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28 Feb 2020 at 01:48
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Bibliography on: Symbiosis


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 28 Feb 2020 at 01:48 Created: 


Symbiosis refers to an interaction between two or more different organisms living in close physical association, typically to the advantage of both. Symbiotic relationships were once thought to be exceptional situations. Recent studies, however, have shown that every multicellular eukaryote exists in a tight symbiotic relationship with billions of microbes. The associated microbial ecosystems are referred to as microbiome and the combination of a multicellular organism and its microbiota has been described as a holobiont. It seems "we are all lichens now."

Created with PubMed® Query: symbiosis NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)

RevDate: 2020-02-27

Suárez J (2020)

The stability of traits conception of the hologenome: An evolutionary account of holobiont individuality.

History and philosophy of the life sciences, 42(1):11 pii:10.1007/s40656-020-00305-2.

Bourrat and Griffiths (Hist Philos Life Sci 40(2):33, 2018) have recently argued that most of the evidence presented by holobiont defenders to support the thesis that holobionts are evolutionary individuals is not to the point and is not even adequate to discriminate multispecies evolutionary individuals from other multispecies assemblages that would not be considered evolutionary individuals by most holobiont defenders. They further argue that an adequate criterion to distinguish the two categories is fitness alignment, presenting the notion of fitness boundedness as a criterion that allows divorcing true multispecies evolutionary individuals from other multispecies assemblages and provides an adequate criterion to single out genuine evolutionary multispecies assemblages. A consequence of their criterion is that holobionts, as conventionally defined by hologenome defenders, are not evolutionary individuals except in very rare cases, and for very specific host-symbiont associations. This paper is a critical response to Bourrat and Griffiths' arguments and a defence of the arguments presented by holobiont defenders. Drawing upon the case of the hologenomic basis of the evolution of sanguivory in vampire bats (Nat Ecol Evol 2:659-668, 2018), I argue that Bourrat and Griffiths overlook some aspects of the biological nature of the microbiome that justifies the thesis that holobionts are evolutionarily different to other multispecies assemblages. I argue that the hologenome theory of evolution should not define the hologenome as a collection of genomes, but as the sum of the host genome plus some traits of the microbiome which together constitute an evolutionary individual, a conception I refer to as the stability of traits conception of the hologenome. Based on that conception I argue that the evidence presented by holobiont defenders is to the point, and supports the thesis that holobionts are evolutionary individuals. In this sense, the paper offers an account of the holobiont that aims to foster a dialogue between hologenome advocates and hologenome critics.

RevDate: 2020-02-27

Su C, Klein ML, Hernández-Reyes C, et al (2020)

The Medicago truncatula DREPP Protein Triggers Microtubule Fragmentation in Membrane Nanodomains during Symbiotic Infections.

The Plant cell pii:tpc.19.00777 [Epub ahead of print].

The initiation of intracellular host cell colonization by symbiotic rhizobia in Medicago truncatula requires repolarization of root hairs, which includes the re-arrangement of cytoskeletal filaments. The molecular players governing microtubule (MT) re-organization during rhizobial infections remain to be discovered. Here, we identified M. truncatula DREPP, a member of the microtubule binding DREPP/PCaP protein family and investigated its functions during rhizobial infections. We show that rhizobial colonization of drepp mutant roots as well as transgenic roots over-expressing DREPP is impaired. DREPP re-localizes into symbiosis-specific membrane nanodomains in a stimulus-dependent manner. This subcellular segregation coincides with DREPP-dependent MT fragmentation and a partial loss of the ability to re-organize the MT cytoskeleton in response to rhizobia, which might rely on an interaction between DREPP and the MT organizing protein SPIRAL2 (SPR2). Taken together, our results reveal that establishment of symbiotic associations in M. truncatula require DREPP in order to regulate MT reorganization during initial root hair responses to rhizobia.

RevDate: 2020-02-27
CmpDate: 2020-02-27

Liu L, Gong T, Tao W, et al (2019)

Commensal viruses maintain intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes via noncanonical RIG-I signaling.

Nature immunology, 20(12):1681-1691.

Much attention has focused on commensal bacteria in health and disease, but the role of commensal viruses is understudied. Although metagenomic analysis shows that the intestine of healthy humans and animals harbors various commensal viruses and the dysbiosis of these viruses can be associated with inflammatory diseases, there is still a lack of causal data and underlying mechanisms to understand the physiological role of commensal viruses in intestinal homeostasis. In the present study, we show that commensal viruses are essential for the homeostasis of intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs). Mechanistically, the cytosolic viral RNA-sensing receptor RIG-I in antigen-presenting cells can recognize commensal viruses and maintain IELs via a type I interferon-independent, but MAVS-IRF1-IL-15 axis-dependent, manner. The recovery of IELs by interleukin-15 administration reverses the susceptibility of commensal virus-depleted mice to dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis. Collectively, our results indicate that commensal viruses maintain the IELs and consequently sustain intestinal homeostasis via noncanonical RIG-I signaling.

RevDate: 2020-02-27
CmpDate: 2020-02-27

Nikolaivits E, Agrafiotis A, Termentzi A, et al (2019)

Unraveling the Detoxification Mechanism of 2,4-Dichlorophenol by Marine-Derived Mesophotic Symbiotic Fungi Isolated from Marine Invertebrates.

Marine drugs, 17(10):.

Chlorophenols (CPs) are environmental pollutants that are produced through various anthropogenic activities and introduced in the environment. Living organisms, including humans, are exposed to these toxic xenobiotics and suffer from adverse health effects. More specifically, 2,4-dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP) is released in high amounts in the environment and has been listed as a priority pollutant by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Bioremediation has been proposed as a sustainable alternative to conventional remediation methods for the detoxification of phenolic compounds. In this work, we studied the potential of fungal strains isolated as symbionts of marine invertebrates from the underexplored mesophotic coral ecosystems. Hence, the unspecific metabolic pathways of these fungal strains are being explored in the present study, using the powerful analytical capabilities of a UHPLC-HRMS/MS. The newly identified 2,4-DCP metabolites add significantly to the knowledge of the transformation of such pollutants by fungi, since such reports are scarce.

RevDate: 2020-02-27
CmpDate: 2020-02-27

Du Toit A (2019)

Commensal defence.

Nature reviews. Microbiology, 17(11):646-647.

RevDate: 2020-02-27
CmpDate: 2020-02-27

Whitaker MRL, Baker CCM, Salzman SM, et al (2019)

Combining stable isotope analysis with DNA metabarcoding improves inferences of trophic ecology.

PloS one, 14(7):e0219070 pii:PONE-D-18-35842.

Knowing what animals eat is fundamental to our ability to understand and manage biodiversity and ecosystems, but researchers often must rely on indirect methods to infer trophic position and food intake. Using an approach that combines evidence from stable isotope analysis and DNA metabarcoding, we assessed the diet and trophic position of Anthene usamba butterflies, for which there are no known direct observations of larval feeding. An earlier study that analyzed adults rather than caterpillars of A. usamba inferred that this butterfly was aphytophagous, but we found that the larval guts of A. usamba and two known herbivorous lycaenid species contain chloroplast 16S sequences. Moreover, chloroplast barcoding revealed high sequence similarity between chloroplasts found in A. usamba guts and the chloroplasts of the Vachellia drepanolobium trees on which the caterpillars live. Stable isotope analysis provided further evidence that A. usamba caterpillars feed on V. drepanolobium, and the possibilities of strict herbivory versus limited omnivory in this species are discussed. These results highlight the importance of combining multiple approaches and considering ontogeny when using stable isotopes to infer trophic ecology where direct observations are difficult or impossible.

RevDate: 2020-02-26

Nishida H, Ito M, Miura K, et al (2020)

Autoregulation of nodulation pathway is dispensable for nitrate-induced control of rhizobial infection.

Plant signaling & behavior [Epub ahead of print].

Legumes possess the autoregulation of nodulation (AON) pathway which is responsible for maintaining optimal root nodule number. In Lotus japonicus, AON comprises the CLE-HAR1-TML module, which plays an essential role in transmitting signals via root-to-shoot-to-root long-distance signaling. In addition to AON's principal role of negatively regulating nodule number, a recent study revealed another in the systemic control of rhizobial infection. Nitrate also negatively regulates the pleiotropic phases of legume-Rhizobium symbioses, including rhizobial infection and nodule number. Nitrate signaling has recently been shown to use AON components such as CLE-RS2 and HAR1 to control nodule number. Here we consider the role of a loss-of-function mutation in CLE-RS1, -RS2 and TML in rhizobial infection in relation to nitrate. Our results agree with previous findings and support the hypothesis that AON is required for the control of rhizobial infection but not for its nitrate-induced control. Furthermore, we confirm that the tml mutants exhibit nitrate sensitivity that differs from that of cle-rs2 and har1. Hence, while the nitrate-induced control mechanism of nodule number uses AON components, an unknown pathway specific to nitrate may exist downstream of HAR1, acting in parallel with the HAR1> TML pathway.

RevDate: 2020-02-26

Waterworth SC, Flórez LV, Rees ER, et al (2020)

Horizontal Gene Transfer to a Defensive Symbiont with a Reduced Genome in a Multipartite Beetle Microbiome.

mBio, 11(1): pii:mBio.02430-19.

Symbiotic mutualisms of bacteria and animals are ubiquitous in nature, running a continuum from facultative to obligate from the perspectives of both partners. The loss of functions required for living independently but not within a host gives rise to reduced genomes in many symbionts. Although the phenomenon of genome reduction can be explained by existing evolutionary models, the initiation of the process is not well understood. Here, we describe the microbiome associated with the eggs of the beetle Lagria villosa, consisting of multiple bacterial symbionts related to Burkholderia gladioli, including a reduced-genome symbiont thought to be the exclusive producer of the defensive compound lagriamide. We show that the putative lagriamide-producing symbiont is the only member of the microbiome undergoing genome reduction and that it has already lost the majority of its primary metabolism and DNA repair pathways. The key step preceding genome reduction in the symbiont was likely the horizontal acquisition of the putative lagriamide lga biosynthetic gene cluster. Unexpectedly, we uncovered evidence of additional horizontal transfers to the symbiont's genome while genome reduction was occurring and despite a current lack of genes needed for homologous recombination. These gene gains may have given the genome-reduced symbiont a selective advantage in the microbiome, especially given the maintenance of the large lga gene cluster despite ongoing genome reduction.IMPORTANCE Associations between microorganisms and an animal, plant, or fungal host can result in increased dependence over time. This process is due partly to the bacterium not needing to produce nutrients that the host provides, leading to loss of genes that it would need to live independently and to a consequent reduction in genome size. It is often thought that genome reduction is aided by genetic isolation-bacteria that live in monocultures in special host organs, or inside host cells, have less access to other bacterial species from which they can obtain genes. Here, we describe exposure of a genome-reduced beetle symbiont to a community of related bacteria with nonreduced genomes. We show that the symbiont has acquired genes from other bacteria despite going through genome reduction, suggesting that isolation has not yet played a major role in this case of genome reduction, with horizontal gene gains still offering a potential route for adaptation.

RevDate: 2020-02-26
CmpDate: 2020-02-26

Abbasian B, Shair A, O'Gorman DB, et al (2019)

Potential Role of Extracellular ATP Released by Bacteria in Bladder Infection and Contractility.

mSphere, 4(5): pii:4/5/e00439-19.

Urgency urinary incontinence (UUI) and overactive bladder (OAB) can both potentially be influenced by commensal and urinary tract infection-associated bacteria. The sensing of bladder filling involves interplay between various components of the nervous system, eventually resulting in contraction of the detrusor muscle during micturition. This study models host responses to various urogenital bacteria, first by using urothelial bladder cell lines and then with myofibroblast contraction assays. To measure responses, we examined Ca2+ influx, gene expression, and alpha smooth muscle actin deposition assays. Organisms such as Escherichia coli and Gardnerella vaginalis were found to strongly induce Ca2+ influx and contraction, whereas Lactobacillus crispatus and L. gasseri did not induce this response. Additionally, supernatants from lactobacilli impeded Ca2+ influx and contraction induced by uropathogens. Upon further investigation of factors associated with purinergic signaling pathways, the Ca2+ influx and contraction of cells correlated with the amount of extracellular ATP produced by E. coli Certain lactobacilli appear to mitigate this response by utilizing extracellular ATP or producing inhibitory compounds that may act as a receptor agonist or Ca2+ channel blocker. These findings suggest that members of the urinary microbiota may be influencing UUI or OAB.IMPORTANCE The ability of uropathogenic bacteria to release excitatory compounds, such as ATP, may act as a virulence factor to stimulate signaling pathways that could have profound effects on the urothelium, perhaps extending to the vagina. This may be countered by the ability of certain commensal urinary microbiota constituents, such as lactobacilli. Further understanding of these interactions is important for the treatment and prevention of UUI and OAB. The clinical implications may require a more targeted approach to enhance the commensal bacteria and reduce ATP release by pathogens.

RevDate: 2020-02-26
CmpDate: 2020-02-26

Tseng LC, Huang SP, Das S, et al (2019)

A slender symbiotic goby hiding in burrows of mud shrimp Austinogebia edulis in western Taiwan.

PloS one, 14(7):e0219815 pii:PONE-D-19-12433.

The present study recorded the population of the goby fish (Perciformes: Gobiidae), Eutaeniichthys cf. gilli Jordan & Snyder, 1901, from the tunnel burrowed by the mud shrimp Austinogebia edulis Ngo-Ho and Chan, 1992 in a mudflat in Shengang and Wangong of Changhua County, western Taiwan. This finding is not only a new record of the genus in Taiwan, it is also the first record of this species in a mudflat near an industrial park. In total, 56 individuals of E. cf. gilli were collected from June 2016 to September 2018. Morphological traits of males and females were measured. The resin casting method trapped bodies of E. cf. gilli that were present in the tunnel burrow and proved that the fish inhabits burrows of the mud shrimp A. edulis. In addition, a species of snapping shrimp was also found in the same tunnel. Symbiotic interaction may occur between E. cf. gilli, A. eduli and the snapping shrimp. The China Coastal Current (CCC) runs along the coastlines of Japan, Korea, China, and reaches western Taiwan during the northeast monsoon period. The CCC, therefore, might play an important role in the biogeographic distribution of E. cf. gilli in the western Pacific Ocean. Since E. cf. gilli is listed in the Red List as an endangered species of Japan for many years, Taiwan waters may provide a refuge for this fish species warranting a broader investigation. Since Taiwan is some distance away from the previously recorded locations in Japan, Korea, the Yellow Sea, and the Bohai Sea, a phylogenic analysis is warranted for population and species differentiation in the future.

RevDate: 2020-02-26
CmpDate: 2020-02-26

Thorogood R, Spottiswoode CN, Portugal SJ, et al (2019)

The coevolutionary biology of brood parasitism: a call for integration.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 374(1769):20180190.

Obligate brood-parasitic cheats have fascinated natural historians since ancient times. Passing on the costs of parental care to others occurs widely in birds, insects and fish, and often exerts selection pressure on hosts that in turn evolve defences. Brood parasites have therefore provided an illuminating system for researching coevolution. Nevertheless, much remains unknown about how ecology and evolutionary history constrain or facilitate brood parasitism, or the mechanisms that shape or respond to selection. In this special issue, we bring together examples from across the animal kingdom to illustrate the diverse ways in which recent research is addressing these gaps. This special issue also considers how research on brood parasitism may benefit from, and in turn inform, related fields such as social evolution and immunity. Here, we argue that progress in our understanding of coevolution would benefit from the increased integration of ideas across taxonomic boundaries and across Tinbergen's Four Questions: mechanism, ontogeny, function and phylogeny of brood parasitism. We also encourage renewed vigour in uncovering the natural history of the majority of the world's brood parasites that remain little-known. Indeed, it seems very likely that some of nature's brood parasites remain entirely unknown, because otherwise we are left with a puzzle: if parental care is so costly, why is brood parasitism not more common? This article is part of the theme issue 'The coevolutionary biology of brood parasitism: from mechanism to pattern'.

RevDate: 2020-02-26
CmpDate: 2020-02-26

Suhonen J, Ilvonen JJ, Nyman T, et al (2019)

Brood parasitism in eusocial insects (Hymenoptera): role of host geographical range size and phylogeny.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 374(1769):20180203.

Interspecific brood parasitism is common in many animal systems. Brood parasites enter the nests of other species and divert host resources for producing their own offspring, which can lead to strong antagonistic parasite-host coevolution. Here, we look at commonalities among social insect species that are victims of brood parasites, and use phylogenetic data and information on geographical range size to predict which species are most probably to fall victims to brood parasites in the future. In our analyses, we focus on three eusocial hymenopteran groups and their brood parasites: (i) bumblebees, (ii) Myrmica ants, and (iii) vespine and polistine wasps. In these groups, some, but not all, species are parasitized by obligate workerless inquilines that only produce reproductive-caste descendants. We find phylogenetic signals for geographical range size and the presence of parasites in bumblebees, but not in ants and wasps. Phylogenetic logistic regressions indicate that the probability of being attacked by one or more brood parasite species increases with the size of the geographical range in bumblebees, but the effect is statistically only marginally significant in ants. However, non-phylogenetic logistic regressions suggest that bumblebee species with the largest geographical range sizes may have a lower likelihood of harbouring social parasites than do hosts with medium-sized ranges. Our results provide new insights into the ecology and evolution of host-social parasite systems, and indicate that host phylogeny and geographical range size can be used to predict threats posed by social parasites, as well to design efficient conservation measures for both hosts and their parasites. This article is part of the theme issue 'The coevolutionary biology of brood parasitism: from mechanism to pattern'.

RevDate: 2020-02-26
CmpDate: 2020-02-26

Tartally A, Thomas JA, Anton C, et al (2019)

Patterns of host use by brood parasitic Maculinea butterflies across Europe.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 374(1769):20180202.

The range of hosts exploited by a parasite is determined by several factors, including host availability, infectivity and exploitability. Each of these can be the target of natural selection on both host and parasite, which will determine the local outcome of interactions, and potentially lead to coevolution. However, geographical variation in host use and specificity has rarely been investigated. Maculinea (= Phengaris) butterflies are brood parasites of Myrmica ants that are patchily distributed across the Palæarctic and have been studied extensively in Europe. Here, we review the published records of ant host use by the European Maculinea species, as well as providing new host ant records for more than 100 sites across Europe. This comprehensive survey demonstrates that while all but one of the Myrmica species found on Maculinea sites have been recorded as hosts, the most common is often disproportionately highly exploited. Host sharing and host switching are both relatively common, but there is evidence of specialization at many sites, which varies among Maculinea species. We show that most Maculinea display the features expected for coevolution to occur in a geographic mosaic, which has probably allowed these rare butterflies to persist in Europe. This article is part of the theme issue 'The coevolutionary biology of brood parasitism: from mechanism to pattern'.

