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23 Jan 2021 at 01:48
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Bibliography on: Symbiosis


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 23 Jan 2021 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: 2021-01-22

Hurt C, Hultgren K, Anker A, et al (2021)

First Worldwide Molecular Phylogeny of the Morphologically and Ecologically Hyperdiversified Snapping Shrimp Genus Alpheus (Malacostraca: Decapoda).

Molecular phylogenetics and evolution pii:S1055-7903(21)00013-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Hyperdiverse animal groups raise intriguing questions regarding the factors that generate and maintain their diversity. The snapping shrimp genus Alpheus (with >300 described species) is a spectacularly diversified group of decapod crustaceans that serves as an exemplary system for addressing evolutionary questions regarding morphological adaptations, symbiosis, cryptic diversity and molecular divergence. A lack of information regarding evolutionary relationships among species has limited investigations into the mechanisms that drive the diversification of Alpheus. Previous phylogenetic studies of Alpheus have been restricted in scope, while molecular datasets used for phylogenetic reconstructions have been based solely on mitochondrial and a handful of nuclear markers. Here we use an anchored hybrid enrichment (AHE) approach to resolve phylogenetic relationships among species of Alpheus. The AHE method generated sequence data for 240 loci (>72,000 bp) for 65 terminal species that span the geographic, ecological, and taxonomic diversity of Alpheus. Our resulting, well-supported phylogeny demonstrates a lack of monophyly for five out of seven morphologically defined species groups that have traditionally been used as a framework in Alpheus taxonomy. Our results also suggest that symbiotic associations with a variety of other animals have evolved independently in at least seven lineages in this genus. Our AHE phylogeny represents the most comprehensive phylogenetic treatment of Alpheus to date and will provide a useful evolutionary framework to further investigate questions, such as various modifications of the snapping claw and the role of habitat specialization and symbiosis in promoting speciation. Running head: PHYLOGENY OF THE SNAPPING SHRIMP GENUS ALPHEUS.

RevDate: 2021-01-22

Ratu STN, Teulet A, Miwa H, et al (2021)

Rhizobia use a pathogenic-like effector to hijack leguminous nodulation signalling.

Scientific reports, 11(1):2034.

Legume plants form a root-nodule symbiosis with rhizobia. This symbiosis establishment generally relies on rhizobium-produced Nod factors (NFs) and their perception by leguminous receptors (NFRs) that trigger nodulation. However, certain rhizobia hijack leguminous nodulation signalling via their type III secretion system, which functions in pathogenic bacteria to deliver effector proteins into host cells. Here, we report that rhizobia use pathogenic-like effectors to hijack legume nodulation signalling. The rhizobial effector Bel2-5 resembles the XopD effector of the plant pathogen Xanthomonas campestris and could induce nitrogen-fixing nodules on soybean nfr mutant. The soybean root transcriptome revealed that Bel2-5 induces expression of cytokinin-related genes, which are important for nodule organogenesis and represses ethylene- and defense-related genes that are deleterious to nodulation. Remarkably, Bel2-5 introduction into a strain unable to nodulate soybean mutant affected in NF perception conferred nodulation ability. Our findings show that rhizobia employ and have customized pathogenic effectors to promote leguminous nodulation signalling.

RevDate: 2021-01-22

Wu T, Zou R, Pu D, et al (2021)

Non-targeted and targeted metabolomics profiling of tea plants (Camellia sinensis) in response to its intercropping with Chinese chestnut.

BMC plant biology, 21(1):55.

BACKGROUND: Intercropping is often used in the tea producing areas where land resources are not so abundant, and the produced green tea is tasted more delicious through a tea-Chinese chestnut intercropping system according to the experience of indigenous farmers. The length and weight of tea leaf increase under this intercropping system and their root systems are stratified vertically and coordinate symbiosis. However, the delicacy mechanism under the intercropping is not fully understood.

RESULTS: Green tea from the Chinese chestnut-tea intercropping system established in the 1980s ranked highest compared with a pure tea plantation from the same region. Based on the non-targeted metabolomics, 100 differential metabolites were upregulated in the tea leaves from intercropping system relative to monoculture system. Twenty-one amino acids were upregulated and three downregulated in response to the intercropping based on the targeted metabolomics; half of the upregulated amino acids had positive effects on the tea taste. Levels of allantoic acid, sugars, sugar alcohols, and oleic acid were higher and less bitter flavonoids in the intercropping system than those in monoculture system. The upregulated metabolites could promote the quality of tea and its health-beneficial health effects. Flavone and flavonol biosynthesis and phenylalanine metabolism showed the greatest difference. Numerous pathways associated with amino acid metabolism altered, suggesting that the intercropping of Chinese chestnut-tea could greatly influence amino acid metabolism in tea plants.

CONCLUSIONS: These results enhance our understanding of the metabolic mechanisms by which tea quality is improved in the Chinese chestnut-tea intercropping system and demonstrate that there is great potential to improve tea quality at the metabolomic level by adopting such an intercropping system.

RevDate: 2021-01-22
CmpDate: 2021-01-22

Chen C, Li T, Chen G, et al (2020)

Commensal Relationship of Three Bifidobacterial Species Leads to Increase of Bifidobacterium in Vitro Fermentation of Sialylated Immunoglobulin G by Human Gut Microbiota.

Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 68(34):9110-9119.

Sialylated immunoglobulin G (IgG) is an important immunoglobulin in breast milk, but its effect on adult gut microbiota is not yet clear due to digestion by pepsin. Based on our previous IgG protecting study, effects of sialylated IgG on gut microbiota were investigated by in vitro anaerobic fermentation in the present study. It was found that the addition of sialylated IgG could significantly promote the growth of Bifidobacterium. Meanwhile, three bifidobacterial species B. bifidum CCX 19061, Bembidion breve CCX 19041, and B. longum subsp. infantis CCX 19042 were isolated. Furthermore, B. breve CCX 19041 and B. longum subsp. infantis CCX 19042 showed co-culture growth property with B. bifidum CCX 19061 in a sialylated IgG-based medium, which was also supported by changes of free monosaccharides and N-glycan structure. These findings suggest that the increase of Bifidobacterium in vitro fermentation is attributed to the commensal relationship of the three bifidobacterial species by utilizing sugars released from sialylated IgG.

RevDate: 2021-01-21

Bueno CG, Gerz M, Moora M, et al (2021)

Distribution of plant mycorrhizal traits along an elevational gradient does not fully mirror the latitudinal gradient.

Mycorrhiza [Epub ahead of print].

The influence of mycorrhizal symbiosis on ecosystem processes depends on the mycorrhizal type and status of plants. Early research hypothesized that the proportion of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) species decreases and of ectomycorrhizal (ECM) and ericoid mycorrhizal (ERM) species increases along increasing elevations and latitudes. However, there is very scarce information about this pattern along elevation gradients. We aimed to test this hypothesis and to describe the trends in plant mycorrhizal status by examining the Pyrenean mountain range (from 400 to 3400 m asl). The distribution of plant mycorrhizal types: AM, ECM, ERM, and non-mycorrhizal (NM) and status (obligately, OM, or facultatively, FM mycorrhizal plants, FM) were identified based on the Pyrenean Floristic Atlas and analyzed for climatic and edaphic drivers. The proportion of AM plants decreased slightly with elevation, while ECM species peaked at 1000 m asl. The proportion of ERM and NM plant species rose with increasing elevation. The proportion of FM species increased, and OM species decreased with increasing elevation. The change of AM and ECM species, and OM and FM species, along the elevational gradient, corresponds broadly to changes along the latitudinal gradient, driven by a combination of climatic and edaphic factors. Differently, the elevational occurrence of NM plant species is mainly driven only by climatic factors (low temperature) and that of ERM species by only edaphic factors (low pH). Large-scale macroecological studies (≥ 50 km grid cell) well reflect the effects of climate on the distribution of plant mycorrhizal traits, but local data (≤ 1 km grid cell) are needed to understand the effects of soil conditions and land use.

RevDate: 2021-01-21

Perez JL, RB Gunderman (2021)

The Need for an Ecologic Understanding of Radiology Practice.

AJR. American journal of roentgenology [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE. Many models have been used to understand radiology practice, including economics, engineering, and information technology. Each has advantages, but each also has drawbacks, failing to illuminate important aspects of radiologists' work. A model that offers additional insights is ecology. CONCLUSION. By looking at radiology practice through the ecologic concept of symbiosis, radiologists can gain new understanding and appreciation of aspects of their work that can render it more fruitful and sustainable.

RevDate: 2021-01-21

María Lourdes GC, Stéphane D, CS Maryline (2021)

Impact of increasing chromium (VI) concentrations on growth, phosphorus and chromium uptake of maize plants associated to the mycorrhizal fungus Rhizophagus irregularis MUCL 41833.

Heliyon, 7(1):e05891 pii:S2405-8440(20)32733-X.

Arbuscular mycorhizal fungi (AMF) associated to plants may represent a promising phyto-remediation avenue due to the widely documented role of these fungi in alleviation of numerous abiotic (e.g. heavy metals) stresses. In the present work, it was the objective to study the dynamics of inorganic phosphorus (Pi) and chromium(VI) (Cr(VI)) and total Cr uptake by the plant-AMF associates Zea mays + R. irregularis MUCL 41833, under increasing (i.e. 0, 0.1, 1 and 10 mg L-1) concentrations of Cr(VI). The plant-AMF associates were grown in a circulatory semi-hydroponic cultivation system under greenhouse conditions. We demonstrated that Cr(VI) had an hormesis effect on root colonization of maize. Indeed, at 0.1 and 1 mg L-1 Cr(VI), root colonization was increased by approximately 55% as compared to the control (i.e. in absence of Cr(VI) in the solution), while no difference was noticed at 10 mg L-1 Cr(VI) (P ≤ 0.05). However, this did not result in an increased uptake of Pi by the AMF-colonized plants in presence of 0.1 mg L-1 Cr(VI) as compared to the AMF control in absence of Cr(VI) (P ≤ 0.05). Conversely, the presence of 1 mg L-1 Cr(VI) stimulated the Pi uptake by non-mycorrhizal plants, which absorbed 17% more Pi than their mycorrhizal counterparts (P ≤ 0.05). In addition, the non-mycorrhizal plants absorbed, in average, 8% more Cr(VI) than the mycorrhizal plants. Overall, our results prompt the hypothesis that in presence of AMF, the regulation of uptake of Cr(VI) and Pi by plant roots is done mostly by the fungus rather than the root cells. This regulated uptake of roots associated to AMF would indicate that the symbiosis could benefit the plants by providing a stable Pi uptake in a Cr(VI) polluted environment.

RevDate: 2021-01-21

Funk ER, Adams AN, Spotten SM, et al (2018)

The complete mitochondrial genomes of five lichenized fungi in the genus Usnea (Ascomycota: Parmeliaceae).

Mitochondrial DNA. Part B, Resources, 3(1):305-308 pii:1445485.

Known colloquially as 'Old Man's Beard', Usnea is a genus of lichenized Ascomycete fungi characterized by having a fruticose growth form and cartilaginous central axis. The complete mitochondrial genomes of Usnea halei, U. mutabilis, U. subfusca, U. subgracilis, and U. subscabrosa were sequenced using Illumina data and then assembled de novo. These mitogenomes ranged in size from 52,486 bp (U. subfusca) to 94,464 bp (U. subgracilis). All were characterized by having high levels of intronic and intergenic variation, such as ORFs that encode proteins with homology to two homing endonuclease types, LAGLIDADG and GIY-YIG. Genes annotated within these mitogenomes include 14 protein-coding genes, the large and small ribosomal subunits (LSU and SSU), and 23-26 tRNAs. Notably, the atp9 gene was absent from each genome. Genomic synteny was highly conserved across the five species. Five conserved mitochondrial genes (nad2, nad4, cox1, cox2, and cox3) were used to infer a best estimate maximum likelihood phylogeny among these five Usnea and other relatives, which yielded relationships consistent with prior published phylogenies.

RevDate: 2021-01-21

Murata K, Nagasawa M, Onaka T, et al (2021)

Validation of a newly generated oxytocin antibody for enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.

The Journal of veterinary medical science [Epub ahead of print].

The biological and psychological significance of oxytocin is increasingly recognized; however, reliable assays of oxytocin in biological samples have not been developed. We raised a new oxytocin polyclonal rabbit antibody against synthetic oxytocin. The affinity of antibodies to oxytocin was examined by a radio-immunoassay and compared with that of a previously validated antibody. One antibody showed affinity for oxytocin in the radio-immunoassay. We developed a solid-phase ELISA for oxytocin using this antibody and compared it with existing methods. The newly developed ELISA showed comparable results using urine samples but not using serum samples. These results indicate that the new ELISA is useful for urinary oxytocin; further modifications, such as different extraction methods, are needed for its application to serum oxytocin.

RevDate: 2021-01-21
CmpDate: 2021-01-21

Hussain A, AM AlJabr (2020)

Potential Synergy between Spores of Metarhizium anisopliae and Plant Secondary Metabolite, 1-Chlorooctadecane for Effective Natural Acaricide Development.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 25(8):.

Date palm dust mites are important pests severely infesting valuable nutritious fruits (dates) of date palm. In search of an alternative to acaricides, joint action of Metarhizium anisopliae EBCL 02049 spores and 1-Chlorooctadecane was evaluated as a potential candidate for the management of Oligonychus afrasiaticus through natural products. In this regard, in vitro tests were performed to evaluate the interaction of M. anisopliae spores with multiple doses of 1-Chlorooctadecane (0.8, 1.6, 2.4, 3.2, and 4.0 mg/mL). Compatibility bioassay results evidenced from vegetative growth (77.7-84.40 mm), sporulation (5.50-7.30 × 106 spores/mL), and germination (96.70-98.20%), revealed that all the tested doses are compatible (biological index > 82) with the spores of M. anisopliae. The impact of combined treatment of spores with 1-Chlorooctadecane in different proportions (Scheme I, II, III, and IV) compared to their sole application against O. afrasiaticus was evaluated by concentration-mortality response bioassays. Results showed that all the combined treatments revealed high mortality compared to the sole application, which showed relatively slow mortality response over time. Toxicity recorded from Scheme IV combinations (80% 1-Chlorooctadecane: 20% Spores), exhibited strong synergistic interaction (joint toxicity = 713). Furthermore, potent interactions have overcome the host antioxidant defense at the final stage of infection by tremendously reducing catalase, and superoxide dismutase activities. These experiments demonstrated fungal-toxin joint synergistic interaction as a promising date palm dust mite management option.

RevDate: 2021-01-21
CmpDate: 2021-01-21

Pires MM, O'Donnell JL, Burkle LA, et al (2020)

The indirect paths to cascading effects of extinctions in mutualistic networks.

Ecology, 101(7):e03080.

Biodiversity loss is a hallmark of our times, but predicting its consequences is challenging. Ecological interactions form complex networks with multiple direct and indirect paths through which the impacts of an extinction may propagate. Here we show that accounting for these multiple paths connecting species is necessary to predict how extinctions affect the integrity of ecological networks. Using an approach initially developed for the study of information flow, we estimate indirect effects in plant-pollinator networks and find that even those species with several direct interactions may have much of their influence over others through long indirect paths. Next, we perform extinction simulations in those networks and show that although traditional connectivity metrics fail in the prediction of coextinction patterns, accounting for indirect interaction paths allows predicting species' vulnerability to the cascading effects of an extinction event. Embracing the structural complexity of ecological systems contributes towards a more predictive ecology, which is of paramount importance amid the current biodiversity crisis.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Liu J, Rasing M, Zeng T, et al (2021)

NIN is essential for development of symbiosomes, suppression of defence and premature senescence in Medicago truncatula nodules.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

NIN (NODULE INCEPTION) is a transcription factor that plays a key role during root nodule initiation. However, it's role in later nodule developmental stages is unclear. Both NIN mRNA and protein accumulated at the highest level in the proximal part of the infection zone in Medicago truncatula nodules. Two nin weak allele mutants, nin-13/16, form a rather normal nodule infection zone, whereas a fixation zone is not formed. Instead, a zone with defence responses and premature senescence occured and symbiosome development gets arrested. Mutations in nin-13/16 resulted in a truncated NIN lacking the conserved PB1 domain. However, this did not cause the nodule phenotype as nin mutants expressing NINΔPB1 formed wild-type-like nodule. The phenotype is likely caused by reduced NIN mRNA levels in the cytoplasm. Transcriptome analyses of nin-16 nodules showed that expression level of defence/senescence-related genes is markedly increased, whereas this of defence suppressing genes is reduced. Although defence/senescence seems well suppressed in the infection zone, the transcriptome is already markedly changed in the proximal part of infection zone. In addition to its function in infection and nodule organogenesis, NIN also plays a major role at the transition from infection to fixation zone in establishing a functional symbiosis.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Swaney MH, LR Kalan (2021)

Living in your Skin: Microbes, Molecules and Mechanisms.

Infection and immunity pii:IAI.00695-20 [Epub ahead of print].

Human skin functions as a physical, chemical, and immune barrier against the external environment, while also providing a protective niche for its resident microbiota, known as the skin microbiome. Cooperation between the microbiota, host skin cells, and the immune system is responsible for maintenance of skin health, and a disruption to this delicate balance, such as by pathogen invasion or a breach in the skin barrier, may lead to impaired skin function. In this minireview, we describe the role of the microbiome in microbe, host, and immune interactions under distinct skin states, including homeostasis, tissue repair, and wound infection. Furthermore, we highlight the growing number of diverse microbial metabolites and products that have been identified to mediate these interactions, particularly those involved in host-microbe communication and defensive symbiosis. We also address the contextual pathogenicity exhibited by many skin commensals and provide insight into future directions in the skin microbiome field.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Ingersoll JG (2021)

Observations on the Occurrence, Transmission and Management of the COVID-19 Pandemic Derived from Physics.

Diseases (Basel, Switzerland), 9(1): pii:diseases9010009.

Three important observations derived from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could result in the development of novel approaches to deal with it and avoid or at least minimize the occurrence and impact of future outbreaks. First, the dramatic increase in pandemics in the past decade alone suggests that the current relationship of humans with the environment is quickly becoming unstable, with potentially catastrophic consequences. In order to reduce the toll in life and property, we would need to shift our emphasis from control of nature to a symbiosis with nature. This, then, can become the new framework for dealing effectively with environmental issues such as climate change, whereby properly applied medical science would provide the necessary impetus for action. Second, the existence of superspreaders of infection among populations in this pandemic requires that we develop objective tests, most likely of a genetic nature, to identify them rather than apply indiscriminate and draconian controls across the board. Not identifying superspreaders in a timely fashion could allow this pandemic to turn into a black swan event, with a catastrophic impact on society. Third, we need to refocus our efforts in dealing with this pandemic from the virus itself to the human hosts. An objective morbidity risk index can be developed such that most of us can go about our daily business without the fear of becoming seriously ill, while measures can be implemented to protect those who are most vulnerable to this virus. These observations point clearly to a need for a paradigm shift.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Ferrier-Pagès C, Martinez S, Grover R, et al (2021)

Tracing the Trophic Plasticity of the Coral-Dinoflagellate Symbiosis Using Amino Acid Compound-Specific Stable Isotope Analysis.

Microorganisms, 9(1): pii:microorganisms9010182.

The association between corals and photosynthetic dinoflagellates is one of the most well-known nutritional symbioses, but nowadays it is threatened by global changes. Nutritional exchanges are critical to understanding the performance of this symbiosis under stress conditions. Here, compound-specific δ15N and δ13C values of amino acids (δ15NAA and δ13CAA) were assessed in autotrophic, mixotrophic and heterotrophic holobionts as diagnostic tools to follow nutritional interactions between the partners. Contrary to what was expected, heterotrophy was mainly traced through the δ15N of the symbiont's amino acids (AAs), suggesting that symbionts directly profit from host heterotrophy. The trophic index (TP) ranged from 1.1 to 2.3 from autotrophic to heterotrophic symbionts. In addition, changes in TP across conditions were more significant in the symbionts than in the host. The similar δ13C-AAs signatures of host and symbionts further suggests that symbiont-derived photosynthates are the main source of carbon for AAs synthesis. Symbionts, therefore, appear to be a key component in the AAs biosynthetic pathways, and might, via this obligatory function, play an essential role in the capacity of corals to withstand environmental stress. These novel findings highlight important aspects of the nutritional exchanges in the coral-dinoflagellates symbiosis. In addition, they feature δ15NAA as a useful tool for studies regarding the nutritional exchanges within the coral-symbiodiniaceae symbiosis.

RevDate: 2021-01-20
CmpDate: 2021-01-20

Zhou J, Lin ZJ, Cai ZH, et al (2020)

Opportunistic bacteria use quorum sensing to disturb coral symbiotic communities and mediate the occurrence of coral bleaching.

Environmental microbiology, 22(5):1944-1962.

Coral associated microorganisms, especially some opportunistic pathogens can utilize quorum-sensing (QS) signals to affect population structure and host health. However, direct evidence about the link between coral bleaching and dysbiotic microbiomes under QS regulation was lacking. Here, using 11 opportunistic bacteria and their QS products (AHLs, acyl-homoserine-lactones), we exposed Pocillopora damicornis to three different treatments: test groups (A and B: mixture of AHLs-producing bacteria and cocktail of AHLs signals respectively); control groups (C and D: group A and B with furanone added respectively); and a blank control (group E: only seawater) for 21 days. The results showed that remarkable bleaching phenomenon was observed in groups A and B. The operational taxonomic units-sequencing analysis shown that the bacterial network interactions and communities composition were significantly changed, becoming especially enhanced in the relative abundances of Vibrio, Edwardsiella, Enterobacter, Pseudomonas, and Aeromonas. Interestingly, the control groups (C and D) were found to have a limited influence upon host microbial composition and reduced bleaching susceptibility of P. damicornis. These results indicate bleaching's initiation and progression may be caused by opportunistic bacteria of resident microbes in a process under regulation by AHLs. These findings add a new dimension to our understanding of the complexity of bleaching mechanisms from a chemoecological perspective.

RevDate: 2021-01-20
CmpDate: 2021-01-20

Matthews JL, Raina JB, Kahlke T, et al (2020)

Symbiodiniaceae-bacteria interactions: rethinking metabolite exchange in reef-building corals as multi-partner metabolic networks.

Environmental microbiology, 22(5):1675-1687.

The intimate relationship between scleractinian corals and their associated microorganisms is fundamental to healthy coral reef ecosystems. Coral-associated microbes (Symbiodiniaceae and other protists, bacteria, archaea, fungi and viruses) support coral health and resilience through metabolite transfer, inter-partner signalling, and genetic exchange. However, much of our understanding of the coral holobiont relationship has come from studies that have investigated either coral-Symbiodiniaceae or coral-bacteria interactions in isolation, while relatively little research has focused on other ecological and metabolic interactions potentially occurring within the coral multi-partner symbiotic network. Recent evidences of intimate coupling between phytoplankton and bacteria have demonstrated that obligate resource exchange between partners fundamentally drives their ecological success. Here, we posit that similar associations with bacterial consortia regulate Symbiodiniaceae productivity and are in turn central to the health of corals. Indeed, we propose that this bacteria-Symbiodiniaceae-coral relationship underpins the coral holobiont's nutrition, stress tolerance and potentially influences the future survival of coral reef ecosystems under changing environmental conditions. Resolving Symbiodiniaceae-bacteria associations is therefore a logical next step towards understanding the complex multi-partner interactions occurring in the coral holobiont.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Rajkumar R, Régio Brambilla C, Veselinović T, et al (2021)

Excitatory-inhibitory balance within EEG microstates and resting-state fMRI networks: assessed via simultaneous trimodal PET-MR-EEG imaging.

Translational psychiatry, 11(1):60.

The symbiosis of neuronal activities and glucose energy metabolism is reflected in the generation of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) signals. However, their association with the balance between neuronal excitation and inhibition (E/I-B), which is closely related to the activities of glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and the receptor availability (RA) of GABAA and mGluR5, remains unexplored. This research investigates these associations during the resting state (RS) condition using simultaneously recorded PET/MR/EEG (trimodal) data. The trimodal data were acquired from three studies using different radio-tracers such as, [11C]ABP688 (ABP) (N = 9), [11C]Flumazenil (FMZ) (N = 10) and 2-[18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) (N = 10) targeted to study the mGluR5, GABAA receptors and glucose metabolism respectively. Glucose metabolism and neuroreceptor binding availability (non-displaceable binding potential (BPND)) of GABAA and mGluR5 were found to be significantly higher and closely linked within core resting-state networks (RSNs). The neuronal generators of EEG microstates and the fMRI measures were most tightly associated with the BPND of GABAA relative to mGluR5 BPND and the glucose metabolism, emphasising a predominance of inhibitory processes within in the core RSNs at rest. Changes in the neuroreceptors leading to an altered coupling with glucose metabolism may render the RSNs vulnerable to psychiatric conditions. The paradigm employed here will likely help identify the precise neurobiological mechanisms behind these alterations in fMRI functional connectivity and EEG oscillations, potentially benefitting individualised healthcare treatment measures.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Vanlauwe B, Hungria M, Kanampiu F, et al (2019)

The role of legumes in the sustainable intensification of African smallholder agriculture: Lessons learnt and challenges for the future.

Agriculture, ecosystems & environment, 284:106583.

Grain legumes play a key role in smallholder farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), in relation to food and nutrition security and income generation. Moreover, because of their N2-fixation capacity, such legumes can also have a positive influence on soil fertility. Notwithstanding many decades of research on the agronomy of grain legumes, their N2-fixation capacity, and their contribution to overall system productivity, several issues remain to be resolved to realize fully the benefits of grain legumes. In this paper we highlight major lessons learnt and expose key knowledge gaps in relation to grain legumes and their contributions to farming system productivity. The symbiosis between legumes and rhizobia forms the basis for its benefits and biological N2-fixation (BNF) relies as much on the legume genotype as on the rhizobial strains. As such, breeding grain legumes for BNF deserves considerably more attention. Even promiscuous varieties usually respond to inoculation, and as African soils contain a huge pool of unexploited biodiversity with potential to contribute elite rhizobial strains, strain selection should go hand-in-hand with legume breeding for N2-fixation. Although inoculated strains can outcompete indigenous strains, our understanding of what constitutes a good competitor is rudimentary, as well as which factors affect the persistence of inoculated rhizobia, which in its turn determines whether a farmer needs to re-inoculate each and every season. Although it is commonly assumed that indigenous rhizobia are better adapted to local conditions than elite strains used in inoculants, there is little evidence that this is the case. The problems of delivering inoculants to smallholders through poorly-developed supply chains in Africa necessitates inoculants based on sterile carriers with long shelf life. Other factors critical for a well-functioning symbiosis are also central to the overall productivity of grain legumes. Good agronomic practices, including the use of phosphorus (P)-containing fertilizer, improve legume yields though responses to inputs are usually very variable. In some situations, a considerable proportion of soils show no response of legumes to applied inputs, often referred to as non-responsive soils. Understanding the causes underlying this phenomenon is limited and hinders the uptake of legume agronomy practices. Grain legumes also contribute to the productivity of farming systems, although such effects are commonly greater in rotational than in intercropping systems. While most cropping systems allow for the integration of legumes, intercropped legumes provide only marginal benefits to associated crops. Important rotational benefits have been shown for most grain legumes though those with the highest N accumulation and lowest N harvest index appear to demonstrate higher residual benefits. N balance estimates often results in contradictory observations, mostly caused by the lack of understanding of belowground contributions of legumes to the N balance. Lastly, the ultimate condition for increased uptake of grain legumes by smallholder farmers lies in the understanding of how legume technologies and management practices can be tailored to the enormous diversity of agroecologies, farming systems, and smallholder farms in SSA. In conclusion, while research on grain legumes has revealed a number of important insights that will guide realization of the full potential of such legumes to the sustainable intensification of smallholder farming systems in SSA, many research challenges remain to be addressed to realize the full potential of BNF in these systems.

RevDate: 2021-01-17

Soyano T, Liu M, Kawaguchi M, et al (2021)

Leguminous nodule symbiosis involves recruitment of factors contributing to lateral root development.

Current opinion in plant biology, 59:102000 pii:S1369-5266(20)30158-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Legumes and several plant species in the monophyletic nitrogen-fixing clade produce root nodules that function as symbiotic organs and establish mutualistic relationships with nitrogen-fixing bacteria. The modes of nodule organogenesis are distinct from those of lateral root development and also differ among different types of nodules formed in legumes and actinorhizal plants. It is considered that the evolution of new organs occurs through rearrangement of molecular networks interposed by certain neo-functionalized factors. Accumulating evidence has suggested that root nodule organogenesis involves root or lateral root developmental pathways. This review describes the current knowledge about the factors/pathways acquired by the common ancestor of the nitrogen-fixing clade in order to control nodule organogenesis.

RevDate: 2021-01-18

Mazumdar T, Teh BS, Murali A, et al (2021)

Transcriptomics Reveal the Survival Strategies of Enterococcus mundtii in the Gut of Spodoptera littoralis.

Journal of chemical ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The complex interaction between a higher organism and its resident gut flora is a subject of immense interest in the field of symbiosis. Many insects harbor a complex community of microorganisms in their gut. Larvae of Spodoptera littoralis, a lepidopteran pest, house a bacterial community that varies both spatially (along the length of the gut) and temporally (during the insect's life cycle). To monitor the rapid adaptation of microbes to conditions in the gut, a GFP-tagged reporter strain of E. mundtii, a major player in the gut community, was constructed. After early-instar S. littoralis larvae were fed with the tagged microbes, these were recovered from the larval fore- and hindgut by flow cytometry. The fluorescent reporter confirmed the persistence of E. mundtii in the gut. RNA-sequencing of the sorted bacteria highlighted various strategies of the symbiont's survival, including upregulated pathways for tolerating alkaline stress, forming biofilms and two-component signaling systems for quorum sensing, and resisting oxidative stress. Although these symbionts depend on the host for amino acid and fatty acids, differential regulation among various metabolic pathways points to an enriched lysine synthesis pathway of E. mundtii in the hindgut of the larvae.

RevDate: 2021-01-18

Goffredi SK, Motooka C, Fike DA, et al (2021)

Mixotrophic chemosynthesis in a deep-sea anemone from hydrothermal vents in the Pescadero Basin, Gulf of California.

BMC biology, 19(1):8.

BACKGROUND: Numerous deep-sea invertebrates, at both hydrothermal vents and methane seeps, have formed symbiotic associations with internal chemosynthetic bacteria in order to harness inorganic energy sources typically unavailable to animals. Despite success in nearly all marine habitats and their well-known associations with photosynthetic symbionts, Cnidaria remain one of the only phyla present in the deep-sea without a clearly documented example of dependence on chemosynthetic symbionts.

RESULTS: A new chemosynthetic symbiosis between the sea anemone Ostiactis pearseae and intracellular bacteria was discovered at ~ 3700 m deep hydrothermal vents in the southern Pescadero Basin, Gulf of California. Unlike most sea anemones observed from chemically reduced habitats, this species was observed in and amongst vigorously venting fluids, side-by-side with the chemosynthetic tubeworm Oasisia aff. alvinae. Individuals of O. pearseae displayed carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur tissue isotope values suggestive of a nutritional strategy distinct from the suspension feeding or prey capture conventionally employed by sea anemones. Molecular and microscopic evidence confirmed the presence of intracellular SUP05-related bacteria housed in the tentacle epidermis of O. pearseae specimens collected from 5 hydrothermally active structures within two vent fields ~ 2 km apart. SUP05 bacteria (Thioglobaceae) dominated the O. pearseae bacterial community, but were not recovered from other nearby anemones, and were generally rare in the surrounding water. Further, the specific Ostiactis-associated SUP05 phylotypes were not detected in the environment, indicating a specific association. Two unusual candidate bacterial phyla (the OD1 and BD1-5 groups) appear to associate exclusively with O. pearseae and may play a role in symbiont sulfur cycling.

CONCLUSION: The Cnidarian Ostiactis pearseae maintains a physical and nutritional alliance with chemosynthetic bacteria. The mixotrophic nature of this symbiosis is consistent with what is known about other cnidarians and the SUP05 bacterial group, in that they both form dynamic relationships to succeed in nature. The advantages gained by appropriating metabolic and structural resources from each other presumably contribute to their striking abundance in the Pescadero Basin, at the deepest known hydrothermal vents in the Pacific Ocean.

RevDate: 2021-01-18
CmpDate: 2021-01-18

Mikaelyan A (2021)

Beating Them with Their Own Stick-Tick Uses Amidase of Bacterial Origin as Part of Its Immune Arsenal.

Cell host & microbe, 29(1):1-3.

As vectors of microbial diseases in vertebrates, ticks are excellent at regulating bacterial proliferation in and around them. In a recent issue of Cell, Hayes et al. (2020) reveal acarid toxins of bacterial origin that help eliminate microbes that are pathogenic to black-legged ticks but commensal to their vertebrate hosts.

RevDate: 2021-01-19
CmpDate: 2021-01-19

Han F, He X, Chen W, et al (2020)

Involvement of a Novel TetR-Like Regulator (BdtR) of Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens in the Efflux of Isoflavonoid Genistein.

Molecular plant-microbe interactions : MPMI, 33(12):1411-1423.

A wide variety of leguminous plant-released (iso)flavonoids, such as genistein, are potential inducers of the nodulation (nod) genes of endosymbiotic rhizobia for the production of Nod factors, which are vital signaling molecules for triggering the symbiotic process. However, these (iso)flavonoids are generally thought to be toxic to the bacterial partner to varying degrees. Here, a novel TetR-like regulator gene of the soybean symbiont Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens USDA110, bdtR (systematic designation blr7023), was characterized. It was found to be rapidly and preferentially induced by genistein, and its mutation resulted in significantly increased expression of the neighboring bll7019-bll7021 genes, encoding a multidrug resistance efflux pump system, in the absence of this isoflavonoid. Then, the transcriptional start site of BdtR was determined, and it was revealed that BdtR acted as a transcriptional repressor of the above efflux system through the binding of an AT-rich operator, which could be completely prevented by genistein. In addition, the ΔbdtR deletion mutant strain showed higher accumulation of extracellular genistein and became less susceptible to the isoflavonoid. In contrast, the inactivation of BdtR led to the significantly decreased induction of a nodulation gene (nodY) independent of the expression of nodD1 and nodW and to much weaker nodulation competitiveness. Taken together, the results show that BdtR plays an early sensing role in maintaining the intracellular homeostasis of genistein, helping to alleviate its toxic effect on this bacterium by negatively regulating neighboring genes encoding an efflux pump system while being essentially required for nodule occupancy competitiveness.[Formula: see text] Copyright © 2020 The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International license.

RevDate: 2021-01-19
CmpDate: 2021-01-19

Massa N, Bona E, Novello G, et al (2020)

AMF communities associated to Vitis vinifera in an Italian vineyard subjected to integrated pest management at two different phenological stages.

Scientific reports, 10(1):9197.

Vitis vinifera L. is an economically important crop that can be influenced by soil microorganisms, including arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), that establish symbiotic associations with its roots. AMF have beneficial effects on grapevine performance improving water use efficiency and replant success. Most grapevine varieties are susceptible to various diseases, and integrated pest management (IPM) is one of the emerging approaches to perform pest control. In the present study, we examined the AMF communities present in the soil associated to the roots of V. vinifera cv. Pinot Noir (comparing them to those present in a soil not affected by grapevine roots), in a vineyard subjected to IPM at two different phenological stages, using 454 Roche sequencing technology. We proposed a new approach to analyze sequencing data. Most of the taxa were included in the family Glomeraceae. In particular, Glomus sp. Rhizophagus sp. and Septoglomus viscosum were present. The family Archeosporaceae was represented only by the genus Archeospora sp. Different AMF communities were found in the two soils and the importance of the phenological stage in regulating AMF biodiversity was assessed.

RevDate: 2021-01-19
CmpDate: 2021-01-19

Hajnal-Jafari T, Seman V, Stamenov D, et al (2020)

Effect of Chlorella vulgaris on Growth and Photosynthetic Pigment Content in Swiss Chard (Beta vulgaris L. subsp. cicla).

Polish journal of microbiology, 69:1-4.

Microalgae application in agriculture is an alternative measure that could be highly beneficial to plants. The application of microalgae Chlorella vulgaris S45 and its effect on plant growth and pigment content in Swiss chard were investigated. In the treatments, 5% and 10% algal suspensions were applied by spraying on plants and in soil, respectively. C. vulgaris S45 affected the initial growth of Swiss chard and the content of photosynthetic pigments positively. The correlation analysis proved the existence of statistically significant interdependency between chlorophyll a (Chl a) content and leaf number (r = 0.876 at p < 0.05), and chlorophyll b (Chl b) content and fresh leaf weight (r = 0.783 at p < 0.05).

Microalgae application in agriculture is an alternative measure that could be highly beneficial to plants. The application of microalgae Chlorella vulgaris S45 and its effect on plant growth and pigment content in Swiss chard were investigated. In the treatments, 5% and 10% algal suspensions were applied by spraying on plants and in soil, respectively. C. vulgaris S45 affected the initial growth of Swiss chard and the content of photosynthetic pigments positively. The correlation analysis proved the existence of statistically significant interdependency between chlorophyll a (Chl a) content and leaf number (r = 0.876 at p < 0.05), and chlorophyll b (Chl b) content and fresh leaf weight (r = 0.783 at p < 0.05).

RevDate: 2021-01-19
CmpDate: 2021-01-19

Huus KE, Bauer KC, Brown EM, et al (2020)

Commensal Bacteria Modulate Immunoglobulin A Binding in Response to Host Nutrition.

Cell host & microbe, 27(6):909-921.e5.

Immunoglobulin (Ig) A controls host-microbial homeostasis in the gut. IgA recognition of beneficial bacteria is decreased in acutely undernourished children, but the factors driving these changes in IgA targeting are unknown. Child undernutrition is a global health challenge that is exacerbated by poor sanitation and intestinal inflammation. To understand how nutrition impacts immune-microbe interactions, we used a mouse model of undernutrition with or without fecal-oral exposure and assessed IgA-bacterial targeting from weaning to adulthood. In contrast to healthy control mice, undernourished mice fail to develop IgA recognition of intestinal Lactobacillus. Glycan-mediated interactions between Lactobacillus and host antibodies are lost in undernourished mice due to rapid bacterial adaptation. Lactobacillus adaptations occur in direct response to nutritional pressure, independently of host IgA, and are associated with reduced mucosal colonization and with bacterial mutations in carbohydrate processing genes. Together these data indicate that diet-driven bacterial adaptations shape IgA recognition in the gut.

RevDate: 2021-01-16

Slijepcevic P (2021)

Serial Endosymbiosis Theory: From biology to astronomy and back to the origin of life.

Bio Systems pii:S0303-2647(21)00011-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Serial Endosymbiosis Theory, or SET, was conceived and developed by Lynn Margulis, to explain the greatest discontinuity in the history of life, the origin of eukaryotic cells. Some predictions of SET, namely the origin of mitochondria and chloroplasts, withstood the test of the most recent evidence from a variety of disciplines including phylogenetics, biochemistry, and cell biology. Even though some other predictions fared less well, SET remains a seminal theory in biology. In this paper, I focus on two aspects of SET. First, using the concept of "universal symbiogenesis", developed by Freeman Dyson to search for commonalities in astronomy and biology, I propose that SET can be extended beyond eukaryogenesis. The extension refers to the possibility that even prokaryotic organisms, themselves subject to the process of symbiogenesis in SET, could have emerged symbiotically. Second, I contrast a recent "viral eukaryogenesis" hypothesis, according to which the nucleus evolved from a complex DNA virus, with a view closer to SET, according to which the nucleus evolved through the interplay of the archaeal host, the eubacterial symbiont, and a non-LTR transposon, or telomerase. Viruses joined in later, through the process of viral endogenization, to shape eukaryotic chromosomes in the process of karyotype evolution. These two proposals based on SET are a testament to its longevity as a scientific theory.

RevDate: 2021-01-16

Matamoros MA, M Becana (2021)

Molecular responses of legumes to abiotic stress: protein post-translational modifications and redox signaling.

Journal of experimental botany pii:6102588 [Epub ahead of print].

Legumes include several major crops that are able to fix atmospheric nitrogen in symbiotic root nodules, thus reducing the demand for nitrogen fertilizers and contributing to sustainable agriculture. Global change models predict increases in temperature and more extreme weather conditions. This scenario might increase plant exposure to abiotic stresses and negatively affect crop production. Regulation of whole-plant physiology and nitrogen fixation in legumes during abiotic stress is complex and only a few mechanisms have been elucidated. Reactive oxygen (ROS), nitrogen (RNS), and sulfur (RSS) species are key players in the acclimation and stress tolerance of plants. However, the specific redox-dependent signaling pathways are far from understood. One mechanism by which ROS, RNS, and RSS fulfil their signaling role is the post-translational modification (PTM) of proteins. Redox-based PTMs mostly occur in the cysteine thiol group (oxidation, S-nitrosylation, S-glutathionylation, persulfidation), but also in methionine (oxidation), tyrosine (nitration), and lysine and arginine (carbonylation/glycation) residues. Unraveling PTM patterns under different types of stress and establishing the functional implications may reveal so far unknown underlying mechanisms of the plant and nodule responses to adverse conditions. Here we review the current knowledge on redox PTMs in legumes and their possible consequences in plant and nodule biology.

RevDate: 2021-01-16

Zhang B, Wang M, Sun Y, et al (2021)

Glycine max NNL1 restricts symbiotic compatibility with widely distributed bradyrhizobia via root hair infection.

Nature plants, 7(1):73-86.

Symbiosis between soybean (Glycine max) and rhizobia is essential for efficient nitrogen fixation. Rhizobial effectors secreted through the type-III secretion system are key for mediating the interactions between plants and rhizobia, but the molecular mechanism remains largely unknown. Here, our genome-wide association study for nodule number identified G. max Nodule Number Locus 1 (GmNNL1), which encodes a new R protein. GmNNL1 directly interacts with the nodulation outer protein P (NopP) effector from Bradyrhizobium USDA110 to trigger immunity and inhibit nodulation through root hair infection. The insertion of a 179 bp short interspersed nuclear element (SINE)-like transposon into GmNNL1 leads to the loss of function of GmNNL1, enabling bradyrhizobia to successfully nodulate soybeans through the root hair infection route and enhancing nitrogen fixation. Our findings provide important insights into the coevolution of soybean-bradyrhizobia compatibility and offer a way to design new legume-rhizobia interactions for efficient symbiotic nitrogen fixation.

RevDate: 2021-01-16

Rouzé H, Galand PE, Medina M, et al (2021)

Symbiotic associations of the deepest recorded photosynthetic scleractinian coral (172 m depth).

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

The symbiosis between scleractinian corals and photosynthetic algae from the family Symbiodiniaceae underpins the health and productivity of tropical coral reef ecosystems. While this photosymbiotic association has been extensively studied in shallow waters (<30 m depth), we do not know how deeper corals, inhabiting large and vastly underexplored mesophotic coral ecosystems, modulate their symbiotic associations to grow in environments that receive less than 1% of surface irradiance. Here we report on the deepest photosymbiotic scleractinian corals collected to date (172 m depth), and use amplicon sequencing to identify the associated symbiotic communities. The corals, identified as Leptoseris hawaiiensis, were confirmed to host Symbiodiniaceae, predominantly of the genus Cladocopium, a single species of endolithic algae from the genus Ostreobium, and diverse communities of prokaryotes. Our results expand the reported depth range of photosynthetic scleractinian corals (0-172 m depth), and provide new insights on their symbiotic associations at the lower depth extremes of tropical coral reefs.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Berger F, C Gutjahr (2021)

Factors affecting plant responsiveness to arbuscular mycorrhiza.

Current opinion in plant biology, 59:101994 pii:S1369-5266(20)30152-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) is an ancient, widespread symbiosis between most land plants and fungi of the Glomeromycotina, which receives increasing interest for agricultural application because it can promote plant growth and yield. The ability of plants to react to AM with changes in morphology and/or performance in terms of yield is called 'AM responsiveness'. Its amplitude depends on the plant- fungal genotype combination and the abiotic and biotic environment. A molecular understanding of AM responsiveness is key for enabling rational application of AM in agriculture, for example through targeted breeding of AM-optimised crops. However, the genetic and mechanistic underpinnings of AM responsiveness variation remain still unknown. Here, we review current knowledge on AM responsiveness, with a focus on agricultural crops, and speculate on mechanisms that may contribute to the variation in AM response.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Kuhikar R, Khan N, Khare SP, et al (2020)

Neutrophils generated in vitro from hematopoietic stem cells isolated from apheresis samples and umbilical cord blood form neutrophil extracellular traps.

Stem cell research, 50:102150 pii:S1873-5061(20)30451-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Neutrophils release neutrophil extracellular traps (NET) comprising of decondensed chromatin that immobilizes and kills pathogens. In vitro generation of neutrophils on a large scale from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) may be a useful strategy for treating neutropenic patients in future, though it is not in clinical practice yet. Microbial infections lead to major cause of morbidity and mortality in these patients. Despite the importance of NET in preventing infection, efficacy of in vitro-generated neutrophils from HSCs to form NET is not tested. We show that functional neutrophils could be generated in vitro from HSCs/MNCs isolated from umbilical cord blood (UCB) and apheresis-derived peripheral blood (APBL). Neutrophils generated from UCB showed properties comparable to those isolated from peripheral blood. We also show that isolation of HSCs is not absolutely essential for in vitro neutrophil generation. Further, we show that neutrophils generated from HSCs express PADI4 enzyme and their NET-forming ability is comparable to peripheral blood neutrophils. Taken together, our data show that fully functional neutrophils can be generated in vitro from HSCs. NET-forming ability of in vitro-generated neutrophils is an important parameter to determine their functionality and thus, should be studied along with other standard functional assays.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Widyarman AS, Udawatte NS, Theodorea CF, et al (2021)

Casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate fluoride treatment enriches the symbiotic dental plaque microbiome in children.

Journal of dentistry pii:S0300-5712(21)00003-8 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVES: The dysbiotic oral microbiome plays a key role in the pathogenesis of caries in children. Topical application of casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate containing fluoride (CPP-ACP/F) is an effective treatment modality for children with caries (CC). Hitherto the mechanism by which CPP-ACP/F modules the oral microbiome in CC has not been investigated. The study aimed to examine the CPP-ACP/F effect on the dental plaque microbiome of children group with caries.

METHODS: This preliminary prospective clinical cohort included 10 children with caries. The children received topical fluoride CPP-ACP/F once-a-week for one month. Plaque samples were collected before and after treatment and subjected to 16S rDNA-based next-generation-sequencing. Microbial composition, diversity and functional roles were analyzed in comparison to the clinical characteristics of cohort using standard bioinformatics tools.

RESULTS: CPP-ACP/F treatment modulated dysbiotic oral microbiome towards healthier community as the higher proportion of Proteobacteria and certain microbial protective species were enriched following CPP-ACP/F treatment. Despite overall uniformity of community structure in children with caries between the groups, some bacterial species were differentially represented in a statistically significant manner between pre- and post- treatments. Three bacterial species were found to be predictive of strongly sensitive to the CPP-ACP/F treatment, marked by decreased abundance of Lautropia mirabalis and increased abundance of Gemella haemolysans and Schwartzia succinivorans.

CONCLUSION: Within the limits of the current study, it could be concluded that the CPP-ACP/F varnish treatment modulated the microbial composition of the dental plaque microbiome towards symbiosis. These symbiotic changes may demonstrate the potential clinical significance of CPP-ACP/F varnish treatment.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Borah R, Ingavle GC, Kumar A, et al (2021)

Surface-Functionalized Conducting Nanofibers for Electrically Stimulated Neural Cell Function.

Biomacromolecules [Epub ahead of print].

Strategies involving the inclusion of cell-instructive chemical and topographical cues to smart biomaterials in combination with a suitable physical stimulus may be beneficial to enhance nerve-regeneration rate. In this regard, we investigated the surface functionalization of poly[2-methoxy-5-(2-ethylhexyloxy)-1,4-phenylenevinylene] (MEH-PPV)-based electroconductive electrospun nanofibers coupled with externally applied electrical stimulus for accelerated neuronal growth potential. In addition, the voltage-dependent conductive mechanism of the nanofibers was studied in depth to interlink intrinsic conductive properties with electrically stimulated neuronal expressions. Surface functionalization was accomplished using 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) and 1,6-hexanediamine (HDA) as an alternative to costly biomolecule coating (e.g., collagen) for cell adhesion. The nanofibers were uniform, porous, electrically conductive, mechanically strong, and stable under physiological conditions. Surface amination boosted biocompatibility, 3T3 cell adhesion, and spreading, while the neuronal model rat PC12 cell line showed better differentiation on surface-functionalized mats compared to nonfunctionalized mats. When coupled with electrical stimulation (ES), these mats showed comparable or faster neurite formation and elongation than the collagen-coated mats with no-ES conditions. The findings indicate that surface amination in combination with ES may provide an improved strategy to faster nerve regeneration using MEH-PPV-based neural scaffolds.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Anonymous (2020)

Liana T. Burghardt.

The New phytologist, 228(1):24-25.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Lennon S, L Dolan (2020)

The New Phytologist Tansley Medal 2018 - Liana Burghardt and Jana Sperschneider.

The New phytologist, 228(1):5.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Lamin H, Alami S, Lamrabet M, et al (2021)

Bradyrhizobium sp. sv. retamae nodulates Retama monosperma grown in a lead and zinc mine tailings in Eastern Morocco.

Brazilian journal of microbiology : [publication of the Brazilian Society for Microbiology] [Epub ahead of print].

The aim of this work was to characterize and identify some bacteria isolated from the root nodules of Retama monosperma grown in Sidi Boubker lead and zinc mine tailings. Very few root nodules were obtained on the root nodules of R. monosperma grown in these soils. The three bacteria isolated from the root nodules were tolerant in vitro to different concentrations of heavy metals, including lead and zinc. The rep-PCR experiments showed that the three isolates have different molecular fingerprints and were considered as three different strains. The analysis of their 16S rRNA gene sequences proved their affiliation to the genus Bradyrhizobium. The analysis and phylogeny of the housekeeping genes atpD, glnII, gyrB, recA, and rpoB confirmed that the closest species was B. valentinum with similarity percentages of 95.61 to 95.82%. The three isolates recovered from the root nodules were slow-growing rhizobia capable to renodulate their original host plant in the presence of Pb-acetate. They were able to nodulate R. sphaerocarpa and Lupinus luteus also but not Glycine max or Phaseolus vulgaris. The phylogeny of the nodA and nodC nodulation genes as well as the nifH gene of the three strains showed that they belong to the symbiovar retamae of the genus Bradyrhizobium. The three strains isolated could be considered for use as inoculum for Retama plants before use in phytoremediation experiments.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Ravi S, Jadhav S, Vaidya A, et al (2021)

Repurposing drugs during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Leppyanen IV, Pavlova OA, Vashurina MA, et al (2021)

LysM Receptor-Like Kinase LYK9 of Pisum Sativum L. May Regulate Plant Responses to Chitooligosaccharides Differing in Structure.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(2): pii:ijms22020711.

This study focused on the interactions of pea (Pisum sativum L.) plants with phytopathogenic and beneficial fungi. Here, we examined whether the lysin-motif (LysM) receptor-like kinase PsLYK9 is directly involved in the perception of long- and short-chain chitooligosaccharides (COs) released after hydrolysis of the cell walls of phytopathogenic fungi and identified in arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal exudates. The identification and analysis of pea mutants impaired in the lyk9 gene confirmed the involvement of PsLYK9 in symbiosis development with AM fungi. Additionally, PsLYK9 regulated the immune response and resistance to phytopathogenic fungi, suggesting its bifunctional role. The existence of co-receptors may provide explanations for the potential dual role of PsLYK9 in the regulation of interactions with pathogenic and AM fungi. Co-immunoprecipitation assay revealed that PsLYK9 and two proposed co-receptors, PsLYR4 and PsLYR3, can form complexes. Analysis of binding capacity showed that PsLYK9 and PsLYR4, synthesized as extracellular domains in insect cells, were able to bind the deacetylated (DA) oligomers CO5-DA-CO8-DA. Our results suggest that the receptor complex consisting of PsLYK9 and PsLYR4 can trigger a signal pathway that stimulates the immune response in peas. However, PsLYR3 seems not to be involved in the perception of CO4-5, as a possible co-receptor of PsLYK9.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Vicente C, Legaz ME, E Sánchez-Elordi (2021)

Physiological Basis of Smut Infectivity in the Early Stages of Sugar Cane Colonization.

Journal of fungi (Basel, Switzerland), 7(1): pii:jof7010044.

Sugar cane smut (Sporisorium scitamineum) interactions have been traditionally considered from the plant's point of view: How can resistant sugar cane plants defend themselves against smut disease? Resistant plants induce several defensive mechanisms that oppose fungal attacks. Herein, an overall view of Sporisorium scitamineum's mechanisms of infection and the defense mechanisms of plants are presented. Quorum sensing effects and a continuous reorganization of cytoskeletal components, where actin, myosin, and microtubules are required to work together, seem to be some of the keys to a successful attack.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Umeki M, Yamashita H, Suzuki G, et al (2020)

Fecal pellets of giant clams as a route for transporting Symbiodiniaceae to corals.

PloS one, 15(12):e0243087.

Because more than 80% of species of gamete-spawning corals, including most Acroporidae species, do not inherit Symbiodiniaceae from their parents, they must acquire symbiont cells from sources in their environment. To determine whether photosynthetically competent Symbiodiniaceae expelled as fecal pellets from giant clams are capable of colonizing corals, we conducted laboratory experiments in which planula larvae of Acropora tenuis were inoculated with the cells in fecal pellets obtained from Tridacna crocea. T. crocea fecal pellets were administered once a day, and three days later, cells of Symbiodiniaceae from the fecal pellets had been taken up by the coral larvae. T. crocea fecal pellets were not supplied from the 4th day until the 8th day, and the cell densities in the larvae increased until the 8th day, which indicated the successful colonization by Symbiodiniaceae. The control group exhibited the highest mean percentage of larvae (100%) that were successfully colonized by culture strains of Symbiodiniaceae, and larvae inoculated with fecal pellets reached a colonization percentage of 66.7 ~ 96.7% on the 8th day. The highest colonization rate was achieved with the fecal pellets containing cells with high photosynthetic competency (Fv/Fm). Interestingly, the genetic composition of Symbiodiniaceae in the larvae retrieved on the 8th day differed from that in the fecal pellets and showed exclusive domination of the genus Symbiodinium. A minor but significant population of the genus Cladocopium in the fecal pellets was not inherited by the larvae. These experiments provided the first demonstration that the Symbiodiniaceae from tridacnine clams provided via fecal pellets can colonize and even proliferate in coral larvae.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Basu DN, K Kunte (2020)

Tools of the trade: MicroCT reveals native structure and functional morphology of organs that drive caterpillar-ant interactions.

Scientific reports, 10(1):10593.

Caterpillars of many lycaenid butterflies are tended by ants that offer protection from predators and parasitoids. Specialized structures such as glands, ciliary organs and chitinous ornamentation in caterpillars play key roles in the underlying tactile, acoustic, and chemical communication between caterpillars and ants. Although the ecological, evolutionary, and behavioural aspects of these interactions are well studied, the mechanisms (i.e., the functional morphology) that drive the specialized interactive organs are poorly characterized. We used advanced X-ray microtomography (MicroCT) to delineate internal, native morphology of specialized larval dew patches, nectar glands, and tactile ciliary organs that mediate interactions between Crematogaster ants and caterpillars of the obligate myrmecophilous Apharitis lilacinus butterfly. Our non-destructive MicroCT analysis provided novel 3-D insights into the native structure and positions of these specialized organs in unmatched detail. This analysis also suggested a functional relationship between organ structures and surrounding muscles and nervation that operate the glands and tactile organs, including a 'lasso bag' control mechanism for dew patches and muscle control for other organs. This provided a holistic understanding of the organs that drive very close caterpillar-ant interactions. Our MicroCT analysis opens a door for similar structural and functional analysis of adaptive insect morphology.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Cholewińska P, Czyż K, Nowakowski P, et al (2020)

The microbiome of the digestive system of ruminants - a review.

Animal health research reviews, 21(1):3-14.

This review aims to explain the influence and characterization of the microbiome in the ruminant digestive system by presenting the knowledge collected so far. The knowledge presented in this work is focused on the main factors affecting the microbiome and the main dependencies that have been found in it so far. The microbiome in the rumen is the first to come into contact with the biomass of the forage and its main purpose is to decompose into smaller particles or compounds. With the gradual increase in knowledge about the microbiome, there is a chance to manipulate it so that the animal continues to live in a symbiotic relationship with it, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions to the environment as well as increasing feed efficiency. Therefore, understanding the influence of the ruminant microbiome is the main step to achieve such results. However, learning the relationship between microorganisms is only at an early stage, because research focuses mainly on taxonomy. Future research should focus on interactions in the ecosystem which is the microbiome, on explaining individual functions and on influence of environmental factors.

RevDate: 2021-01-14

Ozulumba T, Ingavle G, Gogotsi Y, et al (2021)

Moderating cellular inflammation using 2-dimensional titanium carbide MXene and graphene variants.

Biomaterials science [Epub ahead of print].

The effective control of microbial and metabolically derived biological toxins which negatively impact physical health remains a key challenge for the 21st century. 2-Dimensional graphene and MXene nanomaterials are relatively new additions to the field of biomedical materials with superior external surface areas suited to adsorptive remediation of biological toxins. However, relatively little is known about their physiological interactions with biological systems and, to date, no comparative biological studies have been done. This study compares titanium carbide MXene (Ti3C2Tx) in multilayered and delaminated forms with graphene variants to assess the impact of variable physical properties on cellular inflammatory response to endotoxin stimulus. No significant impact on cell metabolism or induction of inflammatory pathways leading to cell death was observed. No significant increase in markers of blood cell activation and haemolysis occurred. Whilst graphene nanoplatelets (GNP), graphene oxide (GO) and Ti3C2Tx showed insignificant antibacterial activity towards Escherichia coli, silver nanoparticle-modified GO (GO-Ag) induced bacterial cell death and at a lower dose than silver nanoparticles. All nanomaterials significantly reduced bacterial endotoxin induced THP-1 monocyte IL-8, IL-6 and TNF-α cytokine production by >99%, >99% and >80% respectively, compared to control groups. This study suggests the utility of these nanomaterials as adsorbents in blood contacting medical device applications for removal of inflammatory cytokines linked to poor outcome in patients with life-threatening infection.

RevDate: 2021-01-14
CmpDate: 2021-01-14

Huang YL, Mayfield AB, TY Fan (2020)

Effects of feeding on the physiological performance of the stony coral Pocillopora acuta.

Scientific reports, 10(1):19988.

Reef-building corals rely on both heterotrophy and endosymbiotic dinoflagellate autotrophy to meet their metabolic needs. Those looking to culture these organisms for scientific or industrial purposes must therefore consider both feeding regimes and the light environment. Herein the effects of three photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) levels were assessed in fed and unfed specimens of the model coral Pocillopora acuta that were cultured in a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS). Half of the corals were fed Artemia sp. brine shrimp in a separate feeding tank to prevent biofouling, and fragments were exposed to PAR levels of 105, 157, or 250 μmol quanta m-2 s-1 over a 12-h period each day. All cultured corals survived the 140-day treatment, and the physiological response variables assessed-buoyant weight, specific growth rate, linear extension, color, and Fv/Fm-were significantly influenced by feeding, and, to a lesser extent, light. Specifically, fed corals grew faster and larger, and presented darker pigmentation; corals fed at the highest light levels grew at the fastest rate (6 cm year-1 or 175 mg g-1 week-1). Given the high physiological performance observed, we advocate the active feeding of brine shrimp in RAS by those looking to cultivate P. acuta, and likely other corals, over long-term timescales.

RevDate: 2021-01-14
CmpDate: 2021-01-14

Izraeli Y, Lalzar M, Netanel N, et al (2021)

Wolbachia influence on the fitness of Anagyrus vladimiri (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae), a bio-control agent of mealybugs.

Pest management science, 77(2):1023-1034.

BACKGROUND: Like numerous other animals, biocontrol agents (BCAs) of arthropod pests carry various microorganisms that may have diverse effects on the biology of their eukaryote hosts. We postulated that it is possible to improve the efficacy of BCAs by manipulating the composition of their associated microbiota. The parasitoid wasp Anagyrus vladimiri (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) from a mass-rearing facility was chosen for testing this hypothesis.

RESULTS: High-throughput sequencing analysis indicated that fungal abundance in A. vladimiri was low and variable, whereas the bacterial community was dominated by the endosymbiont Wolbachia. Wolbachia was fixed in the mass-rearing population, whereas in field-collected A. vladimiri Wolbachia's prevalence was only approximately 20%. Identification of Wolbachia strains from the two populations by Multi Locus Sequence Typing, revealed two closely related but unique strains. A series of bioassays with the mass-rearing Wolbachia-fixed (W+) and a derived antibiotic-treated Wolbachia-free (W-) lines revealed that: (i) Wolbachia does not induce reproductive manipulations; (ii) W- females have higher fecundity when reared individually, but not when reared with conspecifics; (iii) W+ females outcompete W- when they share hosts for oviposition; (iv) longevity and developmental time were similar in both lines.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that W+ A. vladimiri have no clear fitness benefit under mass-rearing conditions and may be disadvantageous under lab-controlled conditions. In a broader view, the results suggest that augmentative biological control can benefit from manipulation of the microbiome of natural enemies.

RevDate: 2021-01-14
CmpDate: 2021-01-14

Preedy KF, Chaplain MAJ, Leybourne DJ, et al (2020)

Learning-induced switching costs in a parasitoid can maintain diversity of host aphid phenotypes although biocontrol is destabilized under abiotic stress.

The Journal of animal ecology, 89(5):1216-1229.

Aphid populations frequently include phenotypes that are resistant to parasitism by hymenopterous parasitoid wasps, which is often attributed to the presence of 'protective' facultative endosymbionts residing in aphid tissues, particularly Hamiltonella defensa. In field conditions, under parasitoid pressure, the observed coexistence of aphids with and without protective symbionts cannot be explained by their difference in fitness alone. Using the cereal aphid Rhopalosiphum padi as a model, we propose an alternative mechanism whereby parasitoids are more efficient at finding common phenotypes of aphid and experience a fitness cost when switching to the less common phenotype. We construct a model based on delay differential equations and parameterize and validate the model with values within the ranges obtained from experimental studies. We then use it to explore the possible effects on system dynamics under conditions of environmental stress, using our existing data on the effects of drought stress in crops as an example. We show the 'switching penalty' incurred by parasitoids leads to stable coexistence of aphids with and without H. defensa and provides a potential mechanism for maintaining phenotypic diversity among host organisms. We show that drought-induced reduction in aphid development time has little impact. However, greater reduction in fecundity on droughted plants of symbiont-protected aphids can cause insect population cycles when the system would be stable in the absence of drought stress. The stabilizing effect of the increased efficiency in dealing with more commonly encountered host phenotypes is applicable to a broad range of consumer-resource systems and could explain stable coexistence in competitive environments. The loss of stable coexistence when drought has different effects on the competing aphid phenotypes highlights the importance of scenario testing when considering biocontrol for pest management.

RevDate: 2021-01-14
CmpDate: 2021-01-14

Markova DN, Christensen SM, E Betrán (2020)

Telomere-Specialized Retroelements in Drosophila: Adaptive Symbionts of the Genome, Neutral, or in Conflict?.

BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology, 42(1):e1900154.

Linear chromosomes shorten in every round of replication. In Drosophila, telomere-specialized long interspersed retrotransposable elements (LINEs) belonging to the jockey clade offset this shortening by forming head-to-tail arrays at Drosophila telomere ends. As such, these telomeric LINEs have been considered adaptive symbionts of the genome, protecting it from premature decay, particularly as Drosophila lacks a conventional telomerase holoenzyme. However, as reviewed here, recent work reveals a high degree of variation and turnover in the telomere-specialized LINE lineages across Drosophila. There appears to be no absolute requirement for LINE activity to maintain telomeres in flies, hence the suggestion that the telomere-specialized LINEs may instead be neutral or in conflict with the host, rather than adaptive.

RevDate: 2021-01-13

Fagorzi C, Bacci G, Huang R, et al (2021)

Nonadditive Transcriptomic Signatures of Genotype-by-Genotype Interactions during the Initiation of Plant-Rhizobium Symbiosis.

mSystems, 6(1):.

Rhizobia are ecologically important, facultative plant-symbiotic microbes. In nature, there is a large variability in the association of rhizobial strains and host plants of the same species. Here, we evaluated whether plant and rhizobial genotypes influence the initial transcriptional response of rhizobium following perception of a host plant. RNA sequencing of the model rhizobium Sinorhizobium meliloti exposed to root exudates or luteolin (an inducer of nod genes, involved in the early steps of symbiotic interaction) was performed on a combination of three S. meliloti strains and three alfalfa varieties as host plants. The response to root exudates involved hundreds of changes in the rhizobium transcriptome. Of the differentially expressed genes, 35% were influenced by the strain genotype, 16% were influenced by the plant genotype, and 29% were influenced by strain-by-host plant genotype interactions. We also examined the response of a hybrid S. meliloti strain in which the symbiotic megaplasmid (∼20% of the genome) was mobilized between two of the above-mentioned strains. Dozens of genes were upregulated in the hybrid strain, indicative of nonadditive variation in the transcriptome. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that transcriptional responses of rhizobia upon perception of legumes are influenced by the genotypes of both symbiotic partners and their interaction, suggesting a wide spectrum of genetic determinants involved in the phenotypic variation of plant-rhizobium symbiosis.IMPORTANCE A sustainable way for meeting the need of an increased global food demand should be based on a holobiont perspective, viewing crop plants as intimately associated with their microbiome, which helps improve plant nutrition, tolerance to pests, and adverse climate conditions. However, the genetic repertoire needed for efficient association with plants by the microbial symbionts is still poorly understood. The rhizobia are an exemplary model of facultative plant symbiotic microbes. Here, we evaluated whether genotype-by-genotype interactions could be identified in the initial transcriptional response of rhizobium perception of a host plant. We performed an RNA sequencing study to analyze the transcriptomes of different rhizobial strains elicited by root exudates of three alfalfa varieties as a proxy of an early step of the symbiotic interaction. The results indicated strain- and plant variety-dependent variability in the observed transcriptional changes, providing fundamentally novel insights into the genetic basis of rhizobium-plant interactions. Our results provide genetic insights and perspective to aid in the exploitation of natural rhizobium variation for improvement of legume growth in agricultural ecosystems.

RevDate: 2021-01-13

Deehan M, Lin W, Blum B, et al (2021)

Intracellular Density of Wolbachia Is Mediated by Host Autophagy and the Bacterial Cytoplasmic Incompatibility Gene cifB in a Cell Type-Dependent Manner in Drosophila melanogaster.

mBio, 12(1):.

Autophagy is an intracellular degradation pathway involved in innate immunity. Pathogenic bacteria have evolved several mechanisms to escape degradation or exploit autophagy to acquire host nutrients. In the case of endosymbionts, which often have commensal or mutualistic interactions with the host, autophagy is not well characterized. We utilized tissue-specific autophagy mutants to determine if Wolbachia, a vertically transmitted obligate endosymbiont of Drosophila melanogaster, is regulated by autophagy in somatic and germ line cell types. Our analysis revealed core autophagy proteins Atg1 and Atg8 and a selective autophagy-specific protein Ref(2)p negatively regulate Wolbachia in the hub, a male gonad somatic cell type. Furthermore, we determined that the Wolbachia effector protein, CifB, modulates autophagy-Wolbachia interactions, identifying a new host-related pathway which these bacterial proteins interact with. In the female germ line, the cell type necessary for inheritance of Wolbachia through vertical transmission, we discovered that bulk autophagy mediated by Atg1 and Atg8 positively regulates Wolbachia density, whereas Ref(2)p had no effect. Global metabolomics of fly ovaries deficient in germ line autophagy revealed reduced lipid and carbon metabolism, implicating metabolites from these pathways as positive regulators of Wolbachia Our work provides further understanding of how autophagy affects bacteria in a cell type-dependent manner.IMPORTANCE Autophagy is a eukaryotic intracellular degradation pathway which can act as an innate immune response to eliminate pathogens. Conversely, pathogens can evolve proteins which modulate the autophagy pathway to subvert degradation and establish an infection. Wolbachia, a vertically transmitted obligate endosymbiont which infects up to 40% of insect species, is negatively regulated by autophagy in whole animals, but the specific molecular mechanism and tissue which govern this interaction remain unknown. Our studies use cell type-specific autophagy mutants to reveal that Wolbachia is negatively regulated by selective autophagy in the soma, while nonselective autophagy positively regulates Wolbachia in the female germ line. These data provide evidence that cell type can drive different basal autophagy programs which modulate intracellular microbes differently. Additionally, we identified that the Wolbachia effector CifB acts in the selective autophagy pathway to aid in intracellular bacterial survival, providing a new function for CifB beyond its previously identified role in reproductive manipulation.

RevDate: 2021-01-13

Wang R, Luo S, Clarke BB, et al (2021)

The Epichloëfestucae Antifungal Protein Efe-AfpA Is also a Possible Effector Protein Required for the Interaction of the Fungus with Its Host Grass Festuca rubra subsp. rubra.

Microorganisms, 9(1): pii:microorganisms9010140.

Strong creeping red fescue (Festuca rubra subsp. rubra) is a commercially important low-maintenance turfgrass and is often naturally infected with the fungal endophyte Epichloëfestucae. Epichloë spp. are endophytes of several cool-season grass species, often conferring insect resistance to the grass hosts due to the production of toxic alkaloids. In addition to insect resistance, a unique feature of the strong creeping red fescue/E. festucae symbiosis is the endophyte-mediated disease resistance to the fungal pathogen Clarireedia jacksonii, the causal agent of dollar spot disease. Such disease resistance is not a general feature of other grass/ Epichloë interactions. E. festucae isolates infecting red fescue have an antifungal protein gene Efe-afpA, whereas most other Epichloë spp. do not have a similar gene. The uniqueness of this gene suggests it may, therefore, be a component of the unique disease resistance seen in endophyte-infected red fescue. Here, we report the generation of CRISPR-Cas9 Efe-afpA gene knockouts with the goal of determining if absence of the protein in endophyte-infected Festuca rubra leads to disease susceptibility. However, it was not possible to infect plants with the knockout isolates, although infection was possible with the wild type E. festucae and with complemented isolates. This raises the interesting possibility that, in addition to having antifungal activity, the protein is required for the symbiotic interaction. The antifungal protein is a small secreted protein with high expression in planta relative to its expression in culture, all characteristics consistent with effector proteins. If Efe-AfpA is an effector protein it must be specific to certain interactions, since most Epichloë spp. do not have such a gene in their genomes.

RevDate: 2021-01-13

Yang CY, Chen TW, Lu WL, et al (2021)

Synbiotics Alleviate the Gut Indole Load and Dysbiosis in Chronic Kidney Disease.

Cells, 10(1): pii:cells10010114.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) has long been known to cause significant digestive tract pathology. Of note, indoxyl sulfate is a gut microbe-derived uremic toxin that accumulates in CKD patients. Nevertheless, the relationship between gut microbiota, fecal indole content, and blood indoxyl sulfate level remains unknown. In our study, we established an adenine-induced CKD rat model, which recapitulates human CKD-related gut dysbiosis. Synbiotic treatment in CKD rats showed a significant reduction in both the indole-producing bacterium Clostridium and fecal indole amount. Furthermore, gut microbiota diversity was reduced in CKD rats but was restored after synbiotic treatment. Intriguingly, in our end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) patients, the abundance of indole-producing bacteria, Bacteroides, Prevotella, and Clostridium, is similar to that of healthy controls. Consistently, the fecal indole tends to be higher in the ESKD patients, but the difference did not achieve statistical significance. However, the blood level of indoxyl sulfate was significantly higher than that of healthy controls, implicating that under an equivalent indole production rate, the impaired renal excretion contributes to the accumulation of this notorious uremic toxin. On the other hand, we did identify two short-chain fatty acid-producing bacteria, Faecalibacterium and Roseburia, were reduced in ESKD patients as compared to the healthy controls. This may contribute to gut dysbiosis. We also identified that three genera Fusobacterium, Shewanella, and Erwinia, in the ESKD patients but not in the healthy controls. Building up gut symbiosis to treat CKD is a novel concept, but once proved effective, it will provide an additional treatment strategy for CKD patients.

RevDate: 2021-01-13

Borah R, Ingavle GC, Sandeman SR, et al (2018)

Amine-Functionalized Electrically Conductive Core-Sheath MEH-PPV:PCL Electrospun Nanofibers for Enhanced Cell-Biomaterial Interactions.

ACS biomaterials science & engineering, 4(9):3327-3346.

In the present study, a conducting polymer, poly[2-methoxy-5-(2-ethylhexyloxy)-1,4-phenylenevinylene] (MEH-PPV) along with a biodegradable polymer poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) was used to prepare an electrically conductive, biocompatible, bioactive, and biodegradable nanofibrous scaffold for possible use in neural tissue engineering applications. Core-sheath electrospun nanofibers of PCL as the core and MEH-PPV as the sheath, were surface-functionalized with (3-aminopropyl) triethoxysilane (APTES) and 1,6-hexanediamine to obtain amine-functionalized surface to facilitate cell-biomaterial interactions with the aim of replacing the costly biomolecules such as collagen, fibronectin, laminin, and arginyl-glycyl-aspartic acid (RGD) peptide for surface modification. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) confirmed the formation of core-sheath morphology of the electrospun nanofibers, whereas Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) revealed successful incorporation of amine functionality after surface functionalization. Adhesion, spreading, and proliferation of 3T3 fibroblasts were enhanced on the surface-functionalized electrospun meshes, whereas the neuronal model rat pheochromocytoma 12 (PC12) cells also adhered and differentiated into sympathetic neurons on these meshes. Under a constant electric field of 500 mV for 2 h/day for 3 consecutive days, the PC12 cells displayed remarkable improvement in the neurite formation and outgrowth on the surface-functionalized meshes that was comparable to those on the collagen-coated meshes under no electrical signal. Electrical stimulation studies further demonstrated that electrically stimulated PC12 cells cultured on collagen I coated meshes yielded more and longer neurites than those of the unstimulated cells on the same scaffolds. The enhanced neurite growth and differentiation suggest the potential use of these scaffolds for neural tissue engineering applications.

RevDate: 2021-01-12

Recorbet G, Calabrese S, Balliau T, et al (2021)

Proteome adaptations under contrasting soil phosphate regimes of Rhizophagus irregularis engaged in a common mycorrhizal network.

Fungal genetics and biology : FG & B pii:S1087-1845(21)00001-3 [Epub ahead of print].

For many plants, their symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi plays a key role in the acquisition of mineral nutrients such as inorganic phosphate (Pi), in exchange for assimilated carbon. To study gene regulation and function in the symbiotic partners, we and others have used compartmented microcosms in which the extra-radical mycelium (ERM), responsible for mineral nutrient supply for the plants, was separated by fine nylon nets from the associated host roots and could be harvested and analysed in isolation. Here, we used such a model system to perform a quantitative comparative protein profiling of the ERM of Rhizophagus irregularis BEG75, forming a common mycorrhizal network (CMN) between poplar and sorghum roots under a long-term high- or low-Pi fertilization regime. Proteins were extracted from the ERM and analysed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. This workflow identified a total of 1301 proteins, among which 162 displayed a differential amount during Pi limitation, as monitored by spectral counting. Higher abundances were recorded for proteins involved in the mobilization of external Pi, such as secreted acid phosphatase, 3',5'-bisphosphate nucleotidase, and calcium-dependent phosphotriesterase. This was also the case for intracellular phospholipase and lysophospholipases that are involved in the initial degradation of phospholipids from membrane lipids to mobilize internal Pi. In Pi-deficient conditions. The CMN proteome was especially enriched in proteins assigned to beta-oxidation, glyoxylate shunt and gluconeogenesis, indicating that storage lipids rather than carbohydrates are fuelled in ERM as the carbon source to support hyphal growth and energy requirements. The contrasting pattern of expression of AM-specific fatty acid biosynthetic genes between the two plants suggests that in low Pi conditions, fatty acid provision to the fungal network is mediated by sorghum roots but not by poplar. Loss of enzymes involved in arginine synthesis coupled to the mobilization of proteins involved in the breakdown of nitrogen sources such as intercellular purines and amino acids, support the view that ammonium acquisition by host plants through the mycorrhizal pathway may be reduced under low-Pi conditions. This proteomic study highlights the functioning of a CMN in Pi limiting conditions, and provides new perspectives to study plant nutrient acquisition as mediated by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi.

RevDate: 2021-01-12

Ren FR, Sun X, Wang TY, et al (2021)

Pantothenate mediates the coordination of whitefly and symbiont fitness.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

Intracellular symbionts in insects often have reduced genomes. Host acquisition of genes from bacteria is an important adaptation that supports symbionts. However, the function of horizontally transferred genes in insect symbiosis remains largely unclear. The primary symbiont Portiera housed in bacteriocytes lacks pantothenate synthesis genes: panB and panC, which is presumably complemented by a fused gene panB-panC (hereafter panBC) horizontally transferred from bacteria in Bemisia tabaci MEAM1. We found panBC in many laboratory cultures, and species of B. tabaci shares a common evolutionary origin. We demonstrated that complementation with whitefly panBC rescued E. coli pantothenate gene knockout mutants. Portiera elimination decreased the pantothenate level and PanBC abundance in bacteriocytes, and reduced whitefly survival and fecundity. Silencing PanBC decreased the Portiera titer, reduced the pantothenate level, and decreased whitefly survival and fecundity. Supplementation with pantothenate restored the symbiont titer, PanBC level, and fitness of RNAi whiteflies. These data suggest that pantothenate synthesis requires cooperation and coordination of whitefly PanBC expression and Portiera. This host-symbiont co-regulation was mediated by the pantothenate level. Our findings demonstrated that pantothenate production, by the cooperation of a horizontally acquired, fused bacteria gene and Portiera, facilitates the coordination of whitefly and symbiont fitness. Thus, this study extends our understanding on the basis of complex host-symbiont interactions.

RevDate: 2021-01-12

Strassert JFH, Wurzbacher C, Hervé V, et al (2021)

Long rDNA amplicon sequencing of insect-infecting nephridiophagids reveals their affiliation to the Chytridiomycota and a potential to switch between hosts.

Scientific reports, 11(1):396.

Nephridiophagids are unicellular eukaryotes that parasitize the Malpighian tubules of numerous insects. Their life cycle comprises multinucleate vegetative plasmodia that divide into oligonucleate and uninucleate cells, and sporogonial plasmodia that form uninucleate spores. Nephridiophagids are poor in morphological characteristics, and although they have been tentatively identified as early-branching fungi based on the SSU rRNA gene sequences of three species, their exact position within the fungal tree of live remained unclear. In this study, we describe two new species of nephridiophagids (Nephridiophaga postici and Nephridiophaga javanicae) from cockroaches. Using long-read sequencing of the nearly complete rDNA operon of numerous further species obtained from cockroaches and earwigs to improve the resolution of the phylogenetic analysis, we found a robust affiliation of nephridiophagids with the Chytridiomycota-a group of zoosporic fungi that comprises parasites of diverse host taxa, such as microphytes, plants, and amphibians. The presence of the same nephridiophagid species in two only distantly related cockroaches indicates that their host specificity is not as strict as generally assumed.

RevDate: 2021-01-12

Goyal RK, Schmidt MA, MF Hynes (2021)

Molecular Biology in the Improvement of Biological Nitrogen Fixation by Rhizobia and Extending the Scope to Cereals.

Microorganisms, 9(1): pii:microorganisms9010125.

The contribution of biological nitrogen fixation to the total N requirement of food and feed crops diminished in importance with the advent of synthetic N fertilizers, which fueled the "green revolution". Despite being environmentally unfriendly, the synthetic versions gained prominence primarily due to their low cost, and the fact that most important staple crops never evolved symbiotic associations with bacteria. In the recent past, advances in our knowledge of symbiosis and nitrogen fixation and the development and application of recombinant DNA technology have created opportunities that could help increase the share of symbiotically-driven nitrogen in global consumption. With the availability of molecular biology tools, rapid improvements in symbiotic characteristics of rhizobial strains became possible. Further, the technology allowed probing the possibility of establishing a symbiotic dialogue between rhizobia and cereals. Because the evolutionary process did not forge a symbiotic relationship with the latter, the potential of molecular manipulations has been tested to incorporate a functional mechanism of nitrogen reduction independent of microbes. In this review, we discuss various strategies applied to improve rhizobial strains for higher nitrogen fixation efficiency, more competitiveness and enhanced fitness under unfavorable environments. The challenges and progress made towards nitrogen self-sufficiency of cereals are also reviewed. An approach to integrate the genetically modified elite rhizobia strains in crop production systems is highlighted.

RevDate: 2021-01-13
CmpDate: 2021-01-13

Gray DA, White JBR, Oluwole AO, et al (2021)

Insights into SusCD-mediated glycan import by a prominent gut symbiont.

Nature communications, 12(1):44.

In Bacteroidetes, one of the dominant phyla of the mammalian gut, active uptake of large nutrients across the outer membrane is mediated by SusCD protein complexes via a "pedal bin" transport mechanism. However, many features of SusCD function in glycan uptake remain unclear, including ligand binding, the role of the SusD lid and the size limit for substrate transport. Here we characterise the β2,6 fructo-oligosaccharide (FOS) importing SusCD from Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron (Bt1762-Bt1763) to shed light on SusCD function. Co-crystal structures reveal residues involved in glycan recognition and suggest that the large binding cavity can accommodate several substrate molecules, each up to ~2.5 kDa in size, a finding supported by native mass spectrometry and isothermal titration calorimetry. Mutational studies in vivo provide functional insights into the key structural features of the SusCD apparatus and cryo-EM of the intact dimeric SusCD complex reveals several distinct states of the transporter, directly visualising the dynamics of the pedal bin transport mechanism.

RevDate: 2021-01-13
CmpDate: 2021-01-13

Yan Y, Wang X, Askari A, et al (2021)

A modelling study of the spatially heterogeneous mutualism between electroactive biofilm and planktonic bacteria.

The Science of the total environment, 759:143537.

Microbial cooperation widely exists in anaerobic reactors degrading complex pollutants, conventionally studied separately inside the biofilm or the planktonic community. Recent experiments discovered the mutualism between the planktonic bacteria and electroactive biofilm treating propionate, an end-product usually accumulated in anaerobic digesters. Here, a one-dimensional multispecies model found the preference on acetate-based pathway over the hydrogen-based in such community, evidenced by the fact that acetate-originated current takes 66% of the total value and acetate-consuming anode-respiring bacteria takes over 80% of the biofilm. Acetate-based anodic respiration most apparently influences biofilm function while propionate fermentation is the dominant planktonic bio-reaction. Additionally, initial planktonic propionate level shows the ability of coordinating the balance between these two extracellular electron transfer pathways. Increasing the propionate concentration from 2 to 50 mM would increase the steady hydrogen-originated current by 210% but decrease the acetate-originated by 26%, suggesting a vital influence of the planktonic microbial process to the metabolic balance in biofilm. Best strategy to promote the biofilm activity is to increase the biomass density and biofilm conductivity simultaneously, which would increase the current density by 875% without thickening the biofilm thickness or prolonging the growth apparently.

RevDate: 2021-01-12
CmpDate: 2021-01-12

Keshavmurthy S, Beals M, Hsieh HJ, et al (2021)

Physiological plasticity of corals to temperature stress in marginal coral communities.

The Science of the total environment, 758:143628.

Adaptation and/or acclimatization through various mechanisms have been suggested to help some tropical coral species to overcome temperature-induced bleaching that is intensifying with climate change; however, while much research has been done on the physiological responses of tropical and subtropical corals to stress, little is known about these responses in corals in marginal environments-e.g., high-latitude and non-reefal communities. In this study, we examined the thermal-tolerant physiology of the flowerpot coral, Alveopora japonica, endemic to the high-latitude Jeju Island (33.39°N), South Korea and Oulastrea crispata and Coelastrea aspera from the subtropical non-reefal coral community on the Penghu Islands (23.34°N), Taiwan. Analysis of physiological parameters; photochemical efficiency, Chlorophyll pigment, Symbiodiniaceae cell number and host soluble proteins - showed that A. japonica can survive through a wide range of temperature stresses (10-32 °C) over a period of 8 days without showing signs of bleaching. In addition, corals O. crispata and C. aspera withstood temperature stresses of up to 33 °C and repeated temperature fluctuations without bleaching. Our results indicate that, under large seasonal variations and asymmetrical daily fluctuations in temperature, corals currently living in marginal environments could have thermal plasticity, allowing them to survive in the future climate change scenarios. This study reiterates the importance of studying the eco-physiology of corals that are generally ignored because of their neutral or positive responses to stress.

RevDate: 2021-01-13
CmpDate: 2021-01-13

Rayko M, Komissarov A, Kwan JC, et al (2020)

Draft genome of Bugula neritina, a colonial animal packing powerful symbionts and potential medicines.

Scientific data, 7(1):356.

Many animal phyla have no representatives within the catalog of whole metazoan genome sequences. This dataset fills in one gap in the genome knowledge of animal phyla with a draft genome of Bugula neritina (phylum Bryozoa). Interest in this species spans ecology and biomedical sciences because B. neritina is the natural source of bioactive compounds called bryostatins. Here we present a draft assembly of the B. neritina genome obtained from PacBio and Illumina HiSeq data, as well as genes and proteins predicted de novo and verified using transcriptome data, along with the functional annotation. These sequences will permit a better understanding of host-symbiont interactions at the genomic level, and also contribute additional phylogenomic markers to evaluate Lophophorate or Lophotrochozoa phylogenetic relationships. The effort also fits well with plans to ultimately sequence all orders of the Metazoa.

RevDate: 2021-01-13
CmpDate: 2021-01-13

Mechri B, Tekaya M, Attia F, et al (2020)

Drought stress improved the capacity of Rhizophagus irregularis for inducing the accumulation of oleuropein and mannitol in olive (Olea europaea) roots.

Plant physiology and biochemistry : PPB, 156:178-191.

Olive trees are often subjected to a prolonged dry season with low water availability, which induces oxidative stress. Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbioses can improve olive plant tolerance to water deficit. This study investigated several aspects related to drought tolerance in AM fungi olive plants. Non-AM and AM plants were grown under well-watered or drought-stressed conditions, and mycorrhizal growth response, neutral lipid fatty acid (NLFA)16:1ω5 and phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) 16:1ω5 in roots (intraradical mycelium) and in soil (extraradical mycelium), carbohydrates (monosaccharides, disaccharides and polyols) and phenolic compounds (phenolic alcohols, flavonoids, lignans, secoiridoids and hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives) were determined. Results showed that the amounts of PLFA 16:1ω5 and NLFA 16:1ω5 were significantly influenced by drought stress conditions. The NLFA 16:1ω5/PLFA 16:1ω5 ratio showed a dramatic decrease (-62%) with the application of water deficit stress, indicating that AM fungi allocated low carbon to storage structures under stress conditions. Mannitol and verbascoside are the main compounds detected in the roots of well-watered plants, whereas oleuropein and mannitol are the main compounds differentially accumulated in the roots of water-stressed plants. The oleuropein/verbascoside ratio increased in the case of drought-stressed AM plants by 30%, while the mannitol/oleuropein ratio was decreased by 46%, when compared to the non-AM stressed plants. Mycorrhization therefore oriented the flux toward the biosynthetic pathway of oleuropein and the data suggest that sugar and phenolic compound metabolism may have been redirected to the formation of oleuropein in roots of AM stressed plants, that may underlie their enhanced tolerance to drought stress.

RevDate: 2021-01-13
CmpDate: 2021-01-13

Grenier T, F Leulier (2020)

How commensal microbes shape the physiology of Drosophila melanogaster.

Current opinion in insect science, 41:92-99.

The interactions between animals and their commensal microbes profoundly influence the host's physiology. In the last decade, Drosophila melanogaster has been extensively used as a model to study host-commensal microbes interactions. Here, we review the most recent advances in this field. We focus on studies that extend our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of commensal microbes on Drosophila's development and lifespan. We emphasize how commensal microbes influence nutrition and the intestinal epithelium homeostasis; how they elicit immune tolerance mechanisms and how these physiological processes are interconnected. Finally, we discuss the importance of diets and microbial strains and show how they can be confounding factors of microbe mediated host phenotypes.

RevDate: 2021-01-13
CmpDate: 2021-01-13

Scharf ME (2020)

Challenges and physiological implications of wood feeding in termites.

Current opinion in insect science, 41:79-85.

Termites are fascinating insects for a number of reasons, one of which being their specialization on diets of wood lignocellulose. The goal of this review is to consider stress-inducing characteristics of wood and apparent molecular-physiological adaptations in termite guts to overcome these stressors. Defensive factors present in wood include extractive secondary plant metabolites, lignin and related phenolics, crystalline cellulose, and low nitrogen content. Molecular-physiological adaptations of the termite gut to deal with these factors include robust detoxification and antioxidant machinery, the production of a peritrophic matrix and a wide range of cellulases from host and symbiotic sources, and creation of niches available to nitrogen-fixing bacterial symbionts. Considering termite gut physiology and symbioses in the context of stress-response has applied implications. These outcomes can include development of efficient biomass breakdown strategies, protection of microbes during industrial processing applications, and safeguarding wooden structures from termite damage.

RevDate: 2021-01-13
CmpDate: 2021-01-13

Ferreira AG, Fairlie S, LA Moreira (2020)

Insect vectors endosymbionts as solutions against diseases.

Current opinion in insect science, 40:56-61.

Viral diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, known as arboviruses, pose a significant threat to human life and are a major burden on many health systems around the world. Currently, arbovirus control strategies rely on insecticides or vector source reduction and, in the absence of effective, accessible and affordable vaccines, mainly on symptomatic based, non-specific treatments. However, insecticides have the potential to interfere with non-target organisms, cause environmental toxicity and insecticide resistance reduces their effectiveness as a sustainable control method. Complementary and sustainable strategies are urgently needed. Wolbachia, an invertebrate endosymbiont, has been used as an alternative strategy for arboviral control, through suppression or modification of mosquito populations. Here we discuss the burden that arboviruses impose on human populations and how Wolbachia can be used as a sustainable strategy for control, in alignment with the United Nations- 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

RevDate: 2021-01-13
CmpDate: 2021-01-13

Belan HC, Barônio GJ, Kuster VC, et al (2020)

Extranuptial nectaries in flowers: ants increase the reproductive success of the ant-plant Miconia tococa (Melastomataceae).

Plant biology (Stuttgart, Germany), 22(5):917-923.

Although the production of extranuptial nectar is a common strategy of indirect defence against herbivores among tropical plants, the presence of extranuptial nectaries in reproductive structures is rare, especially in ant-plants. This is because the presence of ants in reproductive organs can generate conflicts between the partners, as ants can inhibit the activity of pollinators or even castrate their host plants. Here we evaluate the hypothesis that the ant-plant Miconia tococa produces nectar in its petals which attracts ants and affects fruit set. Floral buds were analysed using anatomical and histochemical techniques. The frequency and behaviour of floral visitors were recorded in field observations. Finally, an ant exclusion experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of ant presence on fruit production. The petals of M. tococa have a secretory epidermis that produces sugary compounds. Nectar production occurred during the floral bud stage and attracted 17 species of non-obligate ants (i.e. have a facultative association with ant-plants). Ants foraged only on floral buds, and thus did not affect the activity of pollinators in the neighbouring open flowers. The presence of ants in the inflorescences increased fruit production by 15%. To our knowledge, the production of extranuptial nectar in the reproductive structures of a myrmecophyte is very rare, with few records in the literature. Although studies show conflicts between the partners in the ant-plant interaction, ants that forage on M. tococa floral buds protect the plant against floral herbivores without affecting bee pollination.

RevDate: 2021-01-13
CmpDate: 2021-01-13

Zhang Y, Bi Y, Shen H, et al (2020)

Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Enhance Sea Buckthorn Growth in Coal Mining Subsidence Areas in Northwest China.

Journal of microbiology and biotechnology, 30(6):848-855.

Land subsidence induced by underground coal mining leads to severe ecological and environmental problems. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) have the potential to improve plant growth and soil properties. We aimed to assess the effects of AMF on the growth and soil properties of sea buckthorn under field conditions at different reclamation times. Inoculation with AMF significantly promoted the survival rate of sea buckthorn over a 50-month period, while also increasing plant height after 14, 26, and 50 months. Crown width after 14 months and ground diameter after 50 months of inoculation treatment were significantly higher than in the uninoculated treatment. AMF inoculation significantly improved plant mycorrhizal colonization rate and promoted an increase in mycelial density in the rhizosphere soil. The pH and electrical conductivity of rhizosphere soil also increased after inoculation. Moreover, after 26 and 50 months the soil organic matter in the inoculation treatment was significantly higher than in the control. The number of inoculated soil rhizosphere microorganisms, as well as acid phosphatase activity, also increased. AMF inoculation may play an active role in promoting plant growth and improving soil quality in the long term and is conducive to the rapid ecological restoration of damaged mining areas.

RevDate: 2021-01-12
CmpDate: 2021-01-12

Zheng JS, ML Wahlqvist (2020)

Regulobiosis: A regulatory and food system-sensitive role for fungal symbionts in human evolution and ecobiology.

Asia Pacific journal of clinical nutrition, 29(1):9-15.

The role of microbiomes in human biology and health are being extensively investigated, yet how the fungal community or mycobiome contributes to an integral microbiome is unclear and probably underestimated. We review the roles of fungi from the perspectives of their functionality in human biology, their cross-kingdom talk with other human microbial organisms, their dependence on diet and their involvement in human health and diseases. We hypothesize that members of the fungal community may interact as necessary symbionts with members of other human microbiome communities, and play a key role in human biology, yet to be fully understood. We propose further that "regulobiosis", whereby fungi play a regulatory role in human ecobiology, is operative in humans as probably obtains in other forms of life. Fungally-dependent regulobiosis would characterise, at first, microbiomes which include, but are not limited to, bacteria, archaea, and viruses; then, their human host; and, next, provide ecological connectedness.

RevDate: 2021-01-11

Torres-Franco AF, Zuluaga M, Hernández-Roldán D, et al (2020)

Assessment of the performance of an anoxic-aerobic microalgal-bacterial system treating digestate.

Chemosphere, 270:129437 pii:S0045-6535(20)33635-3 [Epub ahead of print].

The performance of an anoxic-aerobic microalgal-bacterial system treating synthetic food waste digestate at 10 days of hydraulic retention time via nitrification-denitrification under increasing digestate concentrations of 25%, 50%, and 100% (v/v) was assessed during Stages I, II and III, respectively. The system supported adequate treatment without external CO2 supplementation since sufficient inorganic carbon in the digestate was available for autotrophic growth. High steady-state Total Organic Carbon (TOC) and Total Nitrogen (TN) removal efficiencies of 85-96% and 73-84% were achieved in Stages I and II. Similarly, PO43--P removals of 81 ± 15% and 58 ± 4% were recorded during these stages. During Stage III, the average influent concentrations of 815 ± 35 mg TOC·L-1, 610 ± 23 mg TN·L-1, and 46 ± 11 mg PO43--P·L-1 induced O2 limiting conditions, resulting in TOC, TN and PO43--P removals of 85 ± 3%, 73 ± 3%, and 28 ± 16%, respectively. Digestate concentrations of 25% and 50% favored nitrification-denitrification mechanisms, whereas the treatment of undiluted digestate resulted in higher ammonia volatilization and hampered nitrification-denitrification. In Stages I and II, the microalgal community was dominated by Chlorella vulgaris and Cryptomonas sp., whereas Pseudoanabaena sp. was more abundant during Stage III. Illumina sequencing revealed the presence of carbon and nitrogen transforming bacteria, with dominances of the genera Gemmata, Azospirillum, and Psychrobacter during Stage I, II, and III, respectively. Finally, the high settleability of the biomass (98% of suspended solids removal in the settler) and average C (42%), N (7%), P (0.2%), and S (0.4%) contents recovered in the biomass confirmed its potential for agricultural applications, contributing to a closed-cycle management of food waste.

RevDate: 2021-01-11

Corbin C, Jones JE, Chrostek E, et al (2021)

Thermal sensitivity of the Spiroplasma-Drosophila hydei protective symbiosis: The best of climes, the worst of climes.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The outcome of natural enemy attack in insects is commonly influenced by the presence of protective symbionts in the host. The degree to which protection functions in natural populations, however, will depend on the robustness of the phenotype and symbiosis to variation in the abiotic environment. We studied the impact of a key environmental parameter - temperature - on the efficacy of the protective effect of the symbiont Spiroplasma on its host Drosophila hydei, against attack by the parasitoid wasp Leptopilina heterotoma. In addition, we investigated the thermal sensitivity of the symbiont's vertical transmission, which may be a key determinant of the ability of the symbiont to persist. We found that vertical transmission was more robust than previously considered, with Spiroplasma being maintained at 25°C, 18°C and with 18/15°C diurnal cycles, with rates of segregational loss only increasing at 15°C. Protection against wasp attack was ablated before symbiont transmission was lost, with the symbiont failing to rescue the fly host at 18°C. We conclude that the presence of a protective symbiosis in natural populations cannot be simply inferred from presence of a symbiont whose protective capacity has been tested under narrow controlled conditions. More broadly, we argue that the thermal environment is likely to represent an important determinant of the evolutionary ecology of defensive symbioses in natural environments, potentially driving seasonal, latitudinal and altitudinal variation in symbiont frequency.

RevDate: 2021-01-11

Goldstein SL, JL Klassen (2020)

Pseudonocardia Symbionts of Fungus-Growing Ants and the Evolution of Defensive Secondary Metabolism.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:621041.

Actinobacteria belonging to the genus Pseudonocardia have evolved a close relationship with multiple species of fungus-growing ants, where these bacteria produce diverse secondary metabolites that protect the ants and their fungal mutualists from disease. Recent research has charted the phylogenetic diversity of this symbiosis, revealing multiple instances where the ants and Pseudonocardia have formed stable relationships in which these bacteria are housed on specific regions of the ant's cuticle. Parallel chemical and genomic analyses have also revealed that symbiotic Pseudonocardia produce diverse secondary metabolites with antifungal and antibacterial bioactivities, and highlighted the importance of plasmid recombination and horizontal gene transfer for maintaining these symbiotic traits. Here, we propose a multi-level model for the evolution of Pseudonocardia and their secondary metabolites that includes symbiont transmission within and between ant colonies, and the potentially independent movement and diversification of their secondary metabolite biosynthetic genes. Because of their well-studied ecology and experimental tractability, Pseudonocardia symbionts of fungus-growing ants are an especially useful model system to understand the evolution of secondary metabolites, and also comprise a significant source of novel antibiotic and antifungal agents.

RevDate: 2021-01-11

Miyabayashi H, Jain R, Suzuki S, et al (2020)

PolB1 Is Sufficient for DNA Replication and Repair Under Normal Growth Conditions in the Extremely Thermophilic Crenarchaeon Sulfolobus acidocaldarius.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:613375.

The thermophilic crenarchaeon Sulfolobus acidocaldarius has four DNA polymerases (DNAPs): PolB1, PolB2, PolB3, and Dbh (PolY). Previous in vitro studies suggested that PolB1 is the main replicative DNAP of Sulfolobales whereas PolB2 and Y-family polymerases Dpo4 (Saccharolobus solfataricus) or Dbh are involved in DNA repair and translesion DNA synthesis. On the other hand, there are various opinions about the role of PolB3, which remains to be clearly resolved. In order to examine the roles of the DNAPs of S. acidocaldarius through in vivo experiments, we constructed polB2, polB3, and dbh deletion strains and characterized their phenotypes. Efforts to construct a polB1 deletion strain were not successful; in contrast, it was possible to isolate triple gene-deletion strains lacking polB2, polB3, and dbh. The growth of these strains was nearly the same as that of the parent strains under normal growth conditions. The polB2, polB3, and dbh single-deletion strains were sensitive to some types of DNA-damaging treatments, but exhibited normal sensitivity to UV irradiation and several other damaging treatments. Overall, the genotype which exhibited the greatest sensitivity to the DNA-damaging treatments we tested was the ΔpolB2 ΔpolB3 combination, providing the first evidence of overlapping function for these two DNAPs in vivo. The results of our study strongly suggest that PolB1 is responsible for the DNA replication of both the leading and lagging strands and is sufficient to complete the repair of most DNA damage under normal growth conditions in S. acidocaldarius.

RevDate: 2021-01-11

Thongprem P, Evison SEF, Hurst GDD, et al (2020)

Transmission, Tropism, and Biological Impacts of Torix Rickettsia in the Common Bed Bug Cimex lectularius (Hemiptera: Cimicidae).

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:608763.

The torix group of Rickettsia have been recorded from a wide assemblage of invertebrates, but details of transmission and biological impacts on the host have rarely been established. The common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) is a hemipteran insect which lives as an obligatory hematophagous pest of humans and is host to a primary Wolbachia symbiont and two facultative symbionts, a BEV-like symbiont, and a torix group Rickettsia. In this study, we first note the presence of a single Rickettsia strain in multiple laboratory bed bug isolates derived from Europe and Africa. Importantly, we discovered that the Rickettsia has segregated in two laboratory strains, providing infected and uninfected isogenic lines for study. Crosses with these lines established transmission was purely maternal. Fluorescence in-situ hybridization analysis indicates Rickettsia infection in oocytes, bacteriomes, and other somatic tissues. We found no evidence that Rickettsia infection was associated with sex ratio distortion activity, but Rickettsia infected individuals developed from first instar to adult more slowly. The impact of Rickettsia on fecundity and fertility resulted in infected females producing fewer fertile eggs. However, we could not find any evidence for cytoplasmic incompatibility associated with Rickettsia presence. These data imply the existence of an unknown benefit to C. lectularius carrying Rickettsia that awaits further research.

RevDate: 2021-01-11

Doremus MR, Stouthamer CM, Kelly SE, et al (2020)

Cardinium Localization During Its Parasitoid Wasp Host's Development Provides Insights Into Cytoplasmic Incompatibility.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:606399.

Arthropods harbor heritable intracellular symbionts that may manipulate host reproduction to favor symbiont transmission. In cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), the symbiont sabotages the reproduction of infected males such that high levels of offspring mortality result when they mate with uninfected females. In crosses with infected males and infected females, however (the "rescue" cross), normal numbers of offspring are produced. A common CI-inducing symbiont, Cardinium hertigii, causes variable levels of CI mortality in the parasitoid wasp, Encarsia suzannae. Previous work correlated CI-induced mortality with male development time in this system, although the timing of Cardinium CI-induction and the relationship between development time and CI mortality was not well understood. Here, using a combination of crosses, manipulation of development time, and fluorescence microscopy, we identify the localization and the timing of the CI-induction step in the Cardinium-E. suzannae system. Antibiotic treatment of adult Cardinium-infected males did not reduce the mortality associated with the CI phenotype, suggesting that CI-alteration occurs prior to adulthood. Our results suggest that the alteration step occurs during the pupal period, and is limited by the duration of pupal development: 1) Encarsia produces most sperm prior to adulthood, 2) FISH localization of Cardinium in testes showed an association with sperm nuclei throughout spermatogenesis but not with mature sperm, and 3) two methods of prolonging the pupal period (cool temperatures and the juvenile hormone analog methoprene) both caused greater CI mortality, suggesting the degree of alteration is limited by the duration of the pupal stage. Based on these results, we compare two models for potential mechanisms of Cardinium sperm modification in the context of what is known about analogous mechanisms of Wolbachia, a more extensively studied CI-inducing symbiont.

RevDate: 2021-01-11

Sayara T, Khayat S, Saleh J, et al (2021)

Evaluation of the effect of reaction time on nutrients removal from secondary effluent of wastewater: Field demonstrations using algal-bacterial photobioreactors.

Saudi journal of biological sciences, 28(1):504-511.

Real field demonstrations to assess the removal efficiency of nutrients and organic matter from domestic wastewater were carried out using algal-bacterial photobioreactors. The reactors which consisted of three basins of 200 L were fed with secondary effluent of domestic wastewater and operated under natural day light/dark cycles. The results demonstrated that reaction time (RT) has a substantial role on the whole process performance. Whereas inoculation with nitrifiers affected the process only in some aspects. The enhancement in the dissolved oxygen production rate (1.15 mg O2. L-1.h-1) was in alignment with growing higher algal biomass concentrations due to the increase in RT. COD removal rates were significantly increased (p < 0.05) with increasing the RT, and removal rates of 27%, 46% and 50% were obtained under RTs of 2, 3 and 4hrs. respectively. Meanwhile, 30%, 84% and 95% of the phosphorus was removed under the same studied RTs. No significant effect was recorded due to the addition of nitrifying bacteria on the removal of both COD and phosphorus. Ammonium (NH4+-N) removal rates were also increased with increasing RT and by the addition of nitrifiers, such that removal rates of 13%, 21% and 31% were obtained in basins inoculated with nitrifiers, but 11%, 14% and 19.5% were obtained in non-inoculated basins under RT of 2, 3, and 4 hrs. respectively. These results provide some new insights into algal-bacterial symbiosis systems under real field conditions which could be helpful for further process development.

RevDate: 2021-01-11
CmpDate: 2021-01-11

McLean AHC, BJ Parker (2020)

Variation in intrinsic resistance of pea aphids to parasitoid wasps: A transcriptomic basis.

PloS one, 15(11):e0242159.

Evolutionary interactions between parasitoid wasps and insect hosts have been well studied at the organismal level, but little is known about the molecular mechanisms that insects use to resist wasp parasitism. Here we study the interaction between a braconid wasp (Aphidius ervi) and its pea aphid host (Acyrthosiphon pisum). We first identify variation in resistance to wasp parasitism that can be attributed to aphid genotype. We then use transcriptome sequencing to identify genes in the aphid genome that are differentially expressed at an early stage of parasitism, and we compare these patterns in highly resistant and susceptible aphid host lines. We find that resistant genotypes are upregulating genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism and several key innate immune system genes in response to parasitism, but that this response seems to be weaker in susceptible aphid genotypes. Together, our results provide a first look into the complex molecular mechanisms that underlie aphid resistance to wasp parasitism and contribute to a broader understanding of how resistance mechanisms evolve in natural populations.

RevDate: 2021-01-11
CmpDate: 2021-01-11

Forsman ZH, Ritson-Williams R, Tisthammer KH, et al (2020)

Host-symbiont coevolution, cryptic structure, and bleaching susceptibility, in a coral species complex (Scleractinia; Poritidae).

Scientific reports, 10(1):16995.

The 'species' is a key concept for conservation and evolutionary biology, yet the lines between population and species-level variation are often blurred, especially for corals. The 'Porites lobata species complex' consists of branching and mounding corals that form reefs across the Pacific. We used reduced representation meta-genomic sequencing to examine genetic relationships within this species complex and to identify candidate loci associated with colony morphology, cryptic genetic structure, and apparent bleaching susceptibility. We compared existing Porites data with bleached and unbleached colonies of the branching coral P. compressa collected in Kāne'ohe Bay Hawai'i during the 2015 coral bleaching event. Loci that mapped to coral, symbiont, and microbial references revealed genetic structure consistent with recent host-symbiont co-evolution. Cryptic genetic clades were resolved that previous work has associated with distance from shore, but no genetic structure was associated with bleaching. We identified many candidate loci associated with morphospecies, including candidate host and symbiont loci with fixed differences between branching and mounding corals. We also found many loci associated with cryptic genetic structure, yet relatively few loci associated with bleaching. Recent host-symbiont co-evolution and rapid diversification suggests that variation and therefore the capacity of these corals to adapt may be underappreciated.

RevDate: 2021-01-11
CmpDate: 2021-01-11

Wu SE, Hashimoto-Hill S, Woo V, et al (2020)

Microbiota-derived metabolite promotes HDAC3 activity in the gut.

Nature, 586(7827):108-112.

The coevolution of mammalian hosts and their beneficial commensal microbes has led to development of symbiotic host-microbiota relationships1. Epigenetic machinery permits mammalian cells to integrate environmental signals2; however, how these pathways are fine-tuned by diverse cues from commensal bacteria is not well understood. Here we reveal a highly selective pathway through which microbiota-derived inositol phosphate regulates histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) activity in the intestine. Despite the abundant presence of HDAC inhibitors such as butyrate in the intestine, we found that HDAC3 activity was sharply increased in intestinal epithelial cells of microbiota-replete mice compared with germ-free mice. This divergence was reconciled by the finding that commensal bacteria, including Escherichia coli, stimulated HDAC activity through metabolism of phytate and production of inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate (InsP3). Both intestinal exposure to InsP3 and phytate ingestion promoted recovery following intestinal damage. Of note, InsP3 also induced growth of intestinal organoids derived from human tissue, stimulated HDAC3-dependent proliferation and countered butyrate inhibition of colonic growth. Collectively, these results show that InsP3 is a microbiota-derived metabolite that activates a mammalian histone deacetylase to promote epithelial repair. Thus, HDAC3 represents a convergent epigenetic sensor of distinct metabolites that calibrates host responses to diverse microbial signals.

RevDate: 2021-01-11
CmpDate: 2021-01-11

Wu WL, Hsiao YY, Lu HC, et al (2020)

Expression regulation of MALATE SYNTHASE involved in glyoxylate cycle during protocorm development in Phalaenopsis aphrodite (Orchidaceae).

Scientific reports, 10(1):10123.

Orchid (Orchidaceae) is one of the largest families in angiosperms and presents exceptional diversity in lifestyle. Their unique reproductive characteristics of orchid are attracted by scientist for centuries. One of the synapomorphies of orchid plants is that their seeds do not contain endosperm. Lipids are used as major energy storage in orchid seeds. However, regulation and mobilization of lipid usage during early seedling (protocorm) stage of orchid is not understood. In this study, we compared transcriptomes from developing Phalaenopsis aphrodite protocorms grown on 1/2-strength MS medium with sucrose. The expression of P. aphrodite MALATE SYNTHASE (PaMLS), involved in the glyoxylate cycle, was significantly decreased from 4 days after incubation (DAI) to 7 DAI. On real-time RT-PCR, both P. aphrodite ISOCITRATE LYASE (PaICL) and PaMLS were down-regulated during protocorm development and suppressed by sucrose treatment. In addition, several genes encoding transcription factors regulating PaMLS expression were identified. A gene encoding homeobox transcription factor (named PaHB5) was involved in positive regulation of PaMLS. This study showed that sucrose regulates the glyoxylate cycle during orchid protocorm development in asymbiotic germination and provides new insights into the transcription factors involved in the regulation of malate synthase expression.

RevDate: 2021-01-11
CmpDate: 2021-01-11

Rana KL, Kour D, Kaur T, et al (2020)

Endophytic microbes: biodiversity, plant growth-promoting mechanisms and potential applications for agricultural sustainability.

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, 113(8):1075-1107.

Endophytic microbes are known to live asymptomatically inside their host throughout different stages of their life cycle and play crucial roles in the growth, development, fitness, and diversification of plants. The plant-endophyte association ranges from mutualism to pathogenicity. These microbes help the host to combat a diverse array of biotic and abiotic stressful conditions. Endophytic microbes play a major role in the growth promotion of their host by solubilizing of macronutrients such as phosphorous, potassium, and zinc; fixing of atmospheric nitrogen, synthesizing of phytohormones, siderophores, hydrogen cyanide, ammonia, and act as a biocontrol agent against wide array of phytopathogens. Endophytic microbes are beneficial to plants by directly promoting their growth or indirectly by inhibiting the growth of phytopathogens. Over a long period of co-evolution, endophytic microbes have attained the mechanism of synthesis of various hydrolytic enzymes such as pectinase, xylanases, cellulase, and proteinase which help in the penetration of endophytic microbes into tissues of plants. The effective usage of endophytic microbes in the form of bioinoculants reduce the usage of chemical fertilizers. Endophytic microbes belong to different phyla such as Actinobacteria, Acidobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Deinococcus-thermus, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, and Verrucomicrobia. The most predominant and studied endophytic bacteria belonged to Proteobacteria followed by Firmicutes and then by Actinobacteria. The most dominant among reported genera in most of the leguminous and non-leguminous plants are Bacillus, Pseudomonas, Fusarium, Burkholderia, Rhizobium, and Klebsiella. In future, endophytic microbes have a wide range of potential for maintaining health of plant as well as environmental conditions for agricultural sustainability. The present review is focused on endophytic microbes, their diversity in leguminous as well as non-leguminous crops, biotechnological applications, and ability to promote the growth of plant for agro-environmental sustainability.

RevDate: 2021-01-11
CmpDate: 2021-01-11

Sijbers AM, Schoemaker RJW, Nauta A, et al (2020)

Revealing new leads for the impact of galacto-oligosaccharides on gut commensals and gut health benefits through text mining.

Beneficial microbes, 11(3):283-302.

Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) are linked to various health benefits, such as the relief of symptoms of constipation. Part of the beneficial effects of GOS are thought to be the consequence of their bifidogenic effect, stimulating the growth of several Bifidobacterium species in vivo. However, GOS may exert additional effects by directly stimulating other bacterial species or by effects that bifidobacteria may have on other commensals in the gut. To get a better insight into the potential health effects induced by GOS, a good understanding of the gut ecosystem, the role of GOS and bifidobacteria is important. An increasing number of 16S DNA profiling and metagenomics studies have led to an expanding inventory of genera, species and strains that can be found in the human gut. To investigate the potential connection of these commensals with GOS and bifidobacteria, we have undertaken a text-mining study to chart the literature landscape around these commensals. To this end, we created controlled vocabularies describing GOS, a large set of gut commensals and a number of terms related to gut health, which were used to mine the entire MEDLINE database. Co-occurrence text-mining revealed that a large number of commensals found in the gut have a connection with Bifidobacterium species and with gut health effects. Word frequency analysis provided more insight into the functional nature of these relationships. Combined co-occurrence search results pointed to putative novel health benefits indirectly linked to bifidobacteria and GOS. The potential beneficial effects of GOS on the protection of epithelial function and epithelial barrier impairment and appendicitis are interesting novel leads. The text-mining approach reported here revealed a number of novel leads through which GOS could exert health effects and that could be investigated in dedicated studies.

RevDate: 2021-01-11
CmpDate: 2021-01-11

Santos JD, Vitorino I, de la Cruz M, et al (2020)

Diketopiperazines and other bioactive compounds from bacterial symbionts of marine sponges.

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, 113(7):875-887.

Humanity faces great challenges, such as the rise of bacterial antibiotic resistance and cancer incidence. Thus, the discovery of novel therapeutics from underexplored environments, such as marine habitats, is fundamental. In this study, twelve strains from the phylum Firmicutes and thirty-four strains from the phylum Proteobacteria, isolated from marine sponges of the Erylus genus, collected in Portuguese waters, were tested for bioactivities and the secondary metabolites were characterised. Bioactivity screenings comprised antimicrobial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic and anti-cancer assays. Selected bioactive extracts were further analysed for already described molecules through high performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. Several bioactivities were observed against the fungus Aspergillusfumigatus, the bacteria (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli), the human liver cancer cell line HepG2 and the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. Medium scale-up volume extracts confirmed anti-fungal activity by strains Proteus mirabilis #118_13 and Proteus sp. (JX006497) strain #118_20. Anti-parasitic activity was also confirmed in Enterococcus faecalis strain #118_3. Moreover, P. mirabilis #118_13 showed bioactivity in human melanoma cell line A2058 and the human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line HepG2. The dereplication of bioactive extracts showed the existence of a variety of secondary metabolites, with some unidentifiable molecules. This work shows that bacterial communities of sponges are indeed good candidates for drug discovery and, as far as we know, we describe anti-parasitic activity of a strain of E. faecalis and the presence of diketopiperazines in Proteus genus for the first time.

RevDate: 2021-01-10

Gong Z, GZ Han (2021)

Flourishing in Water: The Early Evolution and Diversification of Plant Receptor-like Kinases.

The Plant journal : for cell and molecular biology [Epub ahead of print].

Receptor-like kinases (RLKs) play significant roles in mediating innate immunity and development of plants. The evolution of plant RLKs has been characterized by extensive variation in copy numbers and domain configurations. However, much remains unknown about the origin, evolution, and early diversification of plant RLKs. Here, we perform phylogenomic analyses of RLKs across plants (Archaeplastida), including embryophytes, charophytes, chlorophytes, prasinodermaphytes, glaucophytes, and rhodophytes. We identify the presence of RLKs in all the streptophytes (land plants and charophytes), nine out of 18 chlorophytes, one prasinodermaphyte, and one glaucophyte, but not in rhodophytes. Interestingly, the copy number of RLKs increased drastically in streptophytes after the split of the clade of Mesostigmatophyceae and Chlorokybophyceae and other streptophytes. Moreover, phylogenetic analyses suggest RLKs from charophytes form diverse distinct clusters, and are dispersed along the diversity of land plant RLKs, indicating that RLKs have extensively diversified in charophytes and charophyte RLKs seeded the major diversity of land plant RLKs. We identify at least 81 and 76 different kinase-associated domains for charophyte and land plant RLKs, 23 of which are shared, suggