coli were present in surrounding waters from all sites, 64% of which conferred resistances against up to 3 other antibiotic groups, additional to the beta-lactam resistances intrinsic to ESBL-producers. This study provides a first look into the potential of MP to harbour and transport multidrug-resistant E. coli across different environments and the approach serves as an important precursor to further studies on other potentially harmful MP-colonizing species.

RevDate: 2020-03-08

Pascoal F, Magalhães C, R Costa (2020)

The Link Between the Ecology of the Prokaryotic Rare Biosphere and Its Biotechnological Potential.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:231.

Current research on the prokaryotic low abundance taxa, the prokaryotic rare biosphere, is growing, leading to a greater understanding of the mechanisms underlying organismal rarity and its relevance in ecology. From this emerging knowledge it is possible to envision innovative approaches in biotechnology applicable to several sectors. Bioremediation and bioprospecting are two of the most promising areas where such approaches could find feasible implementation, involving possible new solutions to the decontamination of polluted sites and to the discovery of novel gene variants and pathways based on the attributes of rare microbial communities. Bioremediation can be improved through the realization that diverse rare species can grow abundant and degrade different pollutants or possibly transfer useful genes. Further, most of the prokaryotic diversity found in virtually all environments belongs in the rare biosphere and remains uncultivatable, suggesting great bioprospecting potential within this vast and understudied genetic pool. This Mini Review argues that knowledge of the ecophysiology of rare prokaryotes can aid the development of future, efficient biotechnology-based processes, products and services. However, this promise may only be fulfilled through improvements in (and optimal blending of) advanced microbial culturing and physiology, metagenomics, genome annotation and editing, and synthetic biology, to name a few areas of relevance. In the future, it will be important to understand how activity profiles relate with abundance, as some rare taxa can remain rare and increase activity, whereas other taxa can grow abundant. The metabolic mechanisms behind those patterns can be useful in designing biotechnological processes.

RevDate: 2020-03-06

Charmpi C, Van der Veken D, Van Reckem E, et al (2020)

Raw meat quality and salt levels affect the bacterial species diversity and community dynamics during the fermentation of pork mince.

Food microbiology, 89:103434.

Acidification level and temperature modulate the beneficial consortia of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) during meat fermentation. Less is known about the impact of other factors, such as raw meat quality and salting. These could for instance affect the growth of the pathogen Staphylococcus aureus or of Enterobacterales species, potentially indicative of poor fermentation practice. Therefore, pork batters from either normal or borderline quality (dark-firm-dry, DFD) were compared at various salt concentrations (0-4%) in meat fermentation models. Microbial ecology of the samples was investigated with culture-dependent techniques and (GTG)5-PCR fingerprinting of genomic DNA. Whilst Lactobacillus sakei governed the fermentation of normal meat, Lactobacillus curvatus was more prominent in the fermentation of the DFD meat variant. CNS were favoured during fermentation at rising salt concentrations without much effects on species diversity, consisting mostly of Staphylococcus equorum, Staphylococcus saprophyticus, and Staphylococcus xylosus. During fermentation of DFD meat, S. saprophyticus was less manifest than during that of normal meat. Enterobacterales mainly emerged in DFD meat during fermentation at low salt concentrations. The salt hurdle was insufficient to prevent Enterobacterales when acidification and initial pH were favourable for their growth.

RevDate: 2020-03-06

Tian Y, Gui W, Koo I, et al (2020)

The microbiome modulating activity of bile acids.

Gut microbes [Epub ahead of print].

Bile acids are potent antibacterial compounds and play an important role in shaping the microbial ecology of the gut. Here, we combined flow cytometry, growth rate measurements (OD600), and NMR- and mass spectrometry-based metabolomics to systematically profile the impact of bile acids on the microbiome using in vitro and in vivo models. This study confirmed that (1) unconjugated bile acids possess more potent antibacterial activity than conjugated bile acids; (2) Gram-positive bacteria are more sensitive to bile acids than Gram-negative bacteria; (3) some probiotic bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium and 7α-dehydroxylating bacteria such as Clostridium scindens show bile acid resistance that is associated with activation of glycolysis. Moreover, we demonstrated that (4) as one of most hydrophobic bile acids, lithocholic acid (LCA) shows reduced toxicity to bacteria in the cecal microbiome in both in vivo and in vitro models; (5) bile acids directly and rapidly affect bacterial global metabolism including membrane damage, disrupted amino acid, nucleotide, and carbohydrate metabolism; and (6) in vivo, short-term exposure to bile acids significantly affected host metabolism via alterations of the bacterial community structure. This study systematically profiled interactions between bile acids and gut bacteria providing validation of previous observation and new insights into the interaction of bile acids with the microbiome and mechanisms related to bile acid tolerance.

RevDate: 2020-03-06

Gutiérrez-Sarmiento W, Sáyago-Ayerdi SG, Goñi I, et al (2020)

Changes in Intestinal Microbiota and Predicted Metabolic Pathways During Colonic Fermentation of Mango (Mangifera indica L.)-Based Bar Indigestible Fraction.

Nutrients, 12(3): pii:nu12030683.

Mango (Mangifera indica L.) peel and pulp are a source of dietary fiber (DF) and phenolic compounds (PCs) that constituent part of the indigestible fraction (IF). This fraction reaches the colon and acts as a carbon and energy source for intestinal microbiota. The effect of mango IF on intestinal microbiota during colonic fermentation is unknown. In this study, the isolated IF of a novel 'Ataulfo' mango-based bar (snack) UV-C irradiated and non-irradiated (UVMangoB and MangoB) were fermented. Colonic fermentation occurred in vitro under chemical-enzymatic, semi-anaerobic, batch culture and controlled pH colonic conditions. Changes in the structure of fecal microbiota were analyzed by 16s rRNA gene Illumina MiSeq sequencing. The community´s functional capabilities were determined in silico. The MangoB and UVMangoB increased the presence of Faecalibacterium, Roseburia, Eubacterium, Fusicatenibacter, Holdemanella, Catenibacterium, Phascolarctobacterium, Buttiauxella, Bifidobacterium,Collinsella, Prevotella and Bacteroides genera. The alpha indexes showed a decrease in microbial diversity after 6 h of colonic fermentation. The coordinates analysis indicated any differences between irradiated and non-irradiated bar. The metabolic prediction demonstrated that MangoB and UVMangoB increase the microbiota carbohydrate metabolism pathway. This study suggests that IF of mango-based bar induced beneficial changes on microbial ecology and metabolic pathway that could be promissory to prevention or treatment of metabolic dysbiosis. However, in vivo interventions are necessary to confirm the interactions between microbiota modulating and intestinal beneficial effects.

RevDate: 2020-03-05

Weis S, Schnell S, M Egert (2020)

Towards Safer-SIP - Effect of formamide on the separation of isotope-labeled and unlabeled Escherichia coli RNA by isopycnic density ultracentrifugation.

Canadian journal of microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

RNA-based stable isotope probing (RNA-SIP) is used in molecular microbial ecology to link the identity of microorganisms in a complex community to the assimilation of a distinct substrate. The technique is highly dependent on a reliable separation of isotopically labeled from unlabeled RNA by isopycnic density ultracentrifugation. Here we show that 13C-labeled and unlabeled Escherichia coli RNA can be sufficiently separated by isopycnic ultracentrifugation even in the absence of formamide. However, a slightly lower starting density is needed to obtain a similar distribution pattern as if formamide was used. Hence, the commonly used addition of formamide to the centrifugation solution might not be needed to separate 13C-labeled from unlabeled RNA, which, however, has to be verified for more complex environmental mixtures of RNA. Clearly, an omission of formamide would increase the safety of RNA-SIP analyses.

RevDate: 2020-03-10
CmpDate: 2020-03-10

Gignoux-Wolfsohn SA, Precht WF, Peters EC, et al (2020)

Ecology, histopathology, and microbial ecology of a white-band disease outbreak in the threatened staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis.

Diseases of aquatic organisms, 137(3):217-237.

This study is a multi-pronged description of a temperature-induced outbreak of white-band disease (WBD) that occurred in Acropora cervicornis off northern Miami Beach, Florida (USA), from July to October 2014. We describe the ecology of the disease and examine diseased corals using both histopathology and next-generation bacterial 16S gene sequencing, making it possible to better understand the effect this disease has on the coral holobiont, and to address some of the seeming contradictions among previous studies of WBD that employed either a purely histological or molecular approach. The outbreak began in July 2014, as sea surface temperatures reached 29°C, and peaked in mid-September, a month after the sea surface temperature maximum. The microscopic anatomy of apparently healthy portions of colonies displaying active disease signs appeared normal except for some tissue atrophy and dissociation of mesenterial filaments deep within the branch. Structural changes were more pronounced in visibly diseased fragments, with atrophy, necrosis, and lysing of surface and basal body wall and polyp structures at the tissue-loss margin. The only bacteria evident microscopically in both diseased and apparently healthy tissues with Giemsa staining was a Rickettsiales-like organism (RLO) occupying mucocytes. Sequencing also identified bacteria belonging to the order Rickettsiales in all fragments. When compared to apparently healthy fragments, diseased fragments had more diverse bacterial communities made up of many previously suggested potential primary pathogens and secondary (opportunistic) colonizers. Interactions between elevated seawater temperatures, the coral host, and pathogenic members of the diseased microbiome all contribute to the coral displaying signs of WBD.

RevDate: 2020-03-13

Mastrorilli E, Petrin S, Orsini M, et al (2020)

Comparative genomic analysis reveals high intra-serovar plasticity within Salmonella Napoli isolated in 2005-2017.

BMC genomics, 21(1):202.

BACKGROUND: Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Napoli (S. Napoli) is among the top serovars causing human infections in Italy, although it is relatively uncommon in other European countries; it is mainly isolated from humans and the environment, but neither the reservoir nor its route of infection are clearly defined. This serovar is characterized by high genomic diversity, and molecular evidences revealed important similarities with typhoidal serovars.

RESULTS: 179 S. Napoli genomes as well as 239 genomes of typhoidal and non-typhoidal serovars were analyzed in a comparative genomic study. Phylogenetic analysis and draft genome characterization in terms of Multi Locus Sequence Typing (MLST), plasmid replicons, Salmonella Pathogenicity Islands (SPIs), antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs), phages, biocide and metal-tolerance genes confirm the high genetic variability of S. Napoli, also revealing a within-serovar phylogenetic structure more complex than previously known. Our work also confirms genomic similarity of S. Napoli to typhoidal serovars (S. Typhi and S. Paratyphi A), with S. Napoli samples clustering primarily according to ST, each being characterized by specific genomic traits. Moreover, two major subclades of S. Napoli can be clearly identified, with ST-474 being biphyletic. All STs span among isolation sources and years of isolation, highlighting the challenge this serovar poses to define its epidemiology and evolution. Altogether, S. Napoli strains carry less SPIs and less ARGs than other non-typhoidal serovars and seldom acquire plasmids. However, we here report the second case of an extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs) producing S. Napoli strain and the first cases of multidrug resistant (MDR) S. Napoli strains, all isolated from humans.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results provide evidence of genomic plasticity of S. Napoli, highlighting genomic similarity with typhoidal serovars and genomic features typical of non-typhoidal serovars, supporting the possibility of survival in different niches, both enteric and non-enteric. Presence of horizontally acquired ARGs and MDR profiles rises concerns regarding possible selective pressure exerted by human environment on this pathogen.

RevDate: 2020-03-12

Tu Q (2020)

Random sampling in metagenomic sequencing leads to overestimated spatial scaling of microbial diversity.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Revealing the spatial scaling patterns of microbial diversity is of special interest in microbial ecology. One critical question is whether the observed spatial turnover rate truly reflect the actual spatial patterns of extremely diverse microbial communities. Using simulated mock communities, this study suggested that the currently observed microbial spatial turnover rates were overestimated by random sampling processes associated with high-throughput metagenomic sequencing. The observed z values were largely contributed by accumulated microbial taxa due to cumulative number of samples. This is a crucial issue because microbial communities already have very low spatial turnover rate due to the small size and potential cosmopolitism nature of microorganisms. Further investigations suggested a linear relationship between the observed and expected z values, which can be applied to remove random sampling noises from the observed z values. Adjustment of z values for data sets from six American forests showed much lower spatial turnover rate than that before adjustment. However, the patterns of z values among these six forests remained unchanged. This study suggested that our current understanding of microbial taxa-area relationships could be inaccurate. Therefore, cautions and efforts should be made for more accurate estimation and interpretation of microbial spatial patterns.

RevDate: 2020-03-03

Ntagia E, Chatzigiannidou I, Williamson AJ, et al (2020)

Homoacetogenesis and microbial community composition are shaped by pH and total sulfide concentration.

Microbial biotechnology [Epub ahead of print].

Biological CO2 sequestration through acetogenesis with H2 as electron donor is a promising technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Today, a major issue is the presence of impurities such as hydrogen sulfide (H2 S) in CO2 containing gases, as they are known to inhibit acetogenesis in CO2 -based fermentations. However, exact values of toxicity and inhibition are not well-defined. To tackle this uncertainty, a series of toxicity experiments were conducted, with a mixed homoacetogenic culture, total dissolved sulfide concentrations ([TDS]) varied between 0 and 5 mM and pH between 5 and 7. The extent of inhibition was evaluated based on acetate production rates and microbial growth. Maximum acetate production rates of 0.12, 0.09 and 0.04 mM h-1 were achieved in the controls without sulfide at pH 7, pH 6 and pH 5. The half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50qAc) was 0.86, 1.16 and 1.36 mM [TDS] for pH 7, pH 6 and pH 5. At [TDS] above 3.33 mM, acetate production and microbial growth were completely inhibited at all pHs. 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing revealed major community composition transitions that could be attributed to both pH and [TDS]. Based on the observed toxicity levels, treatment approaches for incoming industrial CO2 streams can be determined.

RevDate: 2020-03-17

Hu X, Kerckhof FM, Ghesquière J, et al (2020)

Microbial Protein out of Thin Air: Fixation of Nitrogen Gas by an Autotrophic Hydrogen-Oxidizing Bacterial Enrichment.

Environmental science & technology, 54(6):3609-3617.

For the production of edible microbial protein (MP), ammonia generated by the Haber-Bosch process or reclaimed ammonia from waste streams is typically considered as the nitrogen source. These processes for ammonia production are highly energy intensive. In this study, the potential for using nitrogen gas (N2) as a direct nitrogen source for MP production by hydrogen-oxidizing bacteria (HOB) was evaluated. The use of N2 versus ammonium as nitrogen source during the enrichment process resulted in differentiation of the bacterial community composition of the enrichments. A few previously unknown potential N2-fixing HOB taxa (i.e., representatives of the genus Azonexus and the family Comamonadaceae) dominated the enrichments. The biomass yield of a N2-fixing HOB enrichment was 30-50% lower than that of the ammonium-based HOB enrichment from the same inoculum source. The dried biomass of N2-fixing HOB had a high protein content (62.0 ± 6.3%) and an essential amino acid profile comparable to MP from ammonium-based HOB. MP from N2-fixing HOB could potentially be produced in situ without entailing the emissions caused by ammonia production and transportation by conventional means. It could be a promising substitute for N2-fixing protein-rich soybean because it has 70% higher protein content and double energy conversion efficiency from solar energy to biomass.

RevDate: 2020-03-03

Rossmann M, Pérez-Jaramillo JE, Kavamura VN, et al (2020)

Multitrophic interactions in the rhizosphere microbiome of wheat: from bacteria and fungi to protists.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:5775476 [Epub ahead of print].

Plants modulate the soil microbiota by root exudation assembling a complex rhizosphere microbiome with organisms spanning different trophic levels. Here, we assessed the diversity of bacterial, fungal and cercozoan communities in landraces and modern varieties of wheat. The dominant taxa within each group were the bacterial phyla Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Acidobacteria; the fungi phyla Ascomycota, Chytridiomycota and Basidiomycota; and the Cercozoa classes Sarcomonadea, Thecofilosea and Imbricatea. We showed that microbial networks of the wheat landraces formed a more intricate network topology than that of modern wheat cultivars, suggesting that breeding selection resulted in a reduced ability to recruit specific microbes in the rhizosphere. The high connectedness of certain cercozoan taxa to bacteria and fungi indicated trophic network hierarchies where certain predators gain predominance over others. Positive correlations between protists and bacteria in landraces were preserved as a subset in cultivars as was the case for the Sarcomonadea class with Actinobacteria. The correlations between the microbiome structure and plant genotype observed in our results suggest the importance of top-down control by organisms of higher trophic levels as a key factor for understanding the drivers of microbiome community assembly in the rhizosphere.

RevDate: 2020-03-03

O'Brien AM, Laurich J, Lash E, et al (2020)

Mutualistic Outcomes Across Plant Populations, Microbes, and Environments in the Duckweed Lemna minor.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-019-01452-1 [Epub ahead of print].

The picture emerging from the rapidly growing literature on host-associated microbiota is that host traits and fitness often depend on interactive effects of host genotype, microbiota, and abiotic environment. However, testing interactive effects typically requires large, multi-factorial experiments and thus remains challenging in many systems. Furthermore, most studies of plant microbiomes focus on terrestrial hosts and microbes. Aquatic habitats may confer unique properties to microbiomes. We grew different populations of duckweed (Lemna minor), a floating aquatic plant, in three microbial treatments (adding no, "home", or "away" microbes) at two levels of zinc, a common water contaminant in urban areas, and measured both plant and microbial performance. Thus, we simultaneously manipulated plant source population, microbial community, and abiotic environment. We found strong effects of plant source, microbial treatment, and zinc on duckweed and microbial growth, with significant variation among duckweed genotypes and microbial communities. However, we found little evidence of interactive effects: zinc did not alter effects of host genotype or microbial community, and host genotype did not alter effects of microbial communities. Despite strong positive correlations between duckweed and microbe growth, zinc consistently decreased plant growth, but increased microbial growth. Furthermore, as in recent studies of terrestrial plants, microbial interactions altered a duckweed phenotype (frond aggregation). Our results suggest that duckweed source population, associated microbiome, and contaminant environment should all be considered for duckweed applications, such as phytoremediation. Lastly, we propose that duckweed microbes offer a robust experimental system for study of host-microbiota interactions under a range of environmental stresses.

RevDate: 2020-03-08

Romero Victorica M, Soria MA, Batista-García RA, et al (2020)

Neotropical termite microbiomes as sources of novel plant cell wall degrading enzymes.

Scientific reports, 10(1):3864.

In this study, we used shotgun metagenomic sequencing to characterise the microbial metabolic potential for lignocellulose transformation in the gut of two colonies of Argentine higher termite species with different feeding habits, Cortaritermes fulviceps and Nasutitermes aquilinus. Our goal was to assess the microbial community compositions and metabolic capacity, and to identify genes involved in lignocellulose degradation. Individuals from both termite species contained the same five dominant bacterial phyla (Spirochaetes, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Fibrobacteres and Bacteroidetes) although with different relative abundances. However, detected functional capacity varied, with C. fulviceps (a grass-wood-feeder) gut microbiome samples containing more genes related to amino acid metabolism, whereas N. aquilinus (a wood-feeder) gut microbiome samples were enriched in genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism and cellulose degradation. The C. fulviceps gut microbiome was enriched specifically in genes coding for debranching- and oligosaccharide-degrading enzymes. These findings suggest an association between the primary food source and the predicted categories of the enzymes present in the gut microbiomes of each species. To further investigate the termite microbiomes as sources of biotechnologically relevant glycosyl hydrolases, a putative GH10 endo-β-1,4-xylanase, Xyl10E, was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. Functional analysis of the recombinant metagenome-derived enzyme showed high specificity towards beechwood xylan (288.1 IU/mg), with the optimum activity at 50 °C and a pH-activity range from 5 to 10. These characteristics suggest that Xy110E may be a promising candidate for further development in lignocellulose deconstruction applications.

RevDate: 2020-03-17

Ogbughalu OT, Vasileiadis S, Schumann RC, et al (2020)

Role of microbial diversity for sustainable pyrite oxidation control in acid and metalliferous drainage prevention.

Journal of hazardous materials, 393:122338 pii:S0304-3894(20)30326-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Acid and metalliferous drainage (AMD) remains a challenging issue for the mining sector. AMD management strategies have attempted to shift from treatment of acid leachates post-generation to more sustainable at-source prevention. Here, the efficacy of microbial-geochemical at-source control approach was investigated over a period of 84 weeks. Diverse microbial communities were stimulated using organic carbon amendment in a simulated silicate-containing sulfidic mine waste rock environment. Mineral waste in the unamended leach system generated AMD quickly and throughout the study, with known lithotrophic iron- and sulfur-oxidising microbes dominating column communities. The organic-amended mineral waste column showed suppressed metal dissolution and AMD generation. Molecular DNA-based next generation sequencing confirmed a less diverse lithotrophic community in the acid-producing control, with a more diverse microbial community under organic amendment comprising organotrophic iron/sulfur-reducers, autotrophs, hydrogenotrophs and heterotrophs. Time-series multivariate statistical analyses displayed distinct ecological patterns in microbial diversity between AMD- and non-AMD-environments. Focused ion beam-TEM micrographs and elemental mapping showed that silicate-stabilised passivation layers were successfully established across pyrite surfaces in organic-amended treatments, with these layers absent in unamended controls. Organic amendment and resulting increases in microbial abundance and diversity played an important role in sustaining these passivating layers in the long-term.

RevDate: 2020-03-05

Sarrocco S, Herrera-Estrella A, DB Collinge (2020)

Editorial: Plant Disease Management in the Post-genomic Era: From Functional Genomics to Genome Editing.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:107.

RevDate: 2020-03-17

Cermak N, Datta MS, A Conwill (2020)

Rapid, Inexpensive Measurement of Synthetic Bacterial Community Composition by Sanger Sequencing of Amplicon Mixtures.

iScience, 23(3):100915 pii:S2589-0042(20)30099-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Synthetic bacterial communities are powerful tools for studying microbial ecology and evolution, as they enable rapid iteration between controlled laboratory experiments and theoretical modeling. However, their utility is hampered by the lack of fast, inexpensive, and accurate methods for quantifying bacterial community composition. Although next-generation amplicon sequencing can be very accurate, high costs (>$30 per sample) and turnaround times (>1 month) limit the nature and pace of experiments. Here, we quantify amplicon composition in synthetic bacterial communities through Sanger sequencing. We PCR amplify a universal marker gene, then we sequence this amplicon mixture in a single Sanger sequencing reaction. We then fit the "mixed" electropherogram with contributions from each community member as a linear combination of time-warped single-strain electropherograms, allowing us to estimate the fractional amplicon abundance of each strain within the community. This approach can provide results within one day and costs ∼$5 per sample.

RevDate: 2020-03-06

Candry P, Huang S, Carvajal-Arroyo JM, et al (2020)

Enrichment and characterisation of ethanol chain elongating communities from natural and engineered environments.

Scientific reports, 10(1):3682.

Chain elongation is a microbial process in which an electron donor, such as ethanol, is used to elongate short chain carboxylic acids, such as acetic acid, to medium chain carboxylic acids. This metabolism has been extensively investigated, but the spread and differentiation of chain elongators in the environment remains unexplored. Here, chain elongating communities were enriched from several inocula (3 anaerobic digesters, 2 animal faeces and 1 caproic acid producing environment) using ethanol and acetic acid as substrates at pH 7 and 5.5. This approach showed that (i) the inoculum's origin determines the pH where native chain elongators can grow; (ii) pH affects caproic acid production, with average caproic acid concentrations of 6.4 ± 1.6 g·L-1 at pH 7, versus 2.3 ± 1.8 g·L-1 at pH 5.5; however (iii) pH does not affect growth rates significantly; (iv) all communities contained a close relative of the known chain elongator Clostridium kluyveri; and (v) low pH selects for communities more enriched in this Clostridium kluyveri-relative (57.6 ± 23.2% at pH 7, 96.9 ± 1.2% at pH 5.5). These observations show that ethanol-consuming chain elongators can be found in several natural and engineered environments, but are not the same everywhere, emphasising the need for careful inoculum selection during process development.

RevDate: 2020-02-28

Wang Y, Jiang Y, Liu Y, et al (2020)

Comparative Studies on the Polymorphism and Copy Number Variation of mtSSU rDNA in Ciliates (Protista, Ciliophora): Implications for Phylogenetic, Environmental, and Ecological Research.

Microorganisms, 8(3): pii:microorganisms8030316.

While nuclear small subunit ribosomal DNA (nSSU rDNA) is the most commonly-used gene marker in studying phylogeny, ecology, abundance, and biodiversity of microbial eukaryotes, mitochondrial small subunit ribosomal DNA (mtSSU rDNA) provides an alternative. Recently, both copy number variation and sequence variation of nSSU rDNA have been demonstrated for diverse organisms, which can contribute to misinterpretation of microbiome data. Given this, we explore patterns for mtSSU rDNA among 13 selected ciliates (representing five classes), a major component of microbial eukaryotes, estimating copy number and sequence variation and comparing to that of nSSU rDNA. Our study reveals: (1) mtSSU rDNA copy number variation is substantially lower than that for nSSU rDNA; (2) mtSSU rDNA copy number ranges from 1.0 × 104 to 8.1 × 105; (3) a most common sequence of mtSSU rDNA is also found in each cell; (4) the sequence variation of mtSSU rDNA are mainly indels in poly A/T regions, and only half of species have sequence variation, which is fewer than that for nSSU rDNA; and (5) the polymorphisms between haplotypes of mtSSU rDNA would not influence the phylogenetic topology. Together, these data provide more insights into mtSSU rDNA as a powerful marker especially for microbial ecology studies.

RevDate: 2020-03-03

Riaz L, Wang Q, Yang Q, et al (2020)

Potential of industrial composting and anaerobic digestion for the removal of antibiotics, antibiotic resistance genes and heavy metals from chicken manure.

The Science of the total environment, 718:137414 pii:S0048-9697(20)30924-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Composting and anaerobic digestion techniques are widely used for manure recycling, but these methods have shown conflicting results in the removal of antibiotics, antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs), and heavy metals. In the present study, anaerobically digested chicken manure and various types of composted chicken manure were investigated on an industrial scale. Antibiotics, ARGs, and heavy metals had shown inconsistent results for anaerobic digestion and composting. The different composting processes either declined or completely removed the blaCTX-M, intl1 and oqxB genes. In addition, composting processes decreased the absolute abundance of aac6'-Ib and aadA genes, while increased the absolute abundance of qnrD, sul1, and tet(A) genes. On the other hand, anaerobic digestion of chicken manure increased the absolute abundance of ere(A) and tet(A). High throughput sequencing showed that Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Actinobacteria dominated the total bacterial composition of composted and anaerobically digested samples. Network analysis revealed the co-occurrence of ARGs and intl1. The redundancy analysis showed a significant correlation between some heavy metals and ARGs. Similarly, the bacterial composition showed a positive correlation with the prevalence of ARGs in treated manure. These findings suggest that bacterial community, heavy metals, and mobile genetic elements can play a significant role in the abundance and variation of ARGs during composting and anaerobic digestion. In conclusion, anaerobic digestion and composting methods at industrial scale need to be improved for the effective removal of antibiotics, ARGs and heavy metals from chicken manure.

RevDate: 2020-02-27

Rizowy GM, Poloni S, Colonetti K, et al (2020)

Is the gut microbiota dysbiotic in patients with classical homocystinuria?.

Biochimie pii:S0300-9084(20)30041-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Classical homocystinuria (HCU) is characterized by increased plasma levels of total homocysteine (tHcy) and methionine (Met). Treatment may involve supplementation of B vitamins and essential amino acids, as well as restricted Met intake. Dysbiosis has been described in some inborn errors of metabolism, but has not been investigated in HCU. The aim of this study was to investigate the gut microbiota of HCU patients on treatment. Six unrelated HCU patients (males= 5, median age= 25.5 years) and six age-and-sex-matched healthy controls (males= 5, median age= 24.5 years) had their fecal microbiota characterized through partial 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Fecal pH, a 3-day dietary record, medical history, and current medications were recorded for both groups. All patients were on a Met-restricted diet and presented with high tHcy. Oral supplementation of folate (n=6) and pyridoxine (n=5), oral intake of betaine (n=4), and IM vitamin B12 supplementation (n=4), were reported only in the HCU group. Patients had decreased daily intake of fat, cholesterol, vitamin D, and selenium compared to controls (p<0.05). There was no difference in alpha and beta diversity between the groups. HCU patients had overrepresentation of the Eubacterium coprostanoligenes group and underrepresentation of the Alistipes, Family XIII UCG-001, and Parabacteroidetes genera. HCU patients and controls had similar gut microbiota diversity, despite differential abundance of some bacterial genera. Diet, betaine, vitamin B supplementation, and host genetics may contribute to these differences in microbial ecology.

RevDate: 2020-02-27

Pushalkar S, Paul B, Li Q, et al (2020)

Electronic Cigarette Aerosol Modulates the Oral Microbiome and Increases Risk of Infection.

iScience pii:S2589-0042(20)30068-7 [Epub ahead of print].

The trend of e-cigarette use among teens is ever increasing. Here we show the dysbiotic oral microbial ecology in e-cigarette users influencing the local host immune environment compared with non-smoker controls and cigarette smokers. Using 16S rRNA high-throughput sequencing, we evaluated 119 human participants, 40 in each of the three cohorts, and found significantly altered beta-diversity in e-cigarette users (p = 0.006) when compared with never smokers or tobacco cigarette smokers. The abundance of Porphyromonas and Veillonella (p = 0.008) was higher among vapers. Interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-1β were highly elevated in e-cigarette users when compared with non-users. Epithelial cell-exposed e-cigarette aerosols were more susceptible for infection. In vitro infection model of premalignant Leuk-1 and malignant cell lines exposed to e-cigarette aerosol and challenged by Porphyromonas gingivalis and Fusobacterium nucleatum resulted in elevated inflammatory response. Our findings for the first time demonstrate that e-cigarette users are more prone to infection.

RevDate: 2020-02-27

Schmidt ML, Biddanda BA, Weinke AD, et al (2020)

Microhabitats are associated with diversity-productivity relationships in freshwater bacterial communities.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:5762669 [Epub ahead of print].

Eukaryotic communities commonly display a positive relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function (BEF) but the results have been mixed when assessed in bacterial communities. Habitat heterogeneity, a factor in eukaryotic BEFs, may explain these variable observations but it has not been thoroughly evaluated in bacterial communities. Here, we examined the impact of habitat on the relationship between diversity assessed based on the (phylogenetic) Hill diversity metrics and heterotrophic productivity. We sampled co-occurring free-living (more homogenous) and particle-associated (more heterogeneous) bacterial habitats in a freshwater, estuarine lake over three seasons: spring, summer, and fall. There was a strong, positive, linear relationship between particle-associated bacterial richness and heterotrophic productivity that strengthened when considering dominant taxa. There were no observable BEF trends in free-living bacterial communities for any diversity metric. Biodiversity, richness and Inverse Simpson's index, were the best predictors of particle-associated production. pH was the best predictor of free-living production. Our findings show that heterotrophic productivity is positively correlated with the effective number of taxa and that BEF relationships are associated with microhabitats. Our work adds to the understanding of the highly distinct contributions to diversity and functioning contributed by bacteria in free-living and particle-associated habitats.

RevDate: 2020-03-14

Xavier JB, Young VB, Skufca J, et al (2020)

The Cancer Microbiome: Distinguishing Direct and Indirect Effects Requires a Systemic View.

Trends in cancer, 6(3):192-204.

The collection of microbes that live in and on the human body - the human microbiome - can impact on cancer initiation, progression, and response to therapy, including cancer immunotherapy. The mechanisms by which microbiomes impact on cancers can yield new diagnostics and treatments, but much remains unknown. The interactions between microbes, diet, host factors, drugs, and cell-cell interactions within the cancer itself likely involve intricate feedbacks, and no single component can explain all the behavior of the system. Understanding the role of host-associated microbial communities in cancer systems will require a multidisciplinary approach combining microbial ecology, immunology, cancer cell biology, and computational biology - a systems biology approach.

RevDate: 2020-02-26

Wang B, He Y, Tang J, et al (2020)

Alteration of the gut microbiota in tumor necrosis factor-α antagonist-treated collagen-induced arthritis mice.

International journal of rheumatic diseases [Epub ahead of print].

AIM: Gut microbiota play an important role in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Biological therapies targeting tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) have been used for treatment in RA patients. However, whether TNF-α antagonist has some influence on gut microbiota is still unknown. This study aims to investigate the distribution of gut microbiota in collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) mice treated with the TNF-α antagonist etanercept.

METHODS: Collagen-induced arthritis mice were induced by type II collagen. Cytokine expression was detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction. 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing was performed to characterize the gut microbiota in CIA mice treated with vehicle or etanercept. Sequencing reads were processed by Microbial Ecology software program.

RESULTS: Compared with vehicle-treated mice, we showed that CIA mice treated with etanercept led to attenuation of inflammation and reduced expression of TNF-α, interferon (IFN)-γ, interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-21. Meanwhile, results showed operational taxonomic units, richness estimators and the diversity indices of gut microbiota in etanercept-treated mice were lower than that in vehicle-treated mice. Moreover, bacterial abundance analyses showed that genus Escherichia/Shigella was more abundant in etanercept-treated mice, and Lactobacillus, Clostridium XlVa, Tannerella were less abundant. The altered bacterial genus was correlated with TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-6, IL-21 and IL-10.

CONCLUSION: Our results revealed that TNF-α antagonist treatment can reduce the abundance and diversity of gut microbiota in CIA mice. Targeted gut microbiota may be a new therapeutic strategy for the treatment of RA.

RevDate: 2020-02-26

Chen K, Fu Y, Wang Y, et al (2020)

Therapeutic Effects of the In Vitro Cultured Human Gut Microbiota as Transplants on Altering Gut Microbiota and Improving Symptoms Associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01494-w [Epub ahead of print].

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a brain-based neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by behavioral abnormalities. Accumulating studies show that the gut microbiota plays a vital role in the pathogenesis of ASD, and gut microbiota transplantation (GMT) is a promising technique for the treatment of ASD. In clinical applications of GMT, it is challenging to obtain effective transplants because of the high costs of donor selection and heterogeneity of donors' gut microbiota, which can cause different clinical responses. In vitro batch culture is a fast, easy-to-operate, and repeatable method to culture gut microbiota. Thus, the present study investigates the feasibility of treating ASD with in vitro cultured gut microbiota as transplants. We cultured gut microbiota via the in vitro batch culture method and performed GMT in the maternal immune activation (MIA)-induced ASD mouse model with original donor microbiota and in vitro cultured microbiota. Open field, three-chamber social, marble burying, and self-grooming tests were used for behavioral improvement assessment. Serum levels of chemokines were detected. Microbial total DNA was extracted from mouse fecal samples, and 16S rDNA was sequenced using Illumina. Our results showed that GMT treatment with original and cultured donor gut microbiota significantly ameliorated anxiety-like and repetitive behaviors and improved serum levels of chemokines including GRO-α (CXCL1), MIP-1α (CCL3), MCP-3 (CCL7), RANTES (CCL5), and Eotaxin (CCL11) in ASD mice. Meanwhile, the gut microbial communities of the two groups that received GMT treatment were changed compared with the ASD mice groups. In the group treated with in vitro cultured donor gut microbiota, there was a significant decrease in the relative abundance of key differential taxa, including S24-7, Clostridiaceae, Prevotella_other, and Candidatus Arthromitus. The relative abundance of these taxa reached close to the level of healthy mice. Prevotella_other also decreased in the group treated with original donor gut microbiota, with a significant increase in Ruminococcaceae and Oscillospira. The present study demonstrated that GMT with in vitro cultured microbiota also improved behavioral abnormalities and chemokine disorders in an ASD mouse model compared with GMT with original donor gut microbiota. In addition, it significantly modified several key differential taxa in gut microbial composition.

RevDate: 2020-03-03

Abramov SM, Tejada J, Grimm L, et al (2020)

Role of biogenic Fe(III) minerals as a sink and carrier of heavy metals in the Rio Tinto, Spain.

The Science of the total environment, 718:137294 pii:S0048-9697(20)30804-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Oxidation of sulfide ores in the Iberian Pyrite Belt region leads to the presence of extremely high concentration of dissolved heavy metals (HMs) in the acidic water of the Rio Tinto. Fe(II) is microbially oxidized resulting in the formation of suspended particulate matter (SPM) consisting of microbial cells and Fe(III) minerals with co-precipitated HMs. Although substantial amount of HM-bearing SPM is likely deposited to river sediment, a portion can still be transported through estuary to the coastal ocean. Therefore, the mechanisms of SPM formation and transport along the Rio Tinto are important for coastal-estuarine zone. In order to reveal these mechanisms, we performed diurnal sampling of Rio Tinto water, mineralogical and elemental analysis of sediment from the middle course and the estuary of the river. We identified two divergent but interrelated pathways of HM transfer. The first longitudinal pathway is the transport of SPM-associated metals such as As (6.58 μg/L), Pb (3.51 μg/L) and Cr (1.30 μg/L) to the coastal ocean. The second sedimentation pathway contributes to the continuous burial of HMs in the sediment throughout the river. In the middle course, sediment undergoes mineralogical transformations during early diagenesis and traps HMs (e.g. 1.6 mg/g of As, 1.23 mg/g of Pb and 0.1 mg/g of Cr). In the estuary, HMs are accumulated in a distinct anoxic layer of sediment (e.g. 1.5 mg/g of As, 2.09 mg/g of Pb and 0.04 mg/g of Cr). Our results indicate that microbially precipitated Fe(III) minerals (identified as ferrihydrite and schwertmannite) play a key role in maintaining these divergent HM pathways and as a consequence are crucial for HM mobility in the Rio Tinto.

RevDate: 2020-03-01

Marsland R, Cui W, P Mehta (2020)

A minimal model for microbial biodiversity can reproduce experimentally observed ecological patterns.

Scientific reports, 10(1):3308.

Surveys of microbial biodiversity such as the Earth Microbiome Project (EMP) and the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) have revealed robust ecological patterns across different environments. A major goal in ecology is to leverage these patterns to identify the ecological processes shaping microbial ecosystems. One promising approach is to use minimal models that can relate mechanistic assumptions at the microbe scale to community-level patterns. Here, we demonstrate the utility of this approach by showing that the Microbial Consumer Resource Model (MiCRM) - a minimal model for microbial communities with resource competition, metabolic crossfeeding and stochastic colonization - can qualitatively reproduce patterns found in survey data including compositional gradients, dissimilarity/overlap correlations, richness/harshness correlations, and nestedness of community composition. By using the MiCRM to generate synthetic data with different environmental and taxonomical structure, we show that large scale patterns in the EMP can be reproduced by considering the energetic cost of surviving in harsh environments and HMP patterns may reflect the importance of environmental filtering in shaping competition. We also show that recently discovered dissimilarity-overlap correlations in the HMP likely arise from communities that share similar environments rather than reflecting universal dynamics. We identify ecologically meaningful changes in parameters that alter or destroy each one of these patterns, suggesting new mechanistic hypotheses for further investigation. These findings highlight the promise of minimal models for microbial ecology.

RevDate: 2020-02-25

Samanta P, Mandal RS, Saha RN, et al (2020)

A point mutation in carR involved in the emergence of polymyxin B-sensitive Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor biotype by influencing gene transcription.

Infection and immunity pii:IAI.00080-20 [Epub ahead of print].

Antimicrobial peptides play an important role in host-defence against Vibrio cholerae Generally, V. cholerae O1 classical biotype is polymyxin B (PB) sensitive and El Tor is relatively resistant. Detection of classical biotype traits like cholera toxin B-subunit gene ctxB1 and PB sensitivity in El Tor strains have been reported in recent years, including in the devastating Yemen cholera outbreak during 2016-18. To investigate the factor(s) responsible for the shift in the trend of sensitivity towards PB, we studied the two-component system carRS regulating the lipid A modification of El Tor vibrios and found that only carR contains a SNP in recently emerged PB-sensitive strains. We designated these two alleles present in PB-resistant and sensitive strains as carRR and carRS , respectively and replaced the carRS allele of a sensitive strain with carRR using allelic exchange approach. The sensitive strain then became resistant. PB-resistant N16961 was made susceptible to PB in a similar fashion. Our in-silico CarR models suggested that D89N substitution in more stable CarRS brings the two structural domains of CarR closer constricting the DNA binding cleft. This probably reduces the expression of carR-regulated almEFG operon inducing the PB-susceptibility. Expressions of almEFG in PB-sensitive strains were found to be down-regulated at natural culturing condition. In addition, the expression of carR and almEG decreased in all strains with increased concentration of extracellular Ca2+ but increased with the rise in pH. The down-regulation of almEFG in CarRS strains confirmed that G265A mutation is responsible for the emergence of PB-sensitive El Tor strains.

RevDate: 2020-02-25

Gómez Del Pulgar EM, Benítez-Páez A, Y Sanz (2020)

Safety Assessment of Bacteroides Uniformis CECT 7771, a Symbiont of the Gut Microbiota in Infants.

Nutrients, 12(2): pii:nu12020551.

The formulation of next-generation probiotics requires competent preclinical studies to show their efficacy and safety status. This study aims to confirm the safety of the prolonged oral use of Bacteroides uniformis CECT 7771, a strain that protected against metabolic disorders and obesity in preclinical trials, in a sub-chronic 90 day trial in animals. The safety assessment was conducted in male and female Wistar rats (n = 50) administered increasing doses (108 CFU/day, 109 CFU/day, or 1010 CFU/day) of B. uniformis CECT 7771, 1010 CFU/day of B. longum ATCC 15707T, which complies with the qualifying presumption of safety (QPS) status of the EU, or vehicle (placebo), as the control. Pancreatic, liver, and kidney functions and cytokine concentrations were analyzed. Bacterial translocation to peripheral tissues was evaluated, and colon integrity was investigated histologically. No adverse metabolic or tissue integrity alterations were associated with treatments; however, alanine aminotransferase levels and the ratio of anti-inflammatory to pro-inflammatory cytokines in serum indicated a potentially beneficial role of B. uniformis CECT 7771 at specific doses. Additionally, the microbial community structure was modified by the interventions, and potentially beneficial gut bacteria were increased. The results indicated that the oral consumption of B. uniformis CECT 7771 during a sub-chronic 90 day study in rats did not raise safety concerns.

RevDate: 2020-03-03

Wei H, Gao D, Liu Y, et al (2020)

Sediment nitrate reduction processes in response to environmental gradients along an urban river-estuary-sea continuum.

The Science of the total environment, 718:137185 pii:S0048-9697(20)30695-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Sediment denitrification (DEN), anaerobic ammonium oxidation (Anammox), and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) are three important nitrate (NO3-) reduction pathways in aquatic ecosystems. These processes modify nitrogen (N) loadings from land to the ocean, with important implications on the management of coastal eutrophication. While NO3- reduction has been studied intensively for various types of habitats, studies on its distributions along river-estuary-sea continua remain scarce. In this study, we examined these three pathways along a N-laden urban river-estuary-sea continuum comprised of three types of habitats (urban river, estuary, and adjacent sea) in the densely populated Shanghai-East China Sea area. The potential DEN, Anammox, and DNRA rates decreased seaward both in summer and winter in response to decreasing sediment organic matter (OM, 20 to 7 to 7 mg C g-1), ferrous oxide (9 to 2.7 to 2.8 mg Fe g-1), and bottom water dissolved inorganic nitrogen (543 to 112 to 21 μM). Among these pathways, DEN remained a major component (~69.6%) across habitats, while Anammox (47.9%) rivaled DEN (48.3%) in the urban river in winter. N retention index (NIRI), the ratio between retained and removed NO3-, ranged from 0 to 0.5 and increased downstream. Together, these results suggest that the decreasing gradients of OM and inorganic matter shape the distribution of NO3- reduction along the continuum, reflecting the diminishing impact of the river and human inputs from the urban river to the ocean. Our results highlight the importance of taking a continuum perspective in N cycling studies and emphasize the role of urban rivers as N removal hotspots, which should be a focus of research and management.

RevDate: 2020-02-24

Balachandran M, Cross KL, M Podar (2020)

Single-Cell Genomics and the Oral Microbiome.

Journal of dental research [Epub ahead of print].

The human oral cavity is one of the first environments where microbes have been discovered and studied since the dawn of microbiology. Nevertheless, approximately 200 types of bacteria from the oral microbiota have remained uncultured in the laboratory. Some are associated with a healthy oral microbial community, while others are linked to oral diseases, from dental caries to gum disease. Single-cell genomics has enabled inferences on the physiology, virulence, and evolution of such uncultured microorganisms and has further enabled isolation and cultivation of several novel oral bacteria, including the discovery of novel interspecies interactions. This review summarizes some of the more recent advances in this field, which is rapidly moving toward physiologic characterization of single cells and ultimately cultivation of the yet uncultured. A combination of traditional microbiological approaches with genomic-based physiologic predictions and isolation strategies may lead to the oral microbiome being the first complex microbial community to have all its members cultivable in the laboratory. Studying the biology of the individual microbes when in association with other members of the community, in controlled laboratory conditions and in vivo, should lead to a better understanding of oral dysbiosis and its prevention and reversion.

RevDate: 2020-02-24

Hess AL, Larsen LH, Udesen PB, et al (2020)

Levels of Circulating miR-122 are Associated with Weight Loss and Metabolic Syndrome.

Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 28(3):493-501.

OBJECTIVE: This study investigated whether the levels of specific serum microRNAs (miRNAs) were altered following diet-induced weight loss and whether the serum miRNAs differed in the presence of the metabolic syndrome.

METHODS: The study was a weight loss intervention trial with a prescribed energy deficit of approximately 500 kcal/d. Levels of 22 miRNAs were determined in serum samples from 85 participants with overweight or obesity. miRNAs were analyzed using TaqMan Array miRNA Cards and normalized to the geometric mean of spiked-in ath-miR-159a and U6 small nuclear RNA using the ΔCT method.

RESULTS: The average weight loss was 5.7 kg (P < 0.001). miR-122-5p (-0.18 ± 0.06 log fold relative to initial, P < 0.01) and miR-193a-5p (-0.12 ± 0.04, P < 0.01) levels decreased in response to weight loss. miR-126a-3p (0.11 ± 0.04, P = 0.01) and miR-222-3p (1.51 ± 0.12, P < 0.001) levels increased. Furthermore, a higher level of miR-122-5p was observed at baseline in participants with the metabolic syndrome compared with participants without (0.28 ± 0.08, P < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: Changes in circulating miR-122-5p, miR-126a-3p, miR-193a-5p, and miR-222-3p in response to diet-induced weight loss are demonstrated. Furthermore, assessment of miR-122-5p could be an indicator of an adverse metabolic health status independent of obesity.

RevDate: 2020-03-17

Zhang S, Shao Y, Zhao X, et al (2020)

Indole contributes to tetracycline resistance via the outer membrane protein OmpN in Vibrio splendidus.

World journal of microbiology & biotechnology, 36(3):36 pii:10.1007/s11274-020-02813-6.

As an interspecies and interkingdom signaling molecule, indole has recently received attention for its diverse effects on the physiology of both bacteria and hosts. In this study, indole increased the tetracycline resistance of Vibrio splendidus. The minimal inhibitory concentration of tetracycline was 10 μg/mL, and the OD600 of V. splendidus decreased by 94.5% in the presence of 20 μg/mL tetracycline; however, the OD600 of V. splendidus with a mixture of 20 μg/mL tetracycline and 125 μM indole was 10- or 4.5-fold higher than that with only 20 μg/mL tetracycline at different time points. The percentage of cells resistant to 10 μg/mL tetracycline was 600-fold higher in the culture with an OD600 of approximately 2.0 (higher level of indole) than that in the culture with an OD600 of 0.5, which also meant that the level of indole was correlated to the tetracycline resistance of V. splendidus. Furthermore, one differentially expressed protein, which was identified as the outer membrane porin OmpN using SDS-PAGE combined with MALDI-TOF/TOF MS, was upregulated. Consequently, the expression of the ompN gene in the presence of either tetracycline or indole and simultaneously in the presence of indole and tetracycline was upregulated by 1.8-, 2.54-, and 6.01-fold, respectively, compared to the control samples. The combined results demonstrated that indole enhanced the tetracycline resistance of V. splendidus, and this resistance was probably due to upregulation of the outer membrane porin OmpN.

RevDate: 2020-02-23

Law CKY, De Henau R, J De Vrieze (2020)

Feedstock thermal pretreatment selectively steers process stability during the anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge.

Applied microbiology and biotechnology pii:10.1007/s00253-020-10472-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Strategies to enhance process performance of anaerobic digestion remain of key importance to promote wider usage of this technology for integrated resource recovery from organic waste streams. Continuous inoculation of the microbial community in the digester via the feedstock could be such a cost-effective strategy. Here, anaerobic digestion of fresh waste activated sludge (WAS) was compared with sterilized WAS in response to two common process disturbances, i.e. organic overloading and increasing levels of salts, to determine the importance of feedstock inoculation. A pulse in the organic loading rate severely impacted process stability of the digesters fed sterile WAS, with a 92 ± 45% decrease in methane production, compared to a 42 ± 31% increase in the digesters fed fresh WAS, relative to methane production before the pulse. Increasing salt pulses did not show a clear difference in process stability between the digesters fed fresh and sterile WAS, and process recovery was obtained even at the highest salt pulse of 25 g Na+ L-1. Feedstock sterilization through thermal pretreatment strongly impacted the microbial community in the digesters. In conclusion, feedstock thermal pretreatment strongly impacted anaerobic digestion process stability, due to feedstock inoculation and compositional modification.

RevDate: 2020-02-22

Bao G, Song M, Wang Y, et al (2020)

Does Epichloë Endophyte Enhance Host Tolerance to Root Hemiparasite?.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01496-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Epichloë endophytes have been shown to be mutualistic symbionts of cool-season grasses under most environmental conditions. Although pairwise interactions between hemiparasites and their hosts are heavily affected by host-associated symbiotic microorganisms, little attention has been paid to the effects of microbe-plant interactions, particularly endophytic symbiosis, in studies examining the effects of parasitic plants on host performance. In this study, we performed a greenhouse experiment to examine the effects of hereditary Epichloë endophyte symbiosis on the growth of two host grasses (Stipa purpurea and Elymus tangutorum) in the presence or absence of a facultative root hemiparasite (Pedicularis kansuensis Maxim). We observed parasitism of both hosts by P. kansuensis: when grown with a host plant, the hemiparasite decreased the performance of the host while improving its own biomass and survival rate of the hemiparasite. Parasitized endophyte-infected S. purpurea plants had higher biomass, tillers, root:shoot ratio, and photosynthetic parameters and a lower number of functional haustoria than the endophyte-free S. purpurea conspecifics. By contrast, parasitized endophyte-infected E. tangutorum had a lower biomass, root:shoot ratio, and photosynthetic parameters and a higher number of haustoria and functional haustoria than their endophyte-free counterparts. Our results reveal that the interactions between the endophytes and the host grasses are context dependent and that plant-plant interactions can strongly affect their mutualistic interactions. Endophytes originating from S. purpurea alleviate the host biomass reduction by P. kansuensis and growth depression in the hemiparasite. These findings shed new light on using grass-endophyte symbionts as biocontrol methods for the effective and sustainable management of this weedy hemiparasite.

RevDate: 2020-02-25

Elhalis H, Cox J, J Zhao (2020)

Ecological diversity, evolution and metabolism of microbial communities in the wet fermentation of Australian coffee beans.

International journal of food microbiology, 321:108544 pii:S0168-1605(20)30038-6 [Epub ahead of print].

The microbial ecology in the fermentation of Australian coffee beans was investigated in this study. Pulped coffee beans were kept underwater for 36 h before air dried. Samples were collected periodically, and the microbial communities were analyzed by culture-dependent and independent methods. Changes in sugars, organic acids and microbial metabolites in the mucilage and endosperm of the coffee beans during fermentation were monitored by HPLC. Culture-dependent methods identified 6 yeast and 17 bacterial species, while the culture-independent methods, multiple-step total direct DNA extraction and high throughput sequencing, identified 212 fungal and 40 bacterial species. Most of the microbial species in the community have been reported for wet fermentation of coffee beans in other parts of the world, but the yeast Pichia kudriavzevii was isolated for the first time in wet coffee bean fermentation. The bacterial community was dominated by aerobic mesophilic bacteria (AMB) with Citrobacter being the predominant genus. Hanseniaspora uvarum and Pichia kudriavzevii were the predominant yeasts while Leuconostoc mesenteroides and Lactococcus lactis were the predominant LAB. The yeasts and bacteria grew significantly during fermentation, utilizing sugars in the mucilage and produced mannitol, glycerol, and lactic acid, leading to a significant decrease in pH. The results of this study provided a preliminary understanding of the microbial ecology of wet coffee fermentation under Australian conditions. Further studies are needed to explore the impact of microbial growth and metabolism on coffee quality, especially flavour.


RJR Experience and Expertise


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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Collection of publications by R J Robbins

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

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

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

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

short personal version

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

long standard version

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