RevDate: 2020-02-26
CmpDate: 2020-02-26

Laffont C, Huault E, Gautrat P, et al (2019)

Independent Regulation of Symbiotic Nodulation by the SUNN Negative and CRA2 Positive Systemic Pathways.

Plant physiology, 180(1):559-570.

Plant systemic signaling pathways allow the integration and coordination of shoot and root organ metabolism and development at the whole-plant level depending on nutrient availability. In legumes, two systemic pathways have been reported in the Medicago truncatula model to regulate root nitrogen-fixing symbiotic nodulation. Both pathways involve leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases acting in shoots and proposed to perceive signaling peptides produced in roots depending on soil nutrient availability. In this study, we characterized in the M. truncatula Jemalong A17 genotype a mutant allelic series affecting the Compact Root Architecture2 (CRA2) receptor. These analyses revealed that this pathway acts systemically from shoots to positively regulate nodulation and is required for the activity of carboxyl-terminally encoded peptides (CEPs). In addition, we generated a double mutant to test genetic interactions of the CRA2 systemic pathway with the CLAVATA3/EMBRYO SURROUNDING REGION peptide (CLE)/Super Numeric Nodule (SUNN) receptor systemic pathway negatively regulating nodule number from shoots, which revealed an intermediate nodule number phenotype close to the wild type. Finally, we showed that the nitrate inhibition of nodule numbers was observed in cra2 mutants but not in sunn and cra2 sunn mutants. Overall, these results suggest that CEP/CRA2 and CLE/SUNN systemic pathways act independently from shoots to regulate nodule numbers.

RevDate: 2020-02-25

Qadan M (2020)

A Model for Academic Symbiosis.

Annals of surgery [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2020-02-25

Hassen AI, Lamprecht SC, FL Bopape (2020)

Emergence of β-rhizobia as new root nodulating bacteria in legumes and current status of the legume-rhizobium host specificity dogma.

World journal of microbiology & biotechnology, 36(3):40 pii:10.1007/s11274-020-2811-x.

Recent developments in the legume rhizobium symbiotic interaction particularly those related to the emergence of novel strains of bacteria that nodulate and fix nitrogen in legumes is gaining momentum. These novel strains of bacteria were mostly isolated from the root nodules of indigenous and invasive legumes belonging to the sub families Papilionoideae and Mimosoideae in South Africa, South America and South East China. These rhizobia are phylogenetically and taxonomically different from the traditional 'alpha rhizobia' and are termed 'β-rhizobia' as they belong to the β-sub class of Proteobacteria. There are also new reports of novel species of root nodulating bacteria from the α-Proteobacteria, not known for several decades since the discovery of rhizobia. However, in this review focus is given to the emerging β-rhizobia isolated from the indigenous Papilionoid legumes in the Cape Floristic regions in South Africa and the indigenous and invasive Mimosoid legumes in South America and South East Asia respectively. The nodulation of the indigenous South African Papilionoid legumes including that of Aspalathus linearis (rooibos) is discussed in a bit detail. Previous reports indicated that A. linearis is very specific in its rhizobium requirement and was reported to be nodulated by the slow growing Bradyrhizobium spp. This review however summarizes that the bacteria associated with the root nodules of A. linearis belong to members of both the alpha (α) Proteobacteria that include Mesorhizobium, Rhizobium and Bradyrhizobium spp. and the beta (β) Proteobacteria represented by the genus Burkholderia (now reclassified as Paraburkholderia). In addition, the occurrence of Paraburkholderia as the newly emerging root nodule symbionts of various other legumes has been discussed. In doing so, the review highlights that nodulation is no longer restricted to the traditional 'rhizobia' group following the emergence of the new beta rhizobia as potential nodulators of various indigenous legumes. It thus provides some insights on the status of the legume-rhizobium host specificity concept and the loss of this specificity in several symbiotic associations that puts the long held dogma of host specificity of the legume rhizobium symbiosis in a dilemma.

RevDate: 2020-02-25

Hervé V, Liu P, Dietrich C, et al (2020)

Phylogenomic analysis of 589 metagenome-assembled genomes encompassing all major prokaryotic lineages from the gut of higher termites.

PeerJ, 8:e8614 pii:8614.

"Higher" termites have been able to colonize all tropical and subtropical regions because of their ability to digest lignocellulose with the aid of their prokaryotic gut microbiota. Over the last decade, numerous studies based on 16S rRNA gene amplicon libraries have largely described both the taxonomy and structure of the prokaryotic communities associated with termite guts. Host diet and microenvironmental conditions have emerged as the main factors structuring the microbial assemblages in the different gut compartments. Additionally, these molecular inventories have revealed the existence of termite-specific clusters that indicate coevolutionary processes in numerous prokaryotic lineages. However, for lack of representative isolates, the functional role of most lineages remains unclear. We reconstructed 589 metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) from the different gut compartments of eight higher termite species that encompass 17 prokaryotic phyla. By iteratively building genome trees for each clade, we significantly improved the initial automated assignment, frequently up to the genus level. We recovered MAGs from most of the termite-specific clusters in the radiation of, for example, Planctomycetes, Fibrobacteres, Bacteroidetes, Euryarchaeota, Bathyarchaeota, Spirochaetes, Saccharibacteria, and Firmicutes, which to date contained only few or no representative genomes. Moreover, the MAGs included abundant members of the termite gut microbiota. This dataset represents the largest genomic resource for arthropod-associated microorganisms available to date and contributes substantially to populating the tree of life. More importantly, it provides a backbone for studying the metabolic potential of the termite gut microbiota, including the key members involved in carbon and nitrogen biogeochemical cycles, and important clues that may help cultivating representatives of these understudied clades.

RevDate: 2020-02-25

Lipa P, M Janczarek (2020)

Phosphorylation systems in symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria and their role in bacterial adaptation to various environmental stresses.

PeerJ, 8:e8466 pii:8466.

Symbiotic bacteria, commonly called rhizobia, lead a saprophytic lifestyle in the soil and form nitrogen-fixing nodules on legume roots. During their lifecycle, rhizobia have to adapt to different conditions prevailing in the soils and within host plants. To survive under these conditions, rhizobia fine-tune the regulatory machinery to respond rapidly and adequately to environmental changes. Symbiotic bacteria play an essential role in the soil environment from both ecological and economical point of view, since these bacteria provide Fabaceae plants (legumes) with large amounts of accessible nitrogen as a result of symbiotic interactions (i.e., rhizobia present within the nodule reduce atmospheric dinitrogen (N2) to ammonia, which can be utilized by plants). Because of its restricted availability in the soil, nitrogen is one of the most limiting factors for plant growth. In spite of its high content in the atmosphere, plants are not able to assimilate it directly in the N2 form. During symbiosis, rhizobia infect host root and trigger the development of specific plant organ, the nodule. The aim of root nodule formation is to ensure a microaerobic environment, which is essential for proper activity of nitrogenase, i.e., a key enzyme facilitating N2 fixation. To adapt to various lifestyles and environmental stresses, rhizobia have developed several regulatory mechanisms, e.g., reversible phosphorylation. This key mechanism regulates many processes in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. In microorganisms, signal transduction includes two-component systems (TCSs), which involve membrane sensor histidine kinases (HKs) and cognate DNA-binding response regulators (RRs). Furthermore, regulatory mechanisms based on phosphoenolopyruvate-dependent phosphotranspherase systems (PTSs), as well as alternative regulatory pathways controlled by Hanks-type serine/threonine kinases (STKs) and serine/threonine phosphatases (STPs) play an important role in regulation of many cellular processes in both free-living bacteria and during symbiosis with the host plant (e.g., growth and cell division, envelope biogenesis, biofilm formation, response to stress conditions, and regulation of metabolism). In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of phosphorylation systems in symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and their role in the physiology of rhizobial cells and adaptation to various environmental conditions.

RevDate: 2020-02-25

Ogier JC, Pagès S, Frayssinet M, et al (2020)

Entomopathogenic nematode-associated microbiota: from monoxenic paradigm to pathobiome.

Microbiome, 8(1):25 pii:10.1186/s40168-020-00800-5.

BACKGROUND: The holistic view of bacterial symbiosis, incorporating both host and microbial environment, constitutes a major conceptual shift in studies deciphering host-microbe interactions. Interactions between Steinernema entomopathogenic nematodes and their bacterial symbionts, Xenorhabdus, have long been considered monoxenic two partner associations responsible for the killing of the insects and therefore widely used in insect pest biocontrol. We investigated this "monoxenic paradigm" by profiling the microbiota of infective juveniles (IJs), the soil-dwelling form responsible for transmitting Steinernema-Xenorhabdus between insect hosts in the parasitic lifecycle.

RESULTS: Multigenic metabarcoding (16S and rpoB markers) showed that the bacterial community associated with laboratory-reared IJs from Steinernema carpocapsae, S. feltiae, S. glaseri and S. weiseri species consisted of several Proteobacteria. The association with Xenorhabdus was never monoxenic. We showed that the laboratory-reared IJs of S. carpocapsae bore a bacterial community composed of the core symbiont (Xenorhabdus nematophila) together with a frequently associated microbiota (FAM) consisting of about a dozen of Proteobacteria (Pseudomonas, Stenotrophomonas, Alcaligenes, Achromobacter, Pseudochrobactrum, Ochrobactrum, Brevundimonas, Deftia, etc.). We validated this set of bacteria by metabarcoding analysis on freshly sampled IJs from natural conditions. We isolated diverse bacterial taxa, validating the profile of the Steinernema FAM. We explored the functions of the FAM members potentially involved in the parasitic lifecycle of Steinernema. Two species, Pseudomonas protegens and P. chlororaphis, displayed entomopathogenic properties suggestive of a role in Steinernema virulence and membership of the Steinernema pathobiome.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study validates a shift from monoxenic paradigm to pathobiome view in the case of the Steinernema ecology. The microbial communities of low complexity associated with EPNs will permit future microbiota manipulation experiments to decipher overall microbiota functioning in the infectious process triggered by EPN in insects and, more generally, in EPN ecology.

RevDate: 2020-02-25

Sharma V, Bhattacharyya S, Kumar R, et al (2020)

Molecular Basis of Root Nodule Symbiosis between Bradyrhizobium and 'Crack-Entry' Legume Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.).

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(2): pii:plants9020276.

Nitrogen is one of the essential plant nutrients and a major factor limiting crop productivity. To meet the requirements of sustainable agriculture, there is a need to maximize biological nitrogen fixation in different crop species. Legumes are able to establish root nodule symbiosis (RNS) with nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria which are collectively called rhizobia. This mutualistic association is highly specific, and each rhizobia species/strain interacts with only a specific group of legumes, and vice versa. Nodulation involves multiple phases of interactions ranging from initial bacterial attachment and infection establishment to late nodule development, characterized by a complex molecular signalling between plants and rhizobia. Characteristically, legumes like groundnut display a bacterial invasion strategy popularly known as "crack-entry'' mechanism, which is reported approximately in 25% of all legumes. This article accommodates critical discussions on the bacterial infection mode, dynamics of nodulation, components of symbiotic signalling pathway, and also the effects of abiotic stresses and phytohormone homeostasis related to the root nodule symbiosis of groundnut and Bradyrhizobium. These parameters can help to understand how groundnut RNS is programmed to recognize and establish symbiotic relationships with rhizobia, adjusting gene expression in response to various regulations. This review further attempts to emphasize the current understanding of advancements regarding RNS research in the groundnut and speculates on prospective improvement possibilities in addition to ways for expanding it to other crops towards achieving sustainable agriculture and overcoming environmental challenges.

RevDate: 2020-02-25
CmpDate: 2020-02-25

Gritli T, Ellouze W, Chihaoui SA, et al (2020)

Genotypic and symbiotic diversity of native rhizobia nodulating red pea (Lathyrus cicera L.) in Tunisia.

Systematic and applied microbiology, 43(1):126049.

Nodulation and genetic diversity of native rhizobia nodulating Lathyrus cicera plants grown in 24 cultivated and marginal soils collected from northern and central Tunisia were studied. L. cicera plants were nodulated and showed the presence of native rhizobia in 21 soils. A total of 196 bacterial strains were selected and three different ribotypes were revealed after PCR-RFLP analysis. The sequence analysis of the rrs and two housekeeping genes (recA and thrC) from 36 representative isolates identified Rhizobium laguerreae as the dominant (53%) rhizobia nodulating L. cicera. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that this species has been reported among wild populations of the rhizobia-nodulating Lathyrus genus. Twenty-five percent of the isolates were identified as R. leguminosarum and isolates LS11.5, LS11.7 and LS8.8 clustered with Ensifer meliloti. Interestingly, five isolates (LS20.3, LS18.3, LS19.10, LS1.2 and LS21.20) were segregated from R. laguerreae and clustered as a separate clade. These isolates possibly belong to new species. According to nodC and nodA phylogeny, strains of R. laguerreae and R. leguminosarum harbored the symbiotic genes of symbiovar viciae and clustered in three different clades showing heterogeneity within the symbiovar. Strains of E. meliloti harbored symbiotic genes of Clade V and induced inefficient nodules.

RevDate: 2020-02-25
CmpDate: 2020-02-25

Hegde S, Nilyanimit P, Kozlova E, et al (2019)

CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene deletion of the ompA gene in symbiotic Cedecea neteri impairs biofilm formation and reduces gut colonization of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 13(12):e0007883.

BACKGROUND: Symbiotic bacteria are pervasive in mosquitoes and their presence can influence many host phenotypes that affect vectoral capacity. While it is evident that environmental and host genetic factors contribute in shaping the microbiome of mosquitoes, we have a poor understanding regarding how bacterial genetics affects colonization of the mosquito gut. The CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing system is a powerful tool to alter bacterial genomes facilitating investigations into host-microbe interactions but has yet to be applied to insect symbionts.

To investigate the role of bacterial genetic factors in mosquito biology and in colonization of mosquitoes we used CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing system to mutate the outer membrane protein A (ompA) gene of a Cedecea neteri symbiont isolated from Aedes mosquitoes. The ompA mutant had an impaired ability to form biofilms and poorly infected Ae. aegypti when reared in a mono-association under gnotobiotic conditions. In adult mosquitoes, the mutant had a significantly reduced infection prevalence compared to the wild type or complement strains, while no differences in prevalence were seen in larvae, suggesting genetic factors are particularly important for adult gut colonization. We also used the CRISPR/Cas9 system to integrate genes (antibiotic resistance and fluorescent markers) into the symbionts genome and demonstrated that these genes were functional in vitro and in vivo.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results shed insights into the role of ompA gene in host-microbe interactions in Ae. aegypti and confirm that CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing can be employed for genetic manipulation of non-model gut microbes. The ability to use this technology for site-specific integration of genes into the symbiont will facilitate the development of paratransgenic control strategies to interfere with arboviral pathogens such Chikungunya, dengue, Zika and Yellow fever viruses transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes.

RevDate: 2020-02-25
CmpDate: 2020-02-25

Kalita M, W Małek (2020)

Root nodules of Genista germanica harbor Bradyrhizobium and Rhizobium bacteria exchanging nodC and nodZ genes.

Systematic and applied microbiology, 43(1):126026.

A collection of 18 previously unstudied strains isolated from root nodules of Genista germanica (German greenweed) grown in southeast Poland was evaluated for the level of genetic diversity using the BOX-PCR technique and the phylogenetic relationship based on both core (16S rRNA, dnaK, ftsA, glnII, gyrB, recA, rpoB) and nodulation (nodC and nodZ) gene sequences. Each of the 18 G. germanica root nodule isolates displayed unique BOX-PCR patterns, indicating their high level of genomic heterogeneity. Based on the comparative 16S rDNA sequence analysis, 12 isolates were affiliated to the Bradyrhizobium genus and the other strains were most similar to Rhizobium species. Phylogenetic analysis of the core gene sequences indicated that the studied Bradyrhizobium bacteria were most closely related to Bradyrhizobium japonicum, whereas Rhizobium isolates were most closely related to Rhizobium lusitanum and R. leguminosarum. The phylogenies of nodC and nodZ for the Rhizobium strains were incongruent with each other and with the phylogenies inferred from the core gene sequences. All Rhizobium nodZ gene sequences acquired in this study were grouped with the sequences of Bradyrhizobium strains. Some of the studied Rhizobium isolates were placed in the nodC phylogenetic tree together with reference Rhizobium species, while the others were closely related to Bradyrhizobium bacteria. The results provided evidence for horizontal transfer of nodulation genes between Bradyrhizobium and Rhizobium. However, the horizontal transfer of nod genes was not sufficient for Rhizobium strains to form nodules on G. germanica roots, suggesting that symbiotic genes have to be adapted to the bacterial genome.

RevDate: 2020-02-25
CmpDate: 2020-02-25

Lim Y, Shiver AL, Khariton M, et al (2019)

Mechanically resolved imaging of bacteria using expansion microscopy.

PLoS biology, 17(10):e3000268.

Imaging dense and diverse microbial communities has broad applications in basic microbiology and medicine, but remains a grand challenge due to the fact that many species adopt similar morphologies. While prior studies have relied on techniques involving spectral labeling, we have developed an expansion microscopy method (μExM) in which bacterial cells are physically expanded prior to imaging. We find that expansion patterns depend on the structural and mechanical properties of the cell wall, which vary across species and conditions. We use this phenomenon as a quantitative and sensitive phenotypic imaging contrast orthogonal to spectral separation to resolve bacterial cells of different species or in distinct physiological states. Focusing on host-microbe interactions that are difficult to quantify through fluorescence alone, we demonstrate the ability of μExM to distinguish species through an in vitro defined community of human gut commensals and in vivo imaging of a model gut microbiota, and to sensitively detect cell-envelope damage caused by antibiotics or previously unrecognized cell-to-cell phenotypic heterogeneity among pathogenic bacteria as they infect macrophages.

RevDate: 2020-02-25
CmpDate: 2020-02-25

Kim SG, Becattini S, Moody TU, et al (2019)

Microbiota-derived lantibiotic restores resistance against vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus.

Nature, 572(7771):665-669.

Intestinal commensal bacteria can inhibit dense colonization of the gut by vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE), a leading cause of hospital-acquired infections1,2. A four-strained consortium of commensal bacteria that contains Blautia producta BPSCSK can reverse antibiotic-induced susceptibility to VRE infection3. Here we show that BPSCSK reduces growth of VRE by secreting a lantibiotic that is similar to the nisin-A produced by Lactococcus lactis. Although the growth of VRE is inhibited by BPSCSK and L. lactis in vitro, only BPSCSK colonizes the colon and reduces VRE density in vivo. In comparison to nisin-A, the BPSCSK lantibiotic has reduced activity against intestinal commensal bacteria. In patients at high risk of VRE infection, high abundance of the lantibiotic gene is associated with reduced density of E. faecium. In germ-free mice transplanted with patient-derived faeces, resistance to VRE colonization correlates with abundance of the lantibiotic gene. Lantibiotic-producing commensal strains of the gastrointestinal tract reduce colonization by VRE and represent potential probiotic agents to re-establish resistance to VRE.

RevDate: 2020-02-25
CmpDate: 2020-02-25

Yang K, Xie K, Zhu YX, et al (2020)

Wolbachia dominate Spiroplasma in the co-infected spider mite Tetranychus truncatus.

Insect molecular biology, 29(1):19-37.

Wolbachia and Spiroplasma are both maternally inherited endosymbionts in arthropods, and they can co-infect the same species. However, how they interact with each other in the same host is not clear. Here we investigate a co-infected Tetranychus truncatus spider mite strain that shares the same genetic background with singly infected and uninfected strains to detect the impacts of the two symbionts on their host. We found that Wolbachia-infected and Spiroplasma-infected mites can suffer significant fitness costs involving decreased fecundity, although with no effect on lifespan or development. Wolbachia induced incomplete cytoplasmic incompatibility in T. truncatus both in singly infected and doubly infected strains, resulting in female killing. In both females and males of the co-infected spider mite strain, Wolbachia density was higher than Spiroplasma density. Transcriptome analysis of female adults showed that the most differentially expressed genes were found between the co-infected strain and both the singly infected Spiroplasma strain and uninfected strain. The Wolbachia strain had the fewest differentially expressed genes compared with the co-infected strain, consistent with the higher density of Wolbachia in the co-infected strain. Wolbachia, therefore, appears to have a competitive advantage in host mites over Spiroplasma and is likely maintained in populations by cytoplasmic incompatibility despite having deleterious fitness effects.

RevDate: 2020-02-25
CmpDate: 2020-02-25

Ant TH, Herd C, Louis F, et al (2020)

Wolbachia transinfections in Culex quinquefasciatus generate cytoplasmic incompatibility.

Insect molecular biology, 29(1):1-8.

Culex quinquefasciatus is an important mosquito vector of a number of viral and protozoan pathogens of humans and animals, and naturally carries the endosymbiont Wolbachia pipientis, strain wPip. Wolbachia are used in two distinct vector control strategies: firstly, population suppression caused by mating incompatibilities between mass-released transinfected males and wild females; and secondly, the spread of pathogen transmission-blocking strains through populations. Using embryonic microinjection, two novel Wolbachia transinfections were generated in C. quinquefasciatus using strains native to the mosquito Aedes albopictus: a wAlbB single infection, and a wPip plus wAlbA superinfection. The wAlbB infection showed full bidirectional cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) with wild-type C. quinquefasciatus in reciprocal crosses. The wPipwAlbA superinfection showed complete unidirectional CI, and therefore population invasion potential. Whereas the wAlbB strain showed comparatively low overall densities, similar to the native wPip, the wPipwAlbA superinfection reached over 400-fold higher densities in the salivary glands compared to the native wPip, suggesting it may be a candidate for pathogen transmission blocking.

RevDate: 2020-02-25
CmpDate: 2020-02-25

Wagstaff BA, Rejzek M, Kuhaudomlarp S, et al (2019)

Discovery of an RmlC/D fusion protein in the microalga Prymnesium parvum and its implications for NDP-β-l-rhamnose biosynthesis in microalgae.

The Journal of biological chemistry, 294(23):9172-9185.

The 6-deoxy sugar l-rhamnose (l-Rha) is found widely in plant and microbial polysaccharides and natural products. The importance of this and related compounds in host-pathogen interactions often means that l-Rha plays an essential role in many organisms. l-Rha is most commonly biosynthesized as the activated sugar nucleotide uridine 5'-diphospho-β-l-rhamnose (UDP-β-l-Rha) or thymidine 5'-diphospho-β-l-rhamnose (TDP-β-l-Rha). Enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of these sugar nucleotides have been studied in some detail in bacteria and plants, but the activated form of l-Rha and the corresponding biosynthetic enzymes have yet to be explored in algae. Here, using sugar-nucleotide profiling in two representative algae, Euglena gracilis and the toxin-producing microalga Prymnesium parvum, we show that levels of UDP- and TDP-activated l-Rha differ significantly between these two algal species. Using bioinformatics and biochemical methods, we identified and characterized a fusion of the RmlC and RmlD proteins, two bacteria-like enzymes involved in TDP-β-l-Rha biosynthesis, from P. parvum Using this new sequence and also others, we explored l-Rha biosynthesis among algae, finding that although most algae contain sequences orthologous to plant-like l-Rha biosynthesis machineries, instances of the RmlC-RmlD fusion protein identified here exist across the Haptophyta and Gymnodiniaceae families of microalgae. On the basis of these findings, we propose potential routes for the evolution of nucleoside diphosphate β-l-Rha (NDP-β-l-Rha) pathways among algae.

RevDate: 2020-02-25
CmpDate: 2020-02-25

Kolasa M, Ścibior R, Mazur MA, et al (2019)

How Hosts Taxonomy, Trophy, and Endosymbionts Shape Microbiome Diversity in Beetles.

Microbial ecology, 78(4):995-1013.

Bacterial communities play a crucial role in the biology, ecology, and evolution of multicellular organisms. In this research, the microbiome of 24 selected beetle species representing five families (Carabidae, Staphylinidae, Curculionidae, Chrysomelidae, Scarabaeidae) and three trophic guilds (carnivorous, herbivorous, detrivorous) was examined using 16S rDNA sequencing on the Illumina platform. The aim of the study was to compare diversity within and among species on various levels of organization, including evaluation of the impact of endosymbiotic bacteria. Collected data showed that beetles possess various bacterial communities and that microbiota of individuals of particular species hosts are intermixed. The most diverse microbiota were found in Carabidae and Scarabaeidae; the least diverse, in Staphylinidae. On higher organization levels, the diversity of bacteria was more dissimilar between families, while the most distinct with respect to their microbiomes were trophic guilds. Moreover, eight taxa of endosymbiotic bacteria were detected including common genera such as Wolbachia, Rickettsia, and Spiroplasma, as well as the rarely detected Cardinium, Arsenophonus, Buchnera, Sulcia, Regiella, and Serratia. There were no correlations among the abundance of the most common Wolbachia and Rickettsia; a finding that does not support the hypothesis that these bacteria occur interchangeably. The abundance of endosymbionts only weakly and negatively correlates with diversity of the whole microbiome in beetles. Overall, microbiome diversity was found to be more dependent on host phylogeny than on the abundance of endosymbionts. This is the first study in which bacteria diversity is compared between numerous species of beetles in a standardized manner.

RevDate: 2020-02-24

Kang H, Chen X, Kemppainen M, et al (2020)

The small secreted effector protein MiSSP7.6 of Laccaria bicolor is required for the establishment of ectomycorrhizal symbiosis.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

To establish and maintain a symbiotic relationship, the ectomycorrhizal fungus Laccaria bicolor releases mycorrhiza-induced small secreted proteins (MiSSPs) into host roots. Here, we have functionally characterized the MYCORRHIZA-iNDUCED SMALL SECRETED PROTEIN OF 7.6 kDa (MiSSP7.6) from L. bicolor by assessing its induced expression in ectomycorrhizae, silencing its expression by RNAi, and tracking in planta subcellular localization of its protein product. We also carried out yeast two-hybrid assays and bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) analysis to identify possible protein targets of the MiSSP7.6 effector in Populus roots. We showed that MiSSP7.6 expression is upregulated in ectomycorrhizal rootlets and associated extramatrical mycelium during the late stage of symbiosis development. RNAi mutants with a decreased MiSSP7.6 expression have a lower mycorrhization rate, suggesting a key role in the establishment of the symbiosis with plants. MiSSP7.6 is secreted and it localizes both to the nuclei and cytoplasm in plant cells. MiSSP7.6 protein was shown to interact with two Populus Trihelix transcription factors. Furthermore, when co-expressed with one of the Trihelix transcription factors, MiSSP7.6 is localized to plant nuclei only. Our data suggest that MiSSP7.6 is a novel secreted symbiotic effector and is a potential determinant for ectomycorrhiza formation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2020-02-24
CmpDate: 2020-02-24

Verdaguer IB, Zafra CA, Crispim M, et al (2019)

Prenylquinones in Human Parasitic Protozoa: Biosynthesis, Physiological Functions, and Potential as Chemotherapeutic Targets.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 24(20):.

Human parasitic protozoa cause a large number of diseases worldwide and, for some of these diseases, there are no effective treatments to date, and drug resistance has been observed. For these reasons, the discovery of new etiological treatments is necessary. In this sense, parasitic metabolic pathways that are absent in vertebrate hosts would be interesting research candidates for the identification of new drug targets. Most likely due to the protozoa variability, uncertain phylogenetic origin, endosymbiotic events, and evolutionary pressure for adaptation to adverse environments, a surprising variety of prenylquinones can be found within these organisms. These compounds are involved in essential metabolic reactions in organisms, for example, prevention of lipoperoxidation, participation in the mitochondrial respiratory chain or as enzymatic cofactors. This review will describe several prenylquinones that have been previously characterized in human pathogenic protozoa. Among all existing prenylquinones, this review is focused on ubiquinone, menaquinone, tocopherols, chlorobiumquinone, and thermoplasmaquinone. This review will also discuss the biosynthesis of prenylquinones, starting from the isoprenic side chains to the aromatic head group precursors. The isoprenic side chain biosynthesis maybe come from mevalonate or non-mevalonate pathways as well as leucine dependent pathways for isoprenoid biosynthesis. Finally, the isoprenic chains elongation and prenylquinone aromatic precursors origins from amino acid degradation or the shikimate pathway is reviewed. The phylogenetic distribution and what is known about the biological functions of these compounds among species will be described, as will the therapeutic strategies associated with prenylquinone metabolism in protozoan parasites.

RevDate: 2020-02-24
CmpDate: 2020-02-24

Tu J, Chen L, Gao S, et al (2019)

Obtaining Genome Sequences of Mutualistic Bacteria in Single Microcystis Colonies.

International journal of molecular sciences, 20(20):.

Cells of Microcystis are associated with heterotrophic bacteria and organized in colonies in natural environment, which are basic elements in the mass occurrence of cyanobacterial species. Analyzing these colonies by using metagenomics is helpful to understand species composition and relationship. Meanwhile, the difference in population abundance among Microcystis colonies could be used to recover genome bins from metagenome assemblies. Herein, we designed a pipeline to obtain high-quality genomes of mutualistic bacteria from single natural Microcystis colonies. Single colonies were lysed, and then amplified by using multiple displacement amplification to overcome the DNA quantity limit. A two-step assembly was performed after sequencing and scaffolds were grouped into putative bins based on their differential-coverage among species. We analyzed six natural colonies of three prevailing Microcystis species from Lake Taihu. Clustering results proved that colonies of the same species were similar in the microbial community composition. Eight putative population genome bins with wide bacterial diversity and different GC content were identified based on coverage difference among colonies. At the phylum level, proteobacteria was the most abundant besides cyanobacteria. Six of the population bins were further refined into nearly complete genomes (completeness > 90%).

RevDate: 2020-02-24
CmpDate: 2020-02-24

Arimizu Y, Kirino Y, Sato MP, et al (2019)

Large-scale genome analysis of bovine commensal Escherichia coli reveals that bovine-adapted E. coli lineages are serving as evolutionary sources of the emergence of human intestinal pathogenic strains.

Genome research, 29(9):1495-1505.

How pathogens evolve their virulence to humans in nature is a scientific issue of great medical and biological importance. Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) are the major foodborne pathogens that can cause hemolytic uremic syndrome and infantile diarrhea, respectively. The locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE)-encoded type 3 secretion system (T3SS) is the major virulence determinant of EPEC and is also possessed by major STEC lineages. Cattle are thought to be the primary reservoir of STEC and EPEC. However, genome sequences of bovine commensal E. coli are limited, and the emerging process of STEC and EPEC is largely unknown. Here, we performed a large-scale genomic comparison of bovine commensal E. coli with human commensal and clinical strains, including EPEC and STEC, at a global level. The analyses identified two distinct lineages, in which bovine and human commensal strains are enriched, respectively, and revealed that STEC and EPEC strains have emerged in multiple sublineages of the bovine-associated lineage. In addition to the bovine-associated lineage-specific genes, including fimbriae, capsule, and nutrition utilization genes, specific virulence gene communities have been accumulated in stx- and LEE-positive strains, respectively, with notable overlaps of community members. Functional associations of these genes probably confer benefits to these E. coli strains in inhabiting and/or adapting to the bovine intestinal environment and drive their evolution to highly virulent human pathogens under the bovine-adapted genetic background. Our data highlight the importance of large-scale genome sequencing of animal strains in the studies of zoonotic pathogens.

RevDate: 2020-02-24
CmpDate: 2020-02-24

Mobasseri M, Hutchinson MC, Afshar FJ, et al (2019)

New evidence of nematode-endosymbiont bacteria coevolution based on one new and one known dagger nematode species of Xiphinema americanum-group (Nematoda, Longidoridae).

PloS one, 14(6):e0217506 pii:PONE-D-19-01822.

Three populations of Xiphinema primum n. sp. and two populations of X. pachtaicum were recovered from natural forests and cultural regions of northern Iran. Both species belong to the X. americanum-group and were characterized by their morphological, morphometric and molecular data. The new species, which was recovered in three locations, belongs to the X. brevicolle-complex and is characterized by 2124-2981 μm long females with a widely rounded lip region separated from the rest of the body by a depression, 103-125 μm long odontostyle, two equally developed genital branches with endosymbiont bacteria inside the ovary, which are visible under light microscope (LM), vulva located at 51.8-58.0%, the tail is 26-37 μm long with a bluntly rounded end and four juvenile developmental stages. It was morphologically compared with nine similar species viz. X. brevicolle, X. diffusum, X. incognitum, X. himalayense, X. luci, X. parabrevicolle, X. paramonovi, X. parataylori and X. taylori. The second species, X. pachtaicum, was recovered in two geographically distant points close to city of Amol. Molecular phylogenetic studies of the new species were performed using partial sequences of the D2-D3 expansion segments of the large subunit ribosomal RNA gene (LSU rDNA D2-D3), the internal-transcribed spacer rDNA (ITS = ITS1+5.8S+ITS2), and the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I gene (COI mtDNA) regions. The Iranian population of X. pachtaicum was also phylogenetically studied based upon its LSU rDNA D2-D3 sequences. Both species were also inspected for their putative endosymbiont bacteria. Candidatus Xiphinematobacter sp. was detected from two examined populations of the new species, whereas the second endosymbiont bacterium, detected from three examined isolates of X. pachtaicum, was related to the plant and fungal endosymbionts of the family Burkholderiaceae. The phylogenetic analyses of the two endosymbiont bacteria were performed using partial sequences of 16S rDNA. In cophylogenetic analyses, significant levels of cophylogenetic signal were observed using both LSU rDNA D2-D3 and COI mtDNA markers of the host nematodes and 16S rDNA marker of the endosymbiont bacteria.

RevDate: 2020-02-24
CmpDate: 2020-02-24

Aslan CE (2019)

Implications of non-native species for mutualistic network resistance and resilience.

PloS one, 14(6):e0217498 pii:PONE-D-19-01866.

Resilience theory aims to understand and predict ecosystem state changes resulting from disturbances. Non-native species are ubiquitous in ecological communities and integrated into many described ecological interaction networks, including mutualisms. By altering the fitness landscape and rewiring species interactions, such network invasion may carry important implications for ecosystem resistance and resilience under continued environmental change. Here, I hypothesize that the tendency of established non-native species to be generalists may make them more likely than natives to occupy central network roles and may link them to the resistance and resilience of the overall network. I use a quantitative research synthesis of 58 empirical pollination and seed dispersal networks, along with extinction simulations, to examine the roles of known non-natives in networks. I show that non-native species in networks enhance network redundancy and may thereby bolster the ecological resistance or functional persistence of ecosystems in the face of disturbance. At the same time, non-natives are unlikely to partner with specialist natives, thus failing to support the resilience of native species assemblages. Non-natives significantly exceed natives in network centrality, normalized degree, and Pollination Service Index. Networks containing non-natives exhibit lower connectance, more links on average, and higher generality and vulnerability than networks lacking non-natives. As environmental change progresses, specialists are particularly likely to be impacted, reducing species diversity in many communities and network types. This work implies that functional diversity may be retained but taxonomic diversity decline as non-native species become established in networks worldwide.

RevDate: 2020-02-24
CmpDate: 2020-02-24

Nakabachi A, K Okamura (2019)

Diaphorin, a polyketide produced by a bacterial symbiont of the Asian citrus psyllid, kills various human cancer cells.

PloS one, 14(6):e0218190 pii:PONE-D-19-11961.

Diaphorin is a polyketide produced by Candidatus Profftella armatura (Betaproteobacteria), an organelle-like defensive symbiont harbored by a plant sap-sucking insect, Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae). Diaphorin belongs to the pederin family, a group of compounds that share much of their core structure with that of pederin, which is characterized by two dihydropyran rings bridged by an N-acyl aminal. Most members of this family have potent antitumor activity, making them promising anticancer drug candidates. The present study assessed the therapeutic potential of diaphorin for its antitumor activity against 39 human cancer cell lines including those from breast, brain, colon, lung, skin, ovary, kidney, stomach, and prostate. The results showed that diaphorin had inhibitory activity against all 39 cancer cell lines tested. The GI50, TGI, and LC50 values ranged from 0.28 μM- 2.4 μM, 1.6 μM -11 μM, and 7.5 μM-> 100 μM, respectively. These values are among the highest in the pederin family, indicating that the anticancer activity of diaphorin is milder than those of other pederin congeners. The inhibitory effects of diaphorin significantly differed among the distinct cancer types. The maximum difference was about 10-fold, which was similar to those of most other pederin congeners.

RevDate: 2020-02-24
CmpDate: 2020-02-24

Wang F, Yang L, Deng J, et al (2019)

Microvirga calopogonii sp. nov., a novel alphaproteobacterium isolated from a root nodule of Calopogonium mucunoides in Southwest China.

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, 112(11):1593-1602.

In this study, a Gram-negative, rod-shaped, and non-spore-forming bacterium, which was designated as strain CCBUA 65841T, was isolated from a root nodule of Calopogonium mucunoides grown in Yunan Province of China. The sequence alignment results of 16S rRNA and four housekeeping genes (including gyrB, recA, dnaK and rpoB) indicated the isolated strain is a member of the genus Microvirga, closely related to Microvirga lotononidis WSM3557T. In addition, results of genome average nucleotide identity (ANI) and digital DNA-DNA hybridization (dDDH) had revealed the lower values (ANI ≤ 88.72%, dDDH ≤ 39.5%) between strain CCABU 65841T and other related Microvirga species. The genome of the novel strain exhibits a G + C content of 64.48% and contains 7296 protein-coding genes and 93 RNA genes. The major polar lipids were found to be phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine. The predominant cellar fatty acids were identified to be C16:0, C18:0, C19:0 cyclo ω8c, summed feature 2, summed feature 3 and summed feature 8. Moreover, menaquinone 8 (MK-8) was detected to be the predominant quinone. Based on the phylogenetic and phenotypic dissimilarity, a novel species Microvirga calopogonii sp. nov. is proposed with the type strain CCABU 65841T (= LMG 25488 T = HAMBI 3033T).

RevDate: 2020-02-22

Huang D, Ma M, Wang Q, et al (2020)

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi enhanced drought resistance in apple by regulating genes in the MAPK pathway.

Plant physiology and biochemistry : PPB, 149:245-255 pii:S0981-9428(20)30074-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can form a symbiotic relationships with most terrestrial plants and play an important role in plant growth and adaptation to various stresses. To study the role of AMF in regulating drought resistance in apple, the effects of drought stress on Malus hupehensis inoculated with AMF were investigated. Inoculation of AMF enhanced apple plants growth. Mycorrhizal plants had higher total chlorophyll concentrations but lower relative electrolyte leakage under drought stress. Mycorrhizal plants increased net photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, and transpiration rate under drought stress, however, they showed lower inhibition in the quantum yield of PSII photochemistry. Mycorrhizal plants also had higher superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), and catalase (CAT) enzyme activities under drought conditions. Thus, mycorrhizal plants had lower accumulated MDA, H2O2, and O2- than non-mycorrhizal seedlings. Total sugar and proline concentrations also significantly increased, helping maintain the osmotic balance. Furthermore, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades, which participate in the regulation of responses of plants and microorganisms to biotic and abiotic stress, were up-regulated in apple plants and AMF during drought. We saw that there were at least two motifs that were identical in MAPK proteins and many elements that responded to hormones and stress from these MAPK genes. In summary, our results showed that mycorrhizal colonization enhanced apple drought tolerance by improving gas exchange capacity, increasing chlorophyll fluorescence parameters, creating a greater osmotic adjustment capacity, increasing scavenging of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and using MAPK signals for interactions between AMF and their apple plant hosts.

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: 2020-02-21

Speijer D (2020)

Debating Eukaryogenesis-Part 1: Does Eukaryogenesis Presuppose Symbiosis Before Uptake?.

BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology [Epub ahead of print].

Eukaryotic origins are heavily debated. The author as well as others have proposed that they are inextricably linked with the arrival of a pre-mitochondrion of alphaproteobacterial-like ancestry, in a so-called symbiogenic scenario. The ensuing mutual adaptation of archaeal host and endosymbiont seems to have been a defining influence during the processes leading to the last eukaryotic common ancestor. An unresolved question in this scenario deals with the means by which the bacterium ends up inside. Older hypotheses revolve around the application of known antagonistic interactions, the bacterium being prey or parasite. Here, in reviewing the field, the author argues that such models share flaws, hence making them less likely, and that a "pre-symbiotic stage" would have eased ongoing metabolic integration. Based on this the author will speculate about the nature of the (endo) symbiosis that started eukaryotic evolution-in the context of bacterial entry being a relatively "early" event-and stress the differences between this uptake and subsequent ones. He will also briefly discuss how the mutual adaptation following the merger progressed and how many eukaryotic hallmarks can be understood in light of coadaptation.

RevDate: 2020-02-21

Di Giovanni D, Lepetit D, Guinet B, et al (2020)

A behavior-manipulating virus relative as a source of adaptive genes for Drosophila parasitoids.

Molecular biology and evolution pii:5733738 [Epub ahead of print].

Some species of parasitic wasps have domesticated viral machineries to deliver immunosuppressive factors to their hosts. Up to now, all described cases fall into the Ichneumonoidea superfamily, which only represents around 10% of hymenoptera diversity, raising the question of whether such domestication occurred outside this clade. Furthermore, the biology of the ancestral donor viruses is completely unknown. Since the 1980's, we know that Drosophila parasitoids belonging to the Leptopilina genus, which diverged from the Ichneumonoidea superfamily 225My ago, do produce immuno-suppressive virus-like structure in their reproductive apparatus. However, the viral origin of these structures has been the subject of debate. In this paper, we provide genomic and experimental evidence that those structures do derive from an ancestral virus endogenization event. Interestingly, its close relatives induce a behaviour manipulation in present-day wasps. Thus, we conclude that virus domestication is more prevalent than previously thought and that behaviour manipulation may have been instrumental in the birth of such associations.

RevDate: 2020-02-21

Nelissen K, Liszi M, Marco M, et al (2020)

Characterisation and Modelling of Ultrashort Laser-Driven Electromagnetic Pulses.

Scientific reports, 10(1):3108 pii:10.1038/s41598-020-59882-8.

Recent advances on laser technology have enabled the generation of ultrashort (fs) high power (PW) laser systems. For such large scale laser facilities there is an imperative demand for high repetition rate operation in symbiosis with beamlines or end-stations. In such extreme conditions the generation of electromagnetic pulses (EMP) during high intense laser target interaction experiments can tip the scale for the good outcome of the campaign. The EMP effects are several including interference with diagnostic devices and actuators as well as damage of electrical components. The EMP issue is quite known in the picosecond (ps) pulse laser experiments but no systematic study on EMP issues at multi-Joule fs-class lasers has been conducted thus far. In this paper we report the first experimental campaign for EMP-measurements performed at the 200 TW laser system (VEGA 2) at CLPU laser center. EMP pulse energy has been measured as a function of the laser intensity and energy together with other relevant quantities such as (i) the charge of the laser-driven protons and their maximum energy, as well as (ii) the X-ray Kα emission coming from electron interaction inside the target. Analysis of experimental results demonstrate (and confirm) a direct correlation between the measured EMP pulse energy and the laser parameters such as laser intensity and laser energy in the ultrashort pulse duration regime. Numerical FEM (Finite Element Method) simulations of the EMP generated by the target holder system have been performed and the simulations results are shown to be in good agreement with the experimental ones.

RevDate: 2020-02-21
CmpDate: 2020-02-21

Liu X, Feng Z, Zhu H, et al (2019)

Exogenous abscisic acid and root volatiles increase sporulation of Rhizophagus irregularis DAOM 197198 in asymbiotic and pre-symbiotic status.

Mycorrhiza, 29(6):581-589.

Several studies have demonstrated asymbiotic growth and development of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, although AM fungi are regarded as obligately symbiotic root-inhabiting fungi. Phytohormones, root exudates, and volatiles are important factors regulating the host-AM fungi interaction. However, the effects of phytohormones, root exudates, and volatiles on asymbiotic (without roots present) or pre-symbiotic (with roots present but no colonization) sporulation of AM fungi are unexplored. In this study, we tested the asymbiotic sporulation of Rhizophagus irregularis DAOM 197198 and further investigated the influences of abscisic acid (ABA), the exudates, and volatiles of tomato hairy roots on asymbiotic or pre-symbiotic sporulation in vitro. Results indicated that mother spores asymbiotically and pre-symbiotically produced daughter spores singly or in pairs. Compared with symbiotically produced spores, pre-symbiotically produced spores were significantly smaller (43.1 μm vs. 89.2 μm in diameter). Exogenous ABA applied to mother spores significantly increased the number of daughter spores, and root volatiles also significantly promoted pre-symbiotic sporulation. Our results provide the first evidence that exogenous ABA can promote AM fungal asymbiotic and pre-symbiotic sporulation, which highlights the potential role of phytohormones in AM fungal propagation.

RevDate: 2020-02-21
CmpDate: 2020-02-21

Clarke CR, Timko MP, Yoder JI, et al (2019)

Molecular Dialog Between Parasitic Plants and Their Hosts.

Annual review of phytopathology, 57:279-299.

Parasitic plants steal sugars, water, and other nutrients from host plants through a haustorial connection. Several species of parasitic plants such as witchweeds (Striga spp.) and broomrapes (Orobanche and Phelipanche spp.) are major biotic constraints to agricultural production. Parasitic plants are understudied compared with other major classes of plant pathogens, but the recent availability of genomic and transcriptomic data has accelerated the rate of discovery of the molecular mechanisms underpinning plant parasitism. Here, we review the current body of knowledge of how parasitic plants sense host plants, germinate, form parasitic haustorial connections, and suppress host plant immune responses. Additionally, we assess whether parasitic plants fit within the current paradigms used to understand the molecular mechanisms of microbial plant-pathogen interactions. Finally, we discuss challenges facing parasitic plant research and propose the most urgent questions that need to be answered to advance our understanding of plant parasitism.

RevDate: 2020-02-21
CmpDate: 2020-02-21

Oliver KM (2019)

Editorial overview: Microbial manipulation of insect-parasite interactions.

Current opinion in insect science, 32:vi-ix.

RevDate: 2020-02-21
CmpDate: 2020-02-21

Hafer N, C Vorburger (2019)

Diversity begets diversity: do parasites promote variation in protective symbionts?.

Current opinion in insect science, 32:8-14.

Insects commonly possess heritable microbial symbionts that increase their resistance to particular parasites. A diverse community of defensive symbionts may thus provide hosts with effective and specific protection against multiple parasites, although costs might constrain the accumulation of many symbionts. In parallel to the allelic diversity in the MHC complex of the vertebrate immune system, parasite diversity could be the driving force behind symbiont diversity. There is indeed evidence that parasites have the ability to drive frequencies of defensive symbionts in their hosts, and that these symbionts influence parasite communities, but direct evidence that parasite diversity can promote symbiont diversity is still lacking. We provide suggestions to investigate this potential link.

RevDate: 2020-02-21
CmpDate: 2020-02-21

Monticelli LS, Outreman Y, Frago E, et al (2019)

Impact of host endosymbionts on parasitoid host range - from mechanisms to communities.

Current opinion in insect science, 32:77-82.

In insects, bacterial endosymbionts are known to influence the ecology of their hosts by modifying interactions with natural enemies such as parasitoids. Symbionts can modulate both parasitoid behavioral and/or physiological traits as well as host behaviors and life-history traits. Together these suggest that endosymbionts may impact the host range of parasitoids. For example, endosymbionts may narrow parasitoid host range through first, reducing parasitoid ability to locate hosts and/or larval survival, second, affecting fitness traits of the emerging adult parasitoid and/or third, modulating the outcome of interference and exploitative competition between parasitoid species. From both a fundamental and applied point of view, these symbiotic effects would influence the ecology and evolution of parasitoids and associated population-level processes and ecosystem services (e.g. biocontrol).

RevDate: 2020-02-21
CmpDate: 2020-02-21

McLean AH (2019)

Cascading effects of defensive endosymbionts.

Current opinion in insect science, 32:42-46.

Defensive endosymbionts are now understood to be widespread among insects, targeting many different threats, including predators, parasites and disease. The effects on natural enemies can be significant, resulting in dramatic changes in the outcome of interactions between insects and their attackers. Evidence is now emerging from laboratory and field work that defensive symbionts can have important effects on the surrounding insect community, as well as on vulnerable enemy species; for example, by reducing prey available for the trophic level above the enemy. However, there is a need for more experimental work across a greater taxonomic range of species in order to understand the different ways in which defensive symbionts influence insect communities.

RevDate: 2020-02-21
CmpDate: 2020-02-21

Stock SP (2019)

Partners in crime: symbiont-assisted resource acquisition in Steinernema entomopathogenic nematodes.

Current opinion in insect science, 32:22-27.

Entomopathogenic nematodes in the genus Steinernema (Nematoda: Steinernematidae) have a mutualistic relationship with Xenorhabdus bacteria (Gram-negative Enterobacteriaceae). This partnership however, is pathogenic to a wide range of insect species. Because of their potent insecticidal ability, they have successfully been implemented in biological control and integrated pest management programs worldwide. Steinernema-Xenorhabdus-insect partnerships are extremely diverse and represent a model system in ecology and evolution to investigate symbioses between invertebrates and microbes. The reproductive fitness of the nematode-bacterium partnership is tightly associated, and maintenance of their virulence is critical to the conversion of the insect host as a suitable environment where this partnership can be perpetuated.

RevDate: 2020-02-21
CmpDate: 2020-02-21

Oliver KM, CH Higashi (2019)

Variations on a protective theme: Hamiltonella defensa infections in aphids variably impact parasitoid success.

Current opinion in insect science, 32:1-7.

Protective mutualisms are common in nature and include insect infections with cryptic symbionts that defend against pathogens and parasites. An archetypal defensive symbiont, Hamiltonella defensa protects aphids against parasitoids by disabling wasp development. Successful defense requires H. defensa infection with bacteriophages (APSEs), which play other key roles in mutualism maintenance. Genomes of H. defensa strains are highly similar in gene inventories, varying primarily in mobile element content. Protective phenotypes are highly variable across aphid models depending on H. defensa/APSE, aphid and wasp genotypes. Infection frequencies of H. defensa are highly dynamic in field populations, influenced by a variety of selective and non-selective factors confounding biological control implications. Overall, H. defensa infections likely represent a global aphid protection network with effects radiating outward from focal interactions.

RevDate: 2020-02-20

Fan X, Che X, Lai W, et al (2020)

The auxin-inducible phosphate transporter AsPT5 mediates phosphate transport and is indispensable for arbuscule formation in Chinese milk vetch at moderately high phosphate supply.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Phosphorus is a macronutrient that is essential for plant survival. Most land plants have evolved the ability to form a mutualistic symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, which enhances phosphate (Pi) acquisition. Modulation of Pi transporter systems is the master strategy used by mycorrhizal plants to adapt to ambient Pi concentrations. However, the specific functions of PHOSPHATE TRANSPORTER 1 (PHT1) genes, which are Pi transporters that are responsive to high Pi availability, are largely unknown. Here, we report that AsPT5, an Astragalus sinicus (Chinese milk vetch) member of the PHT1 gene family, is conserved across dicotyledons and is constitutively expressed in a broad range of tissues independently of Pi supply, but is remarkably induced by indole-3-acetic acid (IAA; auxin) treatment under moderately high Pi conditions. Subcellular localization experiments indicated that AsPT5 localizes to the plasma membrane of plant cells. Using reverse genetics, we showed that AsPT5 not only mediates Pi transport and remodels root system architecture, but is also essential for arbuscule formation in A. sinicus under moderately high Pi concentrations. Overall, our study provides insight into the function of AsPT5 in Pi transport, AM development, and the cross-talk between Pi nutrition and auxin signaling in mycorrhizal plants. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2020-02-20

Moreau CS (2020)

Symbioses among ants and microbes.

Current opinion in insect science, 39:1-5 pii:S2214-5745(20)30016-X [Epub ahead of print].

Ants have been shown to engage in symbiosis across the tree of life, although our knowledge is far from complete. These interactions range from mutualistic to parasitic with several instances of manipulation of host behavior. Nutrient contributions in these symbioses include both farming for food and nitrogen recycling by gut-associated microbes. Interestingly, the ants that are mostly likely to host diverse and likely functional gut microbial communities are those that feed on extreme diets. Although we do see many instances of symbiosis between ants and microbes, there are also examples of species without a functional gut microbiome. Symbiosis among microbes and eukaryotic hosts is common and often considered a hallmark of multicellular evolution [1]. This is true among many of the over 13000 species of ants, although symbiosis between ants and microbes are not ubiquitous. These microbial-ant symbiotic interactions span the tree of life and include microbial eukaryotes, fungi, viruses, and bacteria. These interactions range from pathogenic to mutualistic, with many relationships still not well understood. Although our knowledge of the diversity of these microbes in ants is growing rapidly, and in some cases we know the function and interaction with the host, we still have much to learn about - the little things that run the little things that run the world!

RevDate: 2020-02-20

Singh RK, Deshmukh R, Muthamilarasan M, et al (2020)

Versatile roles of aquaporin in physiological processes and stress tolerance in plants.

Plant physiology and biochemistry : PPB, 149:178-189 pii:S0981-9428(20)30063-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Aquaporins are pore-forming transmembrane proteins that facilitate the movement of water and many other small neutral solutes across the cells and intracellular compartments. Plants exhibits high diversity in aquaporin isoforms and broadly classified into five different subfamilies on the basis of phylogenetic distribution and subcellular occurrence: plasma membrane intrinsic proteins (PIPs), tonoplast intrinsic proteins (TIPs), nodulin 26-like proteins (NIPs), small basic intrinsic proteins (SIPs) and uncharacterized intrinsic proteins (XIPs). The gating mechanism of aquaporin channels is tightly regulated by post-translational modifications such as phosphorylation, methylation, acetylation, glycosylation, and deamination. Aquaporin expression and transport functions are also modulated by the various phytohormones-mediated signalling in plants. Combined physiology and transcriptome analysis revealed the role of aquaporins in regulating hydraulic conductance in roots and leaves. The present review mainly focused on aquaporin functional activity during solute transport, plant development, abiotic stress response, and plant-microbe symbiosis. Genetically modified plants overexpressing aquaporin-encoding genes display improved agronomic and abiotic stress tolerance.

RevDate: 2020-02-20

Kim EK, Lee KA, Hyeon DY, et al (2020)

Bacterial Nucleoside Catabolism Controls Quorum Sensing and Commensal-to-Pathogen Transition in the Drosophila Gut.

Cell host & microbe pii:S1931-3128(20)30066-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Although the gut microbiome is generally symbiotic or commensal, some microbiome members become pathogenic under certain circumstances. However, the factors driving this pathogenic switch are largely unknown. Pathogenic bacteria can generate uracil that triggers host dual oxidase (DUOX) to produce antimicrobial reactive oxygen species (ROS). We show that pathogens generate uracil and ribose upon nucleoside catabolism of gut luminal uridine, which triggers not only host defenses but also inter-bacterial communication and pathogenesis in Drosophila. Uridine-derived uracil triggers DUOX-dependent ROS generation, whereas ribose induces bacterial quorum sensing (QS) and virulence gene expression. Genes implicated in nucleotide metabolism are found in pathogens but not commensal bacteria, and their genetic ablation blocks QS and the commensal-to-pathogen transition in vivo. Furthermore, commensal bacteria lack functional nucleoside catabolism, which is required to achieve gut-microbe symbiosis, but can become pathogenic by enabling nucleotide catabolism. These findings reveal molecular mechanisms governing the commensal-to-pathogen transition in different contexts of host-microbe interactions.

RevDate: 2020-02-20

Grosse CS, Christophersen CT, Devine A, et al (2020)

The role of a plant-based diet in the pathogenesis, etiology and management of the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.

Expert review of gastroenterology & hepatology [Epub ahead of print].

Introduction: Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) carries a significant burden on an individual's quality-of-life and on the healthcare system. The majority of patients use dietary modifications to manage their symptoms, despite limited research to support these changes. There is emerging data that a plant-based diet will be of benefit to IBD patients.Areas covered: A literature review on the pathogenesis and potential benefits of dietary management of IBD.Expert opinion: A Westernized diet has been associated with IBD risk and relapse; hence a plant-based diet may be of benefit to IBD patients through reducing inflammation and restoring symbiosis. Dietary therapy can be an important adjunct therapy, however, better quality studies are still required.

RevDate: 2020-02-20

Kuhikar R, Khan N, Philip J, et al (2020)

Transforming growth factor β1 accelerates and enhances in vitro red blood cell formation from hematopoietic stem cells by stimulating mitophagy.

Stem cell research & therapy, 11(1):71 pii:10.1186/s13287-020-01603-z.

BACKGROUND: Generation of red blood cells (RBCs) from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in vitro takes about 21 days, making it unaffordable for clinical applications. Acceleration of the in vitro erythropoiesis process by using small molecules could eventually make the large-scale production of these cells commercially viable. Transforming Growth Factor β1 (TGF-β1) has been shown to have a dose-dependent activity on the HSCs: at high concentration it inhibits, whereas at low concentration it stimulates the HSCs growth. At high concentration, it also inhibits erythropoiesis but accelerates terminal erythroid differentiation of cell lines and erythroid progenitors. Here we examined whether the use of low concentration of TGF-β1 would be beneficial for increasing RBC production by stimulating HSC growth and also supporting erythroid differentiation. Such a strategy could make RBC production in vitro more efficient and cost-effective for clinical applications.

METHODS: HSCs isolated from Apheresis samples were differentiated into mature RBCs by the sequential addition of specific combinations of growth factors for 21 days. In the control set, only EPO (3 IU/ml) was added whereas, in the test set, TGF-β1 at a concentration of 10 pg/ml was added along with EPO (3 IU/ml) from day 0.

RESULTS: We found that a low concentration of TGF-β1 has no inhibitory effect on the proliferation of the early stages of erythropoiesis. Additionally, it significantly accelerates terminal stages of erythroid differentiation by promoting BNIP3L/NIX-mediated mitophagy.

CONCLUSIONS: Incorporation of TGF-β1 at 10 pg/ml concentration in the differentiation medium accelerates the in vitro erythropoiesis process by 3 days. This finding could have potential applications in transfusion medicine.

RevDate: 2020-02-20

Kulkarni M, R Yeravdekar (2020)

Situational Assessment of Functional Elements, Practices Adopted & Concerns Related to Bio Medical Waste Management in City of Pune, India.

Hospital topics [Epub ahead of print].

The study was conducted with the objective of leading a situational assessment of Pune city with regard to Bio medical waste management, exploring knowledge, attitude & practices (KAP) of healthcare workers, and identifying challenges of stakeholders. Results revealed 69.2% of the hospitals had a biomedical waste management facility. Facilities like incineration, shredder, sharp pit, encapsulation, deep burial, and chemical disinfection were non- existing in 60% to 90% of hospitals. Bivariate analysis on questions with the type of employees and (KAP) was calculated. The utilization of the existing services and noncompliance are the major findings from the study.

RevDate: 2020-02-20
CmpDate: 2020-02-20

Bluhm C, Butenschoen O, Maraun M, et al (2019)

Effects of root and leaf litter identity and diversity on oribatid mite abundance, species richness and community composition.

PloS one, 14(7):e0219166 pii:PONE-D-19-05558.

Habitat heterogeneity is an important driver of aboveground species diversity but few studies have investigated effects on soil communities. Trees shape their surrounding by both leaf litter and roots generating small scale heterogeneity and potentially governing community patterns of soil organisms. To assess the role of vegetation for the soil fauna, we studied whether tree species (Fagus sylvatica L., Acer pseudoplatanus L., Fraxinus excelsior L., Tilia cordata Mill.), markedly differing in leaf litter quality and root associated mycorrhizal symbionts, affect oribatid mite communities by shaping below- and aboveground resources and habitat complexity and availability. Oribatid mite abundance, species richness, community structure and the proportion of litter living and parthenogenetic individuals were analyzed and related to microbial biomass and the amount of remaining litter mass. Although leaf litter species with higher nutritional values decomposed considerably faster, microbial biomass only slightly differed between leaf litter species. Neither root species nor leaf litter species affected abundance, species richness or community structure of oribatid mites. However, root species had an effect on the proportion of parthenogenetic individuals with increased proportions in the presence of beech roots. Overall, the results suggest that identity and diversity of vegetation via leaf litter or roots are of minor importance for structuring oribatid mite communities of a temperate forest ecosystem.

RevDate: 2020-02-18
CmpDate: 2020-02-18

Asselin AK, Villegas-Ospina S, Hoffmann AA, et al (2019)

Contrasting Patterns of Virus Protection and Functional Incompatibility Genes in Two Conspecific Wolbachia Strains from Drosophila pandora.

Applied and environmental microbiology, 85(5): pii:AEM.02290-18.

Wolbachia infections can present different phenotypes in hosts, including different forms of reproductive manipulation and antiviral protection, which may influence infection dynamics within host populations. In populations of Drosophila pandora two distinct Wolbachia strains coexist, each manipulating host reproduction: strain wPanCI causes cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), whereas strain wPanMK causes male killing (MK). CI occurs when a Wolbachia-infected male mates with a female not infected with a compatible type of Wolbachia, leading to nonviable offspring. wPanMK can rescue wPanCI-induced CI but is unable to induce CI. The antiviral protection phenotypes provided by the wPanCI and wPanMK infections were characterized; the strains showed differential protection phenotypes, whereby cricket paralysis virus (CrPV)-induced mortality was delayed in flies infected with wPanMK but enhanced in flies infected with wPanCI compared to their respective Wolbachia-cured counterparts. Homologs of the cifA and cifB genes involved in CI identified in wPanMK and wPanCI showed a high degree of conservation; however, the CifB protein in wPanMK is truncated and is likely nonfunctional. The presence of a likely functional CifA in wPanMK and wPanMK's ability to rescue wPanCI-induced CI are consistent with the recent confirmation of CifA's involvement in CI rescue, and the absence of a functional CifB protein further supports its involvement as a CI modification factor. Taken together, these findings indicate that wPanCI and wPanMK have different relationships with their hosts in terms of their protective and CI phenotypes. It is therefore likely that different factors influence the prevalence and dynamics of these coinfections in natural Drosophila pandora hosts.IMPORTANCEWolbachia strains are common endosymbionts in insects, with multiple strains often coexisting in the same species. The coexistence of multiple strains is poorly understood but may rely on Wolbachia organisms having diverse phenotypic effects on their hosts. As Wolbachia is increasingly being developed as a tool to control disease transmission and suppress pest populations, it is important to understand the ways in which multiple Wolbachia strains persist in natural populations and how these might then be manipulated. We have therefore investigated viral protection and the molecular basis of cytoplasmic incompatibility in two coexisting Wolbachia strains with contrasting effects on host reproduction.

RevDate: 2020-02-19

Heath KD, Podowski JC, Heniff S, et al (2020)

Light availability and rhizobium variation interactively mediate the outcomes of legume-rhizobium symbiosis.

American journal of botany [Epub ahead of print].

PREMISE: Nutrients, light, water, and temperature are key factors limiting the growth of individual plants in nature. Mutualistic interactions between plants and microbes often mediate resource limitation for both partners. In the mutualism between legumes and rhizobia, plants provide rhizobia with carbon in exchange for fixed nitrogen. Because partner quality in mutualisms is genotype-dependent, within-species genetic variation is expected to alter the responses of mutualists to changes in the resource environment. Here we ask whether partner quality variation in rhizobia mediates the response of host plants to changing light availability, and conversely, whether light alters the expression of partner quality variation.

METHODS: We inoculated clover hosts with 11 strains of Rhizobium leguminosarum that differed in partner quality, grew plants under either ambient or low light conditions in the greenhouse, and measured plant growth, nodule traits, and foliar nutrient composition.

RESULTS: Light availability and rhizobium inoculum interactively determined plant growth, and variation in rhizobium partner quality was more apparent in ambient light.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that variation in the costs and benefits of rhizobium symbionts mediate host responses to light availability and that rhizobium strain variation might more important in higher-light environments. Our work adds to a growing appreciation for the role of microbial intraspecific and interspecific diversity in mediating extended phenotypes in their hosts and suggests an important role for light availability in the ecology and evolution of legume-rhizobium symbiosis.

RevDate: 2020-02-19

Dhas Y, Banerjee J, N Mishra (2020)

Blood Viscosity, Glycemic Markers and Blood Pressure: A Study in Middle-Aged Normotensive and Hypertensive Type 2 Diabetics.

Indian journal of clinical biochemistry : IJCB, 35(1):102-108.

Altered blood viscosity (BV) may affect blood pressure (BP) and develops further complications in diabetes. A case-control study was performed to examine the relationship of erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), hematocrit, fibrinogen, and BV with glycemic markers and BP in middle-aged normotensive and hypertensive type 2 diabetic patients and healthy controls. A total of 145 participants between age group 30-50 years divided into three groups; controls (n = 60), type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM, n = 55), and T2DM with hypertension (T2DM + HTN, n = 30). ESR and hematocrit were determined by Wintrobe's method. Plasma fibrinogen was measured using Lempert method and BV calculated using Merill's formula. T2DM and T2DM + HTN patients had higher fasting plasma glucose (FPG), glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), systolic BP (SBP), diastolic BP (DBP), mean arterial pressure (MAP), ESR, and fibrinogencompared to controls. In both male and female SBP, DBP, MAP, FPG, and HbA1c were significantly higher in T2DM and T2DM + HTN groups, compared to controls. Further, linear regression analysis revealed a positive association of ESR and fibrinogen with SBP, DBP, MAP, FPG, HbA1c, and positive diabetic status in all participants. Also, in the same analysis, BV showed a positive association with SBP, DBP, and MAP. The association of ESR and fibrinogenwith glycemic markers and BP in diabetes supporting the value of emerging marker's for early prediction of T2DM and hypertension.

RevDate: 2020-02-19

Zhang P, Zhang B, Jiao J, et al (2020)

Modulation of Symbiotic Compatibility by Rhizobial Zinc Starvation Machinery.

mBio, 11(1): pii:mBio.03193-19.

Pathogenic bacteria need high-affinity zinc uptake systems to counteract the nutritional immunity exerted by infected hosts. However, our understanding of zinc homeostasis in mutualistic systems such as the rhizobium-legume symbiosis is limited. Here, we show that the conserved high-affinity zinc transporter ZnuABC and accessory transporter proteins (Zip1, Zip2, and c06450) made cumulative contributions to nodulation of the broad-host-range strain Sinorhizobium fredii CCBAU45436. Zur acted as a zinc-dependent repressor for the znuC-znuB-zur operon, znuA, and c06450 by binding to the associated Zur box, but did not regulate zip1 and zip2 ZnuABC was the major zinc transporter. Combined mutants lacking znuA and one of the three accessory genes had more severe defects in nodulation and growth under zinc starvation conditions than the znuA mutant, though rhizoplane colonization by these mutants was not impaired. In contrast to the elite strain CCBAU45436, more drastic symbiotic defects were observed for the znuA mutants of other Sinorhizobium strains, which lack at least one of the three accessory genes in their genomes and are characterized by their limited host range and geographical distribution. The znu-derived mutants showed a higher expression level of nod genes involved in Nod factor biosynthesis and a reduced expression of genes encoding a type three secretion system and its effector NopP, which can interfere with the host immune system. Application of exogenous zinc restored the nodulation ability of these znu-derived mutants. Therefore, the conserved ZnuABC and accessory components in the zinc starvation machinery play an important role in modulating symbiotic compatibility.IMPORTANCE The rhizobium-legume symbiosis contributes around 65% of biological nitrogen fixation in agriculture systems and is critical for sustainable agriculture by reducing the amount of chemical nitrogen fertilizer being used. Rhizobial inocula have been commercialized for more than 100 years, but the efficiency of inoculation can vary among legume cultivars, field sites, and years. These long-lasting challenging problems impede the establishment of a sustainable agriculture, particularly in developing countries. Here, we report that rhizobial zinc starvation machinery containing a conserved high-affinity zinc transporter and accessory components makes cumulative contributions to modulating rhizobial symbiotic compatibility. This work highlights a critical role of largely unexplored nutritional immunity in the rhizobium-legume symbiosis, which makes zinc starvation machinery an attractive target for improving rhizobial symbiotic compatibility.

RevDate: 2020-02-19

Contador CA, Lo SK, Chan SHJ, et al (2020)

Metabolic Analyses of Nitrogen Fixation in the Soybean Microsymbiont Sinorhizobium fredii Using Constraint-Based Modeling.

mSystems, 5(1): pii:5/1/e00516-19.

Rhizobia are soil bacteria able to establish symbiosis with diverse host plants. Specifically, Sinorhizobium fredii is a soil bacterium that forms nitrogen-fixing root nodules in diverse legumes, including soybean. The strain S. fredii CCBAU45436 is a dominant sublineage of S. fredii that nodulates soybeans in alkaline-saline soils in the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain region of China. Here, we present a manually curated metabolic model of the symbiotic form of Sinorhizobium fredii CCBAU45436. A symbiosis reaction was defined to describe the specific soybean-microsymbiont association. The performance and quality of the reconstruction had a 70% score when assessed using a standardized genome-scale metabolic model test suite. The model was used to evaluate in silico single-gene knockouts to determine the genes controlling the nitrogen fixation process. One hundred forty-one of 541 genes (26%) were found to influence the symbiotic process, wherein 121 genes were predicted as essential and 20 others as having a partial effect. Transcriptomic profiles of CCBAU45436 were used to evaluate the nitrogen fixation capacity in cultivated versus in wild soybean inoculated with the microsymbiont. The model quantified the nitrogen fixation activities of the strain in these two hosts and predicted a higher nitrogen fixation capacity in cultivated soybean. Our results are consistent with published data demonstrating larger amounts of ureides and total nitrogen in cultivated soybean than in wild soybean. This work presents the first metabolic network reconstruction of S. fredii as an example of a useful tool for exploring the potential benefits of microsymbionts to sustainable agriculture and the ecosystem.IMPORTANCE Nitrogen is the most limiting macronutrient for plant growth, and rhizobia are important bacteria for agriculture because they can fix atmospheric nitrogen and make it available to legumes through the establishment of a symbiotic relationship with their host plants. In this work, we studied the nitrogen fixation process in the microsymbiont Sinorhizobium fredii at the genome level. A metabolic model was built using genome annotation and literature to reconstruct the symbiotic form of S. fredii Genes controlling the nitrogen fixation process were identified by simulating gene knockouts. Additionally, the nitrogen-fixing capacities of S. fredii CCBAU45436 in symbiosis with cultivated and wild soybeans were evaluated. The predictions suggested an outperformance of S. fredii with cultivated soybean, consistent with published experimental evidence. The reconstruction presented here will help to understand and improve nitrogen fixation capabilities of S. fredii and will be beneficial for agriculture by reducing the reliance on fertilizer applications.

RevDate: 2020-02-18

Desai D, Khanna A, P Pethe (2020)

Inhibition of RING1B alters lineage specificity in human embryonic stem cells.

Cell biology international [Epub ahead of print].

Polycomb group (PcG) proteins are histone modifiers which are known to perform transcriptional repression and have been shown to be critical during murine embryonic development. PcGs are broadly characterised into Polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1) and 2 and (PRC2). RING1B, core catalytic unit of PRC1 performs H2AK119 monoubiquitination leading to transcriptional repression. We used human embryonic stem cell (hESC) line to study the fate of pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) under inhibition of RING1B, as its role in human development is still to be completely explored. Embryoid bodies were generated to differentiate hESCs using hanging drop method. PRT4165 (synthetic RING1B catalytic activity inhibitor) was added to undifferentiated and differentiated cells for 24 hours. When we inhibited RING1B in undifferentiated cells, OCT4 levels remained unchanged indicating RING1B does not regulate pluripotency. The drug when added to differentiated cells led to decrease in the levels of RING1B, BMI1 and H2AK119ub1. Interestingly, we also report that the differentiated cells show an increased expression of neuroectodermal markers: SOX1 and PAX6 as well as expression of other neuroectodermal markers such as TUJ1, FOXG1 and NCAM. However, there was reduction in expression of endodermal (SOX17 and FOXA2) mesodermal marker BRACHYURY and TBX5 in treated EBs compared to control EBs. In summary, alteration of RING1B catalytic activity in hESCs during differentiation promotes neuroectodermal differentiation thus, we demonstrate critical role of RING1B in regulating neural differentiation. The strategy of inhibiting RING1B could be used to direct PSCs towards early neuronal fate. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2020-02-18

Nagao-Kitamoto H, Leslie JL, Kitamoto S, et al (2020)

Interleukin-22-mediated host glycosylation prevents Clostridioides difficile infection by modulating the metabolic activity of the gut microbiota.

Nature medicine pii:10.1038/s41591-020-0764-0 [Epub ahead of print].

The involvement of host immunity in the gut microbiota-mediated colonization resistance to Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) is incompletely understood. Here, we show that interleukin (IL)-22, induced by colonization of the gut microbiota, is crucial for the prevention of CDI in human microbiota-associated (HMA) mice. IL-22 signaling in HMA mice regulated host glycosylation, which enabled the growth of succinate-consuming bacteria Phascolarctobacterium spp. within the gut microbiome. Phascolarctobacterium reduced the availability of luminal succinate, a crucial metabolite for the growth of C. difficile, and therefore prevented the growth of C. difficile. IL-22-mediated host N-glycosylation is likely impaired in patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) and renders UC-HMA mice more susceptible to CDI. Transplantation of healthy human-derived microbiota or Phascolarctobacterium reduced luminal succinate levels and restored colonization resistance in UC-HMA mice. IL-22-mediated host glycosylation thus fosters the growth of commensal bacteria that compete with C. difficile for the nutritional niche.

RevDate: 2020-02-18

Savary R, Dupuis C, Masclaux FG, et al (2020)

Genetic variation and evolutionary history of a mycorrhizal fungus regulate the currency of exchange in symbiosis with the food security crop cassava.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-020-0606-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Most land plants form symbioses with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). Diversity of AMF increases plant community productivity and plant diversity. For decades, it was known that plants trade carbohydrates for phosphate with their fungal symbionts. However, recent studies show that plant-derived lipids probably represent the most essential currency of exchange. Understanding the regulation of plant genes involved in the currency of exchange is crucial to understanding stability of this mutualism. Plants encounter many different AMF genotypes that vary greatly in the benefit they confer to plants. Yet the role that fungal genetic variation plays in the regulation of this currency has not received much attention. We used a high-resolution phylogeny of one AMF species (Rhizophagus irregularis) to show that fungal genetic variation drives the regulation of the plant fatty acid pathway in cassava (Manihot esculenta); a pathway regulating one of the essential currencies of trade in the symbiosis. The regulation of this pathway was explained by clearly defined patterns of fungal genome-wide variation representing the precise fungal evolutionary history. This represents the first demonstrated link between the genetics of AMF and reprogramming of an essential plant pathway regulating the currency of exchange in the symbiosis. The transcription factor RAM1 was also revealed as the dominant gene in the fatty acid plant gene co-expression network. Our study highlights the crucial role of variation in fungal genomes in the trade of resources in this important symbiosis and also opens the door to discovering characteristics of AMF genomes responsible for interactions between AMF and cassava that will lead to optimal cassava growth.

RevDate: 2020-02-18

Howells EJ, Bauman AG, Vaughan GO, et al (2020)

Corals in the hottest reefs in the world exhibit symbiont fidelity not flexibility.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Reef-building corals are at risk of extinction from ocean warming. While some corals can enhance their thermal limits by associating with dinoflagellate photosymbionts of superior stress tolerance, the extent to which symbiont communities will reorganize under increased warming pressure remains unclear. Here we show that corals in the hottest reefs in the world in the Persian Gulf maintain associations with the same symbionts across 1.5 years despite extreme seasonal warming and acute heat stress (≥35°C). Persian Gulf corals predominantly associated with Cladocopium (clade C) and most also hosted Symbiodinium (clade A) and/or Durusdinium (clade D). This is in contrast to the neighbouring and milder Oman Sea, where corals associated with Durusdinium and only a minority hosted background levels of Cladocopium. During acute heat stress, the higher prevalence of Symbiodinium and Durusdinium in bleached versus nonbleached Persian Gulf corals indicates that genotypes of these background genera did not confer bleaching resistance. Within symbiont genera, the majority of ITS2 rDNA type profiles were unique to their respective coral species, confirming the existence of host-specific symbiont lineages. Notably, further differentiation among Persian Gulf sites demonstrates that symbiont populations are either isolated or specialized over tens to hundreds of kilometres. Thermal tolerance across coral species was associated with the prevalence of a single ITS2 intragenomic sequence variant (C3gulf), definitive of the Cladocopium thermophilum group. The abundance of C3gulf was highest in bleaching-resistant corals and at warmer sites, potentially indicating a specific symbiont genotype (or set of genotypes) that may play a role in thermal tolerance that warrants further investigation. Together, our findings indicate that co-evolution of host-Symbiodiniaceae partnerships favours fidelity rather than flexibility in extreme environments and under future warming.

RevDate: 2020-02-19
CmpDate: 2020-02-19

Bassham RD, Browning JS, SC Landers (2020)

The complete life cycle of the unusual apostome Hyalophysa clampi (Ciliophora, Apostomatida), a symbiont of crayfish in Alabama (USA).

European journal of protistology, 72:125654.

Hyalophysa clampi Browning and Landers, 2012 was reexamined to determine all stages in the life cycle of this symbiotic ciliate. The cell feeds as a normal exuviotroph within the exoskeleton of its molted crayfish host but does not encyst following the trophont stage. Trophonts transform into swimming tomont stages, which divide by palintomy over successive divisions, splitting to two cells, separating, and repeating. The divisions cease when the daughter cells attain the size of the infestive tomite stage, which attaches to a new crayfish. This unique life cycle is most similar to the European hermit crab symbiont Polyspira delagei, which forms chains of daughter cells during division. Scanning electron microscopy confirmed the unusual presence of two contractile vacuoles in H. clampi, unique among the Apostomatida, and provided ultrastructural details to better understand light microscopy silver staining. The genus diagnosis for Hyalophysa is modified herein to accommodate this new life cycle.

RevDate: 2020-02-18
CmpDate: 2020-02-18

Roma JS, D'Souza S, Somers PJ, et al (2019)

Thermal stress responses of Sodalis glossinidius, an indigenous bacterial symbiont of hematophagous tsetse flies.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 13(11):e0007464.

Tsetse flies (Diptera: Glossinidae) house a taxonomically diverse microbiota that includes environmentally acquired bacteria, maternally transmitted symbiotic bacteria, and pathogenic African trypanosomes. Sodalis glossinidius, which is a facultative symbiont that resides intra and extracellularly within multiple tsetse tissues, has been implicated as a mediator of trypanosome infection establishment in the fly's gut. Tsetse's gut-associated population of Sodalis are subjected to marked temperature fluctuations each time their ectothermic fly host imbibes vertebrate blood. The molecular mechanisms that Sodalis employs to deal with this heat stress are unknown. In this study, we examined the thermal tolerance and heat shock response of Sodalis. When grown on BHI agar plates, the bacterium exhibited the most prolific growth at 25oC, and did not grow at temperatures above 30oC. Growth on BHI agar plates at 31°C was dependent on either the addition of blood to the agar or reduction in oxygen levels. Sodalis was viable in liquid cultures for 24 hours at 30oC, but began to die upon further exposure. The rate of death increased with increased temperature. Similarly, Sodalis was able to survive for 48 hours within tsetse flies housed at 30oC, while a higher temperature (37oC) was lethal. Sodalis' genome contains homologues of the heat shock chaperone protein-encoding genes dnaK, dnaJ, and grpE, and their expression was up-regulated in thermally stressed Sodalis, both in vitro and in vivo within tsetse fly midguts. Arrested growth of E. coli dnaK, dnaJ, or grpE mutants under thermal stress was reversed when the cells were transformed with a low copy plasmid that encoded the Sodalis homologues of these genes. The information contained in this study provides insight into how arthropod vector enteric commensals, many of which mediate their host's ability to transmit pathogens, mitigate heat shock associated with the ingestion of a blood meal.

RevDate: 2020-02-18
CmpDate: 2020-02-18

Yamamoto K, Shimamura M, Degawa Y, et al (2019)

Dual colonization of Mucoromycotina and Glomeromycotina fungi in the basal liverwort, Haplomitrium mnioides (Haplomitriopsida).

Journal of plant research, 132(6):777-788.

In general, Glomeromycotina was thought to be the earliest fungi forming mycorrhiza-like structure (MLS) in land plant evolution. In contrast, because the earliest divergent lineage of extant land plants, i.e. Haplomitriopsida liverworts, associates only with Mucoromycotina mycobionts, recent studies suggested that those fungi are novel candidates for the earliest mycobionts. Therefore, Mucoromycotina-Haplomitriopsida association currently attracts attention as an ancient mycorrhiza-like association. However, mycobionts were identified in only 7 of 16 Haplomitriopsida species and the mycobionts diversity of this lineage is largely unclarified. To clarify the taxonomic composition of mycobionts in Haplomitriopsida, we observed MLSs in the rhizome of Haplomitrium mnioides (Haplomitriopsida), the Asian representative Haplomitriopsida species, and conducted molecular identification of mycobionts. It was recorded for the first time that Glomeromycotina and Mucoromycotina co-occur in Haplomitriopsida as mycobionts. Significantly, the arbuscule-like branching (ALB) of Glomeromycotina was newly described. As the Mucoromycotina fungi forming MLSs in H. mnioides, Endogonaceae and Densosporaceae were detected, in which size differences of hyphal swelling (HS) were found between the fungal families. This study provides a novel evidence in the MLS of Haplomitriopsida, i.e. the existence of Glomeromycotina association as well as the dominant Mucoromycotina association. In addition, since hyphal characteristics of the HS-type MLS were quite similar to those of fine endophytes (FE) of Endogonales in other bryophytes and vascular plants previously described, this MLS is suggested to be included in FE. These results suggest that Glomeromycotina and Mucoromycotina were acquired concurrently as the mycobionts by the earliest land plants evolved into arbuscular mycorrhizae and FE. Therefore, dual association of Haplomitriopsida, with Endogonales and Glomeromycotina will provide us novel insight on how the earliest land plants adapted to terrestrial habitats with fungi.

RevDate: 2020-02-19
CmpDate: 2020-02-19

Travin DY, Watson ZL, Metelev M, et al (2019)

Structure of ribosome-bound azole-modified peptide phazolicin rationalizes its species-specific mode of bacterial translation inhibition.

Nature communications, 10(1):4563.

Ribosome-synthesized post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs) represent a rapidly expanding class of natural products with various biological activities. Linear azol(in)e-containing peptides (LAPs) comprise a subclass of RiPPs that display outstanding diversity of mechanisms of action while sharing common structural features. Here, we report the discovery of a new LAP biosynthetic gene cluster in the genome of Rhizobium Pop5, which encodes the precursor peptide and modification machinery of phazolicin (PHZ) - an extensively modified peptide exhibiting narrow-spectrum antibacterial activity against some symbiotic bacteria of leguminous plants. The cryo-EM structure of the Escherichia coli 70S-PHZ complex reveals that the drug interacts with the 23S rRNA and uL4/uL22 proteins and obstructs ribosomal exit tunnel in a way that is distinct from other compounds. We show that the uL4 loop sequence determines the species-specificity of antibiotic action. PHZ expands the known diversity of LAPs and may be used in the future as biocontrol agent for agricultural needs.

RevDate: 2020-02-18
CmpDate: 2020-02-18

Talpin A, Kattah MG, Advincula R, et al (2019)

A20 in dendritic cells restrains intestinal anti-bacterial peptide expression and preserves commensal homeostasis.

PloS one, 14(7):e0218999 pii:PONE-D-19-10794.

Microbial dysbiosis commonly occurs in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Exogenous causes of dysbiosis such as antibiotics and diet are well described, but host derived causes are understudied. A20 is a potent regulator of signals triggered by microbial pattern molecules, and A20 regulates susceptibility to intestinal inflammation in mice and in humans. We now report that mice lacking A20 expression in dendritic cells, A20FL/FL CD11c-Cre mice (or A20dDC mice), spontaneously develop colitogenic intestinal dysbiosis that is evident upon weaning and precedes the onset of colitis. Intestines from A20dDC mice express increased amounts of Reg3β and Reg3γ, but not Ang4. A20 deficient DCs promote gut microbiota perturbation in the absence of adaptive lymphocytes. Moreover, A20 deficient DCs directly induce expression of Reg3β and Reg3γ but not Ang 4 in normal intestinal epithelial cell enteroid cultures in the absence of other cell types. These findings reveal a pathophysiological pathway in which defective expression of an IBD susceptibility gene in DCs drives aberrant expression of anti-bacterial peptides and luminal dysbiosis that in turn confers host susceptibility to intestinal inflammation.

RevDate: 2020-02-18
CmpDate: 2020-02-18

Vašutová M, Mleczko P, López-García A, et al (2019)

Taxi drivers: the role of animals in transporting mycorrhizal fungi.

Mycorrhiza, 29(5):413-434.

Dispersal of mycorrhizal fungi via animals and the importance for the interacting partners' life history as well as for ecosystems is an understudied topic. In this review, we describe the available evidence and the most important knowledge gaps and finally suggest ways to gain the missing information. So far, 33 articles have been published proving a successful transfer of mycorrhizal propagules by animals. The vast majority of research on invertebrates was focused on arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, whereas papers on vertebrates (mainly rodents and artiodactyls) equally addressed ectomycorrhizal (ECM) and AM fungi. Effective dispersal has been mostly shown by the successful inoculation of bait plants and less commonly by spore staining or germination tests. Based on the available data and general knowledge on animal lifestyles, collembolans and oribatid mites may be important in transporting ECM fungal propagules by ectozoochory, whereas earthworms, isopods, and millipedes could mainly transfer AM fungal spores in their gut systems. ECM fungal distribution may be affected by mycophagous dipterans and their hymenopteran parasitoids, while slugs, snails, and beetles could transport both mycorrhizal groups. Vertebrates feeding on fruit bodies were shown to disperse mainly ECM fungi, while AM fungi are transported mostly accidentally by herbivores. The important knowledge gaps include insufficient information on dispersal of fungal propagules other than spores, the role of invertebrates in the dispersal of mycorrhizal fungi, the way in which propagules pass through food webs, and the spatial distances reached by different dispersal mechanisms both horizontally and vertically.

RevDate: 2020-02-18
CmpDate: 2020-02-18

Peng J, Lu X, Xie K, et al (2019)

Dynamic Alterations in the Gut Microbiota of Collagen-Induced Arthritis Rats Following the Prolonged Administration of Total Glucosides of Paeony.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 9:204.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common autoimmune disease linked to chronic inflammation. Dysbiosis of the gut microbiota has been proposed to contribute to the risk of RA, and a large number of researchers have investigated the gut-joint axis hypothesis using the collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) rats. However, previous studies mainly involved short-term experiments; very few used the CIA model to investigate changes in gut microbiota over time. Moreover, previous research failed to use the CIA model to carry out detailed investigations of the effects of drug treatments upon inflammation in the joints, hyperplasia of the synovium, imbalance in the ratios of Th1/Th2 and Th17/Treg cells, intestinal cytokines and the gut microbiota following long-term intervention. In the present study, we carried out a 16-week experiment to investigate changes in the gut microbiota of CIA rats, and evaluated the modulatory effect of total glucosides of paeony (TGP), an immunomodulatory agent widely used in the treatment of RA, after 12 weeks of administration. We found that taxonomic differences developed in the microbial structure between the CIA group and the Control group. Furthermore, the administration of TGP was able to correct 78% of these taxonomic differences, while also increase the relative abundance of certain forms of beneficial symbiotic bacteria. By the end of the experiment, TGP had reduced body weight, thymus index and inflammatory cell infiltration in the ankle joint of CIA rats. Furthermore, the administration of TGP had down-regulated the synovial content of VEGF and the levels of Th1 cells and Th17 cells in CIA rats, and up-regulated the levels of Th2 cells and Treg cells. The administration of TGP also inhibited the levels of intestinal cytokines, secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA) and Interferon-γ (IFN-γ). In conclusion, the influence of TGP on dynamic changes in gut microbiota, along with the observed improvement of indicators related to CIA symptoms during 12 weeks of administration, supported the hypothesis that the microbiome may play a role in TGP-mediated therapeutic effects in CIA rats. The present study also indicated that the mechanism underlying these effects may be related to the regulation of intestinal mucosal immunity remains unknown and deserves further research attention.

RevDate: 2020-02-18
CmpDate: 2020-02-18

Hart SFM, Pineda JMB, Chen CC, et al (2019)

Disentangling strictly self-serving mutations from win-win mutations in a mutualistic microbial community.

eLife, 8: pii:44812.

Mutualisms can be promoted by pleiotropic win-win mutations which directly benefit self (self-serving) and partner (partner-serving). Intuitively, partner-serving phenotype could be quantified as an individual's benefit supply rate to partners. Here, we demonstrate the inadequacy of this thinking, and propose an alternative. Specifically, we evolved well-mixed mutualistic communities where two engineered yeast strains exchanged essential metabolites lysine and hypoxanthine. Among cells that consumed lysine and released hypoxanthine, a chromosome duplication mutation seemed win-win: it improved cell's affinity for lysine (self-serving), and increased hypoxanthine release rate per cell (partner-serving). However, increased release rate was due to increased cell size accompanied by increased lysine utilization per birth. Consequently, total hypoxanthine release rate per lysine utilization (defined as 'exchange ratio') remained unchanged. Indeed, this mutation did not increase the steady state growth rate of partner, and is thus solely self-serving during long-term growth. By extension, reduced benefit production rate by an individual may not imply cheating.

RevDate: 2020-02-19
CmpDate: 2020-02-19

Wang R, Chen XY, Chen Y, et al (2019)

Loss of top-down biotic interactions changes the relative benefits for obligate mutualists.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 286(1897):20182501.

The collapse of mutualisms owing to anthropogenic changes is contributing to losses of biodiversity. Top predators can regulate biotic interactions between species at lower trophic levels and may contribute to the stability of such mutualisms, but they are particularly likely to be lost after disturbance of communities. We focused on the mutualism between the fig tree Ficus microcarpa and its host-specific pollinator fig wasp and compared the benefits accrued by the mutualists in natural and translocated areas of distribution. Parasitoids of the pollinator were rare or absent outside the natural range of the mutualists, where the relative benefits the mutualists gained from their interaction were changed significantly away from the plant's natural range owing to reduced seed production rather than increased numbers of pollinator offspring. Furthermore, in the absence of the negative effects of its parasitoids, we detected an oviposition range expansion by the pollinator, with the use of a wider range of ovules that could otherwise have generated seeds. Loss of top-down control has therefore resulted in a change in the balance of reciprocal benefits that underpins this obligate mutualism, emphasizing the value of maintaining food web complexity in the Anthropocene.

RevDate: 2020-02-17
CmpDate: 2020-02-17

Ellegaard KM, Brochet S, Bonilla-Rosso G, et al (2019)

Genomic changes underlying host specialization in the bee gut symbiont Lactobacillus Firm5.

Molecular ecology, 28(9):2224-2237.

Bacteria that engage in long-standing associations with particular hosts are expected to evolve host-specific adaptations that limit their capacity to thrive in other environments. Consistent with this, many gut symbionts seem to have a limited host range, based on community profiling and phylogenomics. However, few studies have experimentally investigated host specialization of gut symbionts and the underlying mechanisms have largely remained elusive. Here, we studied host specialization of a dominant gut symbiont of social bees, Lactobacillus Firm5. We show that Firm5 strains isolated from honey bees and bumble bees separate into deep-branching host-specific phylogenetic lineages. Despite their divergent evolution, colonization experiments show that bumble bee strains are capable of colonizing the honey bee gut. However, they were less successful than honey bee strains, and competition with honey bee strains completely abolished their colonization. In contrast, honey bee strains of divergent phylogenetic lineages were able to coexist within individual bees. This suggests that both host selection and interbacterial competition play important roles in host specialization. Using comparative genomics of 27 Firm5 isolates, we found that the genomes of honey bee strains harbour more carbohydrate-related functions than bumble bee strains, possibly providing a competitive advantage in the honey bee gut. Remarkably, most of the genes encoding carbohydrate-related functions were not conserved among the honey bee strains, which suggests that honey bees can support a metabolically more diverse community of Firm5 strains than bumble bees. These findings advance our understanding of the genomic changes underlying host specialization.

RevDate: 2020-02-12
CmpDate: 2020-02-12

Rotman ER, Bultman KM, Brooks JF, et al (2019)

Natural Strain Variation Reveals Diverse Biofilm Regulation in Squid-Colonizing Vibrio fischeri.

Journal of bacteriology, 201(9): pii:JB.00033-19.

The mutualistic symbiont Vibrio fischeri builds a symbiotic biofilm during colonization of squid hosts. Regulation of the exopolysaccharide component, termed Syp, has been examined in strain ES114, where production is controlled by a phosphorelay that includes the inner membrane hybrid histidine kinase RscS. Most strains that lack RscS or encode divergent RscS proteins cannot colonize a squid host unless RscS from a squid symbiont is heterologously expressed. In this study, we examine V. fischeri isolates worldwide to understand the landscape of biofilm regulation during beneficial colonization. We provide a detailed study of three distinct evolutionary groups of V. fischeri and find that while the RscS-Syp biofilm pathway is required in one of the groups, two other groups of squid symbionts require Syp independent of RscS. Mediterranean squid symbionts, including V. fischeri SR5, colonize without an RscS homolog encoded by their genome. Additionally, group A V. fischeri strains, which form a tightly related clade of Hawaii isolates, have a frameshift in rscS and do not require the gene for squid colonization or competitive fitness. These same strains have a frameshift in sypE, and we provide evidence that this group A sypE allele leads to an upregulation in biofilm activity. Thus, this work describes the central importance of Syp biofilm in colonization of diverse isolates and demonstrates that significant evolutionary transitions correspond to regulatory changes in the syp pathway.IMPORTANCE Biofilms are surface-associated, matrix-encased bacterial aggregates that exhibit enhanced protection to antimicrobial agents. Previous work has established the importance of biofilm formation by a strain of luminous Vibrio fischeri bacteria as the bacteria colonize their host, the Hawaiian bobtail squid. In this study, expansion of this work to many natural isolates revealed that biofilm genes are universally required, yet there has been a shuffling of the regulators of those genes. This work provides evidence that even when bacterial behaviors are conserved, dynamic regulation of those behaviors can underlie evolution of the host colonization phenotype. Furthermore, this work emphasizes the importance of investigating natural diversity as we seek to understand molecular mechanisms in bacteria.

RevDate: 2020-02-17

Batstone RT, Peters MAE, Simonsen AK, et al (2020)

Environmental variation impacts trait expression and selection in the legume-rhizobium symbiosis.

American journal of botany [Epub ahead of print].

PREMISE: The ecological outcomes of mutualism are well known to shift across abiotic or biotic environments, but few studies have addressed how different environments impact evolutionary responses, including the intensity of selection on and the expression of genetic variance in key mutualism-related traits.

METHODS: We planted 30 maternal lines of the legume Medicago lupulina in four field common gardens and compared our measures of selection on and genetic variance in nodulation, a key trait reflecting legume investment in the symbiosis, with those from a previous greenhouse experiment using the same 30 M. lupulina lines.

RESULTS: We found that both the mean and genetic variance for nodulation were much greater in the greenhouse than in the field and that the form of selection on nodulation significantly differed across environments. We also found significant genotype-by-environment (G × E) effects for fitness-related traits that were generated by differences in the rank order of plant lines among environments.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, our results suggest that the expression of genotypic variation and selection on nodulation differ across environments. In the field, significant rank-order changes for plant fitness potentially help maintain genetic variation in natural populations, even in the face of directional or stabilizing selection.

RevDate: 2020-02-17

Belaid K, Swanson E, Carré-Mlouka A, et al (2020)

Draft Genome Sequence of the Symbiotic Frankia sp. strain B2 isolated from root nodules of Casuarina cunninghamiana found in Algeria.

Journal of genomics, 8:11-15 pii:jgenv08p0011.

Frankia sp. strain B2 was isolated from Casuarina cunninghamiana nodules. Here, we report the 5.3-Mbp draft genome sequence of Frankia sp. strain B2 with a G+C content of 70.1 % and 4,663 candidate protein-encoding genes. Analysis of the genome revealed the presence of high numbers of secondary metabolic biosynthetic gene clusters.

RevDate: 2020-02-17

Tsyganov VE, Tsyganova AV, Gorshkov AP, et al (2020)

Efficacy of a Plant-Microbe System: Pisum sativum (L.) Cadmium-Tolerant Mutant and Rhizobium leguminosarum Strains, Expressing Pea Metallothionein Genes PsMT1 and PsMT2, for Cadmium Phytoremediation.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:15.

Two transgenic strains of Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae, 3841-PsMT1 and 3841-PsMT2, were obtained. These strains contain the genetic constructions nifH-PsMT1 and nifH-PsMT2 coding for two pea (Pisum sativum L.) metallothionein genes, PsMT1 and PsMT2, fused with the promoter region of the nifH gene. The ability of both transgenic strains to form nodules on roots of the pea wild-type SGE and the mutant SGECdt, which is characterized by increased tolerance to and accumulation of cadmium (Cd) in plants, was analyzed. Without Cd treatment, the wild type and mutant SGECdt inoculated with R. leguminosarum strains 3841, 3841-PsMT1, or 3841-PsMT2 were similar histologically and in their ultrastructural organization of nodules. Nodules of wild-type SGE inoculated with strain 3841 and exposed to 0.5 μM CdCl2 were characterized by an enlarged senescence zone. It was in stark contrast to Cd-treated nodules of the mutant SGECdt that maintained their proper organization. Cadmium treatment of either wild-type SGE or mutant SGECdt did not cause significant alterations in histological organization of nodules formed by strains 3841-PsMT1 and 3841-PsMT2. Although some abnormalities were observed at the ultrastructural level, they were less pronounced in the nodules of strain 3841-PsMT1 than in those formed by 3841-PsMT2. Both transgenic strains also differed in their effects on pea plant growth and the Cd and nutrient contents in shoots. In our opinion, combination of Cd-tolerant mutant SGECdt and the strains 3841-PsMT1 or 3841-PsMT2 may be used as an original model for study of Cd tolerance mechanisms in legume-rhizobial symbiosis and possibilities for its application in phytoremediation or phytostabilization technologies.

RevDate: 2020-02-16

Jansa J, Šmilauer P, Borovička J, et al (2020)

Dead Rhizophagus irregularis biomass mysteriously stimulates plant growth.

Mycorrhiza pii:10.1007/s00572-020-00937-z [Epub ahead of print].

Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi establish symbiotic associations with many plant species, transferring significant amounts of soil nutrients such as phosphorus to plants and receiving photosynthetically fixed carbon in return. Functioning of AM symbiosis is thus based on interaction between two living partners. The importance of dead AM fungal biomass (necromass) in ecosystem processes remains unclear. Here, we applied either living biomass or necromass (0.0004 potting substrate weight percent) of monoxenically produced AM fungus (Rhizophagus irregularis) into previously sterilized potting substrate planted with Andropogon gerardii. Plant biomass production significantly improved in both treatments as compared to non-amended controls. Living AM fungus, in contrast to the necromass, specifically improved plant acquisition of nutrients normally supplied to the plants by AM fungal networks, such as phosphorus and zinc. There was, however, no difference between the two amendment treatments with respect to plant uptake of other nutrients such as nitrogen and/or magnesium, indicating that the effect on plants of the AM fungal necromass was not primarily nutritional. Plant growth stimulation by the necromass could thus be either due to AM fungal metabolites directly affecting the plants, indirectly due to changes in soil/root microbiomes or due to physicochemical modifications of the potting substrate. In the necromass, we identified several potentially bioactive molecules. We also provide experimental evidence for significant differences in underground microbiomes depending on the amendment with living or dead AM fungal biomass. This research thus provides the first glimpse into possible mechanisms responsible for observed plant growth stimulation by the AM fungal necromass.

RevDate: 2020-02-18

Cao X, Wen Z, Zhao X, et al (2020)

Quantitative assessment of energy conservation and emission reduction effects of nationwide industrial symbiosis in China.

The Science of the total environment, 717:137114 pii:S0048-9697(20)30624-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Studies on quantifying the energy conservation and emission reduction (ECER) effects of industrial symbiosis are mostly confined to micro-level industrial parks or regions, and few are on national level. Focusing on the symbiosis system formed by the iron and steel industry, the thermal power industry, the cement industry, and the social sector in China, this article aims to clarify the contribution of this nationwide industrial symbiosis system to China's total industrial ECER potential and to identify optimal symbiotic technologies that should be emphasized on from 2020 to 2030. By combining traditional bottom-up model and lifecycle material metabolism theory, this article simulates the technology structure of this symbiosis system. By clarifying the ECER mechanisms of different types of symbiotic technologies, this article evaluates the ECER effect of each symbiotic technology as well as the performance of the overall symbiosis system. The results show that: (1) this nationwide industrial symbiosis system can save 35.7 million tons of coal equivalent, and reduce 189 kt of SO2 emissions, 139 kt of NOx emissions, and 64 kt of PM emissions. These ECER effects contribute to 18-43% of China's national industrial ECER targets, which are larger than the potential of promoting energy efficiency technologies and end-of-pipe technologies in each single industry; (2) reutilizing solid wastes from the thermal power industry and the social sector as cementitious materials, as well as recovering iron and zinc from metallurgical dust are key symbiotic fields between 2020 and 2030. Three types of differentiated technology promotion suggestions are put forward.

RevDate: 2020-02-16

Zhu X, Campanaro S, Treu L, et al (2020)

Metabolic dependencies govern microbial syntrophies during methanogenesis in an anaerobic digestion ecosystem.

Microbiome, 8(1):22 pii:10.1186/s40168-019-0780-9.

Methanogenesis, a biological process mediated by complex microbial communities, has attracted great attention due to its contribution to global warming and potential in biotechnological applications. The current study unveiled the core microbial methanogenic metabolisms in anaerobic vessel ecosystems by applying combined genome-centric metagenomics and metatranscriptomics. Here, we demonstrate that an enriched natural system, fueled only with acetate, could support a bacteria-dominated microbiota employing a multi-trophic methanogenic process. Moreover, significant changes, in terms of microbial structure and function, were recorded after the system was supplemented with additional H2. Methanosarcina thermophila, the predominant methanogen prior to H2 addition, simultaneously performed acetoclastic, hydrogenotrophic, and methylotrophic methanogenesis. The methanogenic pattern changed after the addition of H2, which immediately stimulated Methanomicrobia-activity and was followed by a slow enrichment of Methanobacteria members. Interestingly, the essential genes involved in the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway were not expressed in bacterial members. The high expression of a glycine cleavage system indicated the activation of alternative metabolic pathways for acetate metabolism, which were reconstructed in the most abundant bacterial genomes. Moreover, as evidenced by predicted auxotrophies, we propose that specific microbes of the community were forming symbiotic relationships, thus reducing the biosynthetic burden of individual members. These results provide new information that will facilitate future microbial ecology studies of interspecies competition and symbiosis in methanogenic niches. Video abstract.

RevDate: 2020-02-15

Gu X, Li J, Wang X, et al (2020)

Laccaria bicolor Mobilizes both Labile Aluminum and Inorganic Phosphate in Rhizosphere Soil of Pinus massoniana Seedlings Field-grown in a Yellow Acidic Soil.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.03015-19 [Epub ahead of print].

Plant growth is often limited by high-activated aluminum (Al) and low available phosphorus (P) in acidic soil. Ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi could improve their host plants Al-tolerance by increasing P availability while decreasing Al activity in vitro or in hydroponic/sand culture systems. However, the role of ECM fungi on inorganic P (IP) and labile Al in acidic soil in the field, particularly under Al treatment, remains poorly understood. The present study aimed to determine the influence of ECM fungal association on the mobilization of IP and labile Al in rhizosphere soil of the host plant grown in the field under external Al treatment and the underlying nutritional mechanism in plant Al-tolerance. In doing so, 4-week-old Pinus massoniana seedlings were inoculated with three ECM isolates (Laccaria bicolor 270, L. bicolor S238A and L. bicolor S238N), respectively, and grown in a Haplic Alisol field with or without Al treatment for 12 weeks. Results showed that L. bicolor association enhanced the available P depletion and facilitated the mobilization of IP and labile Al, in turn improving the capacity of host plant to use Al-bound P (Al-P), Ca-bound P (Ca-P), and occluded P (O-P), particularly when P. massoniana seedlings were inoculated with L. bicolor S238A. Inoculation with L. bicolor isolates also enhanced the solubility of labile Al and facilitated the conversion of acid-soluble Al into exchangeable Al. Our findings suggested that ECM inoculation could enhance plant Al-tolerance in the field by mobilizing IP to improve the P bioavailability, but not by decreasing Al activity.IMPORTANCE Here, we reveal the underlying nutritional mechanism in plant Al-tolerance conferred by ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungus inoculation in the field and screen a promising ECM isolate to assist the phytoremediation and afforestation using Pinus massoniana in acidic soil in south China. This study advances our understanding of the contribution of ECM fungi in the plant-ECM fungus symbiosis and highlights the vital role of ECM fungus inoculation in plant Al-tolerance. In addition, the results described in the present study confirm the importance to carry out studies in field compared to the previous results from in vitro study. Our findings strengthen the role of ECM fungus association in exploring, utilizing and transporting the unavailable nutrients in the soil to enhance the host plant growth and adaptability in response to adverse habitats.

RevDate: 2020-02-17
CmpDate: 2020-02-17

Carballo-Bolaños R, Denis V, Huang YY, et al (2019)

Temporal variation and photochemical efficiency of species in Symbiodinaceae associated with coral Leptoria phrygia (Scleractinia; Merulinidae) exposed to contrasting temperature regimes.

PloS one, 14(6):e0218801 pii:PONE-D-18-34709.

The Symbiodinaceae are paradoxical in that they play a fundamental role in the success of scleractinian corals, but also in their dismissal when under stress. In the past decades, the discovery of the endosymbiont's genetic and functional diversity has led people to hope that some coral species can survive bleaching events by associating with a stress-resistant symbiont that can become dominant when seawater temperatures increase. The variety of individual responses encouraged us to scrutinize each species individually to gauge its resilience to future changes. Here, we analyse the temporal variation in the Symbiodinaceae community associated with Leptoria phrygia, a common scleractinian coral from the Indo-Pacific. Coral colonies were sampled from two distant reef sites located in southern Taiwan that differ in temperature regimes, exemplifying a 'variable site' (VS) and a 'steady site' (SS). We investigated changes in the relative abundance of the dominant symbiont and its physiology every 3-4 months from 2016-2017. At VS, 11 of the 12 colonies were dominated by the stress-resistant Durusdinium spp. (>90% dominance) and only one colony exhibited co-dominance between Durusdinium spp. and Cladocopium spp. Every colony displayed high photochemical efficiency across all sampling periods, while showing temporal differences in symbiont density and chlorophyll a concentration. At SS, seven colonies out of 13 were dominated by Cladocopium spp., five presented co-dominance between Durusdinium spp./Cladocopium spp. and only one was dominated by Durusdinium spp. Colonies showed temporal differences in photochemical efficiency and chlorophyll a concentration during the study period. Our results suggest that VS colonies responded physiologically better to high temperature variability by associating with Durusdinium spp., while in SS there is still inter-colonial variability, a feature that might be advantageous for coping with different environmental changes.

RevDate: 2020-02-17
CmpDate: 2020-02-17

Dziedzic KE, Elder H, Tavalire H, et al (2019)

Heritable variation in bleaching responses and its functional genomic basis in reef-building corals (Orbicella faveolata).

Molecular ecology, 28(9):2238-2253.

Reef-building corals are highly sensitive to rising ocean temperatures, and substantial adaptation will be required for corals and the ecosystems they support to persist in changing ocean conditions. Genetic variation that might support adaptive responses has been measured in larval stages of some corals, but these estimates remain unavailable for adult corals and the functional basis of this variation remains unclear. In this study, we focused on the potential for adaptation in Orbicella faveolata, a dominant reef-builder in the Caribbean. We conducted thermal stress experiments using corals collected from natural populations in Bocas del Toro, Panama, and used multilocus SNP genotypes to estimate genetic relatedness among samples. This allowed us to estimate narrow-sense heritability of variation in bleaching responses, revealing that variation in these responses was highly heritable (h2 = 0.58). This suggests substantial potential for adaptive responses to warming by natural populations of O. faveolata in this region. We further investigated the functional basis for this variation using genomic and transcriptomic approaches. We used a publicly available genetic linkage map and genome assembly to map markers associated with bleaching responses, identifying twelve markers associated with variation in bleaching responses. We also profiled gene expression in corals with contrasting bleaching phenotypes, uncovering substantial differences in transcriptional stress responses between heat-tolerant and heat-susceptible corals. Together, our findings contribute to the growing body of evidence that natural populations of corals possess genetic variation in thermal stress responses that may potentially support adaptive responses to rising ocean temperatures.

RevDate: 2020-02-14

Yamagishi JF, Saito N, K Kaneko (2020)

Advantage of Leakage of Essential Metabolites for Cells.

Physical review letters, 124(4):048101.

Microbial cells generally leak various metabolites including those necessary to grow. Why cells secrete even essential chemicals so often is, however, still unclear. Based on analytical and numerical calculations, we show that if the intracellular metabolism includes multibody (e.g., catalytic) reactions, leakage of essential metabolites can promote the leaking cell's growth. This advantage is typical for most metabolic networks via "flux control" and "growth-dilution" mechanisms, as a general consequence of the balance between synthesis and growth-induced dilution with autocatalytic reactions. We further argue that this advantage may lead to a novel form of symbiosis among diverse cells.

RevDate: 2020-02-14

Chiu CH, U Paszkowski (2020)

Receptor-like kinases sustain symbiotic scrutiny.

Plant physiology pii:pp.19.01341 [Epub ahead of print].

Plant receptor-like kinases (RLKs) control the initiation, development and maintenance of symbioses with beneficial mycorrhizal fungi and nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Carbohydrate perception activates symbiosis signalling via Lysin-motif (LysM) RLKs and subsequently the common symbiosis signalling pathway. As the receptors activated are often also immune receptors in multiple species, exactly how carbohydrate identities avoid immune activation and drive symbiotic outcome is still not fully understood. This may involve the coincident detection of additional signalling molecules that provide specificity. Because of the metabolic costs of supporting symbionts, the level of symbiosis development is fine-tuned by a range of local and mobile signals that are activated by various RLKs. Beyond early, pre-contact symbiotic signalling, signal exchanges ensue throughout infection, nutrient exchange and turnover of symbiosis. Here, we review the latest understanding on plant symbiosis signalling from the perspective of RLK-mediated pathways.

RevDate: 2020-02-14
CmpDate: 2020-02-14

Wilkins LGE, Leray M, O'Dea A, et al (2019)

Host-associated microbiomes drive structure and function of marine ecosystems.

PLoS biology, 17(11):e3000533 pii:PBIOLOGY-D-19-02223.

The significance of symbioses between eukaryotic hosts and microbes extends from the organismal to the ecosystem level and underpins the health of Earth's most threatened marine ecosystems. Despite rapid growth in research on host-associated microbes, from individual microbial symbionts to host-associated consortia of significantly relevant taxa, little is known about their interactions with the vast majority of marine host species. We outline research priorities to strengthen our current knowledge of host-microbiome interactions and how they shape marine ecosystems. We argue that such advances in research will help predict responses of species, communities, and ecosystems to stressors driven by human activity and inform future management strategies.

RevDate: 2020-02-13

Miyazaki J, Ikuta T, Watsuji TO, et al (2020)

Dual energy metabolism of the Campylobacterota endosymbiont in the chemosynthetic snail Alviniconcha marisindica.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-020-0605-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Some deep-sea chemosynthetic invertebrates and their symbiotic bacteria can use molecular hydrogen (H2) as their energy source. However, how much the chemosynthetic holobiont (endosymbiont-host association) physiologically depends on H2 oxidation has not yet been determined. Here, we demonstrate that the Campylobacterota endosymbionts of the gastropod Alviniconcha marisindica in the Kairei and Edmond fields (kAlv and eAlv populations, respectively) of the Indian Ocean, utilize H2 in response to their physical and environmental H2 conditions, although the 16S rRNA gene sequence of both the endosymbionts shared 99.6% identity. A thermodynamic calculation using in situ H2 and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) concentrations indicated that chemosynthetic symbiosis could be supported by metabolic energy via H2 oxidation, particularly for the kAlv holobiont. Metabolic activity measurements showed that both the living individuals and the gill tissues consumed H2 and H2S at similar levels. Moreover, a combination of fluorescence in situ hybridization, quantitative transcript analyses, and enzymatic activity measurements showed that the kAlv endosymbiont expressed the genes and enzymes for both H2- and sulfur-oxidations. These results suggest that both H2 and H2S could serve as the primary energy sources for the kAlv holobiont. The eAlv holobiont had the ability to utilize H2, but the gene expression and enzyme activity for hydrogenases were much lower than for sulfur-oxidation enzymes. These results suggest that the energy acquisitions of A. marisindica holobionts are dependent on H2- and sulfur-oxidation in the H2-enriched Kairei field and that the mechanism of dual metabolism is controlled by the in situ H2 concentration.

RevDate: 2020-02-13

Hozawa M, E Nawata (2020)

The Interaction between Leaf Allelopathy and Symbiosis with Rhizobium of Ulex europaeus on Hawaii Island.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(2): pii:plants9020226.

: The objective of this study was to assess the magnitudes of the leaf allelopathy of Ulex europaeus in two different habitats, and discuss the driver of the differences, including rhizobia. The magnitudes of leaf allelopathy of the samples collected in two different habitats were assessed by comparing the hypocotyl and radicle lengths of the lettuce seeds tested on the samples. One habitat was in and adjacent to an Acasia koa forest, while the other was more than 50 m away. A. koa is indigenous to Hawaii and known to have a close symbiotic relationship with Bradyrhizobium for nitrogen-fixing. Within the past three years, U. europaeus has newly invaded both sampling sites, whereas the A. koa forest has been there for several decades. The combined result of both hypocotyl and radicle lengths of the lettuce seeds tested on both sites by linear model and multicomparison analyses showed no significant difference. But the radicle lengths of the lettuce seeds tested on U. europaeus sampled in and adjacent to the A. koa forest were significantly longer than those of the samples more than 50 m away, as measured by t-test (p = 0.05). This result suggested that the magnitude of the leaf allelopathy of U. europaeus depended on the distance of the habitat from the A. koa forest.

RevDate: 2020-02-12

Hou L, Yu J, Zhao L, et al (2019)

Dark Septate Endophytes Improve the Growth and the Tolerance of Medicago sativa and Ammopiptanthus mongolicus Under Cadmium Stress.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:3061.

Although the ecological function of dark septate endophytes (DSEs) is well studied, little is known about the responses of the host plant to DSEs obtained from other plants, especially under conditions of heavy metal stress. This study aimed to investigate how DSEs from a heavy-metal habitat affect non-host plants in cadmium (Cd) stress soils, which then provides a basis for the application of DSEs in the cultivation of different plant and soil remediation strategies for polluted ecosystems. We isolated and identified two species of DSE (Acrocalymma vagum and Scytalidium lignicola) inhabiting the roots of Ilex chinensis (host plant) which are grown in metal-polluted habitats. Then, the Cd stress tolerance of the DSEs was tested using a pure culture of which the Cd concentration has been adjusted. Subsequently, we examined the performance of non-host plants (Medicago sativa and Ammopiptanthus mongolicus) which were inoculated with DSEs under Cd stress in a growth chamber. The results indicated that the two DSEs could grow under Cd stress in vitro, even when not exhibiting high levels of tolerance to Cd. The superoxide dismutase (SOD), malondialdehyde (MDA), glutathione (GSH), soluble protein, and melanin of the DSE fungi reached maximal levels at concentrations of 30-60 mg Cd/L, indicating the important preventive strategies adopted by the DSE fungi in environments contaminated by Cd. Despite a decreased biomass of DSE hyphae with enhanced Cd concentrations, the accumulation of Cd in the DSE hyphae tended to show an increasing trend. Both DSEs were effective colonizers of the non-host plants. A. vagum and S. lignicola inoculation significantly promoted the biomass and the root architecture of the two non-host plants under Cd stress. A. vagum inoculation increased the total nitrogen (TN) of A. mongolicus, whereas inoculation with S. lignicola significantly increased the organic carbon (OC) of M. sativa. In particular, the DSE inoculation significantly improved the accumulation of Cd in plant tissues under Cd stress, demonstrating a potential application in the bio-remediation of heavy-metal-pollution areas. Our findings suggest that the DSE inoculation improved the root growth and nutrient absorption of non-host plants, altered the soil Cd concentration, and facilitated plant growth and survival under Cd stress. These results contribute to a better understanding of DSE-plant interactions in habitats contaminated by heavy metals.

RevDate: 2020-02-12

Fiore CL, Jarett JK, Steinert G, et al (2020)

Trait-Based Comparison of Coral and Sponge Microbiomes.

Scientific reports, 10(1):2340 pii:10.1038/s41598-020-59320-9.

Corals and sponges harbor diverse microbial communities that are integral to the functioning of the host. While the taxonomic diversity of their microbiomes has been well-established for corals and sponges, their functional roles are less well-understood. It is unclear if the similarities of symbiosis in an invertebrate host would result in functionally similar microbiomes, or if differences in host phylogeny and environmentally driven microhabitats within each host would shape functionally distinct communities. Here we addressed this question, using metatranscriptomic and 16S rRNA gene profiling techniques to compare the microbiomes of two host organisms from different phyla. Our results indicate functional similarity in carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur assimilation, and aerobic nitrogen cycling. Additionally, there were few statistical differences in pathway coverage or abundance between the two hosts. For example, we observed higher coverage of phosphonate and siderophore metabolic pathways in the star coral, Montastraea cavernosa, while there was higher coverage of chloroalkane metabolism in the giant barrel sponge, Xestospongia muta. Higher abundance of genes associated with carbon fixation pathways was also observed in M. cavernosa, while in X. muta there was higher abundance of fatty acid metabolic pathways. Metagenomic predictions based on 16S rRNA gene profiling analysis were similar, and there was high correlation between the metatranscriptome and metagenome predictions for both hosts. Our results highlight several metabolic pathways that exhibit functional similarity in these coral and sponge microbiomes despite the taxonomic differences between the two microbiomes, as well as potential specialization of some microbially based metabolism within each host.

RevDate: 2020-02-12

Fukudome M, Shimada H, Uchi N, et al (2020)

Reactive Sulfur Species Interact with Other Signal Molecules in Root Nodule Symbiosis in Lotus japonicus.

Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(2): pii:antiox9020145.

Reactive sulfur species (RSS) function as strong antioxidants and are involved in various biological responses in animals and bacteria. Few studies; however, have examined RSS in plants. In the present study, we clarified that RSS are involved in root nodule symbiosis in the model legume Lotus japonicus. Polysulfides, a type of RSS, were detected in the roots by using a sulfane sulfur-specific fluorescent probe, SSP4. Supplying the sulfane sulfur donor Na2S3 to the roots increased the amounts of both polysulfides and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in the roots and simultaneously decreased the amounts of nitric oxide (NO) and reactive oxygen species (ROS). RSS were also detected in infection threads in the root hairs and in infected cells of nodules. Supplying the sulfane sulfur donor significantly increased the numbers of infection threads and nodules. When nodules were immersed in the sulfane sulfur donor, their nitrogenase activity was significantly reduced, without significant changes in the amounts of NO, ROS, and H2S. These results suggest that polysulfides interact with signal molecules such as NO, ROS, and H2S in root nodule symbiosis in L. japonicus. SSP4 and Na2S3 are useful tools for study of RSS in plants.

RevDate: 2020-02-11

Giovannini L, Sbrana C, Avio L, et al (2020)

Diversity of A Phosphate Transporter Gene among species and isolates of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi.

FEMS microbiology letters pii:5733160 [Epub ahead of print].

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are a key group of beneficial obligate biotrophs, establishing a mutualistic symbiosis with the roots of most land plants. The molecular markers generally used for their characterization are mainly based on informative regions of nuclear rDNA (SSU-ITS-LSU), although protein-encoding genes have also been proposed. Within functional genes, those encoding for phosphate transporters (PT) are particularly important in AMF, given their primary ability to take up Pi from soil, and to differentially affect plant phosphate nutrition. In this work, we investigated the genetic diversity of PT1 gene sequences and sequences of the taxonomically relevant SSU-ITS-LSU region in two isolates of the species Funneliformis coronatus, three isolates of the species Funneliformis mosseae and two species of the genus Rhizoglomus, originated from geographically distant areas and cultured in vivo. Our results showed that partial PT1 sequences not only successfully differentiated AMF genera and species likewise ribosomal gene sequences, but they also highlighted intraspecific diversity among F. mosseae and F. coronatus isolates. The study of functional genes related to the uptake of key mineral nutrients for the assessment of AMF diversity represents a key step in the selection of efficient isolates to be used as inocula in sustainable agriculture.

RevDate: 2020-02-11
CmpDate: 2020-02-11

Landau SY, Santhi VS, Glazer I, et al (2020)

Can an entomopathogenic nematode serve, as proxy for strongyles, in assessing the anthelmintic effects of phenolic compounds?.

Experimental parasitology, 209:107811.

As gastro-intestinal nematodes (GINs) become increasingly resistant to chemical anthelmintics, and because consumers scrutinize chemical residues in animal products, the use of herbal anthelmintics and in particular, phenolic compounds, has become attractive. Most life stages of GINs cannot be grown in the lab as they are obligatory parasites, which limits our understanding of the effects of phenolic compounds on their parasitic stages of life. We hypothesized that a species phylogenetically close to GINs and grown in vitro, the insect-parasitic nematode Heterorhabditis bacteriophora (Rhabditida; Heterorhabditiade), when fed with Photorhabdus luminescens exposed to plant phenolics, can serve, as proxy for strongyles, in assessing the anthelmintic effects of phenolic compounds. We compared the development of H. bacteriophora infective juveniles (IJ) and the exsheathment rate of L3 larvae of the strongyle Teladorsagia circumcincta and Trichostrongylus colubriformis when exposed to catechin, rutin, chlorogenic and gallic acids, and myricetin. Gallic acid had the highest impact in terms of IJ mortality but the highest impairment of IJ development to adulthood was imposed by myricetin. The studied compounds were not lethal to GINs stricto sensu but we consider that the practical implications of total exsheathment inhibition and mortality on GIN populations are similar. Catechin and rutin had similar effects on rhabditid and strongyles: they imposed ca. 90% lethality of IJs at concentrations higher than 1200 ppm and the remaining live IJs did not develop further, and they also totally inhibited strongyle L3 exsheathment in a dose-response fashion. Gallic acid was 100% lethal to IJs exposed above 300 ppm and chlorogenic acid caused 87% mortality above 1200 ppm, with no development for the surviving IJs but for all lower concentrations, all the IJs developed to adult stages. Likewise, gallic and chlorogenic acids did not affect the exsheatment of GIN L3 larvae. Therefore, a discrepancy between the effects of gallic and chlorogenic acids on the development of rhabditid IJs and exsheathment of GIN L3 larvae was found only when they were exposed to high concentrations. A dose-response of IJ lethality to myricetin was found, with no IJ development between 150 and 2400 ppm; but contrary to the other compounds, myricetin also impaired IJ development of IJs above 10 ppm in a dose-response manner and showed dose-responses in the L3 exsheathment. Apart for the high rates of lethality imposed on IJs by gallic and chlorogenic acids at high concentration, these results suggest that H. bacteriophora fed P. luminescens exposed to phenolics shows potential to serve as model in studies of the anthelmintic effects of phenolics in GIN.

RevDate: 2020-02-11
CmpDate: 2020-02-11

Schwank K, Bornemann TLV, Dombrowski N, et al (2019)

An archaeal symbiont-host association from the deep terrestrial subsurface.

The ISME journal, 13(8):2135-2139.

DPANN archaea have reduced metabolic capacities and are diverse and abundant in deep aquifer ecosystems, yet little is known about their interactions with other microorganisms that reside there. Here, we provide evidence for an archaeal host-symbiont association from a deep aquifer system at the Colorado Plateau (Utah, USA). The symbiont, Candidatus Huberiarchaeum crystalense, and its host, Ca. Altiarchaeum hamiconexum, show a highly significant co-occurrence pattern over 65 metagenome samples collected over six years. The physical association of the two organisms was confirmed with genome-informed fluorescence in situ hybridization depicting small cocci of Ca. H. crystalense attached to Ca. A. hamiconexum cells. Based on genomic information, Ca. H. crystalense potentially scavenges vitamins, sugars, nucleotides, and reduced redox-equivalents from its host and thus has a similar metabolism as Nanoarchaeum equitans. These results provide insight into host-symbiont interactions among members of two uncultivated archaeal phyla that thrive in a deep subsurface aquifer.

RevDate: 2020-02-11
CmpDate: 2020-02-11

Khojandi N, Haselkorn TS, Eschbach MN, et al (2019)

Intracellular Burkholderia Symbionts induce extracellular secondary infections; driving diverse host outcomes that vary by genotype and environment.

The ISME journal, 13(8):2068-2081.

Symbiotic associations impact and are impacted by their surrounding ecosystem. The association between Burkholderia bacteria and the soil amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum is a tractable model to unravel the biology underlying symbiont-endowed phenotypes and their impacts. Several Burkholderia species stably associate with D. discoideum and typically reduce host fitness in food-rich environments while increasing fitness in food-scarce environments. Burkholderia symbionts are themselves inedible to their hosts but induce co-infections with secondary bacteria that can serve as a food source. Thus, Burkholderia hosts are "farmers" that carry food bacteria to new environments, providing a benefit when food is scarce. We examined the ability of specific Burkholderia genotypes to induce secondary co-infections and assessed host fitness under a range of co-infection conditions and environmental contexts. Although all Burkholderia symbionts intracellularly infected Dictyostelium, we found that co-infections are predominantly extracellular, suggesting that farming benefits are derived from extracellular infection of host structures. Furthermore, levels of secondary infection are linked to conditional host fitness; B. agricolaris infected hosts have the highest level of co-infection and have the highest fitness in food-scarce environments. This study illuminates the phenomenon of co-infection induction across Dictyostelium associated Burkholderia species and exemplifies the contextual complexity of these associations.

RevDate: 2020-02-11
CmpDate: 2020-02-11

Ye S, Badhiwala KN, Robinson JT, et al (2019)

Thermal plasticity of a freshwater cnidarian holobiont: detection of trans-generational effects in asexually reproducing hosts and symbionts.

The ISME journal, 13(8):2058-2067.

Understanding factors affecting the susceptibility of organisms to thermal stress is of enormous interest in light of our rapidly changing climate. When adaptation is limited, thermal acclimation and deacclimation abilities of organisms are critical for population persistence through a period of thermal stress. Holobionts (hosts plus associated symbionts) are key components of various ecosystems, such as coral reefs, yet the contributions of their two partners to holobiont thermal plasticity are poorly understood. Here, we tested thermal plasticity of the freshwater cnidarian Hydra viridissima (green hydra) using individual behavior and population responses. We found that algal presence initially reduced hydra thermal tolerance. Hydra with algae (symbiotic hydra) had comparable acclimation rates, deacclimation rates, and thermal tolerance after acclimation to those without algae (aposymbiotic hydra) but they had higher acclimation capacity. Acclimation of the host (hydra) and/or symbiont (algae) to elevated temperatures increased holobiont thermal tolerance and these effects persisted for multiple asexual generations. In addition, acclimated algae presence enhanced hydra fitness under prolonged sublethal thermal stress, especially when food was limited. Our study indicates while less intense but sublethal stress may favor symbiotic organisms by allowing them to acclimate, sudden large, potentially lethal fluctuations in climate stress likely favor aposymbiotic organisms. It also suggests that thermally stressed colonies of holobionts could disperse acclimated hosts and/or symbionts to other colonies, thereby reducing their vulnerability to climate change.


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.

963 Red Tail Lane
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E-mail: RJR8222@gmail.com

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 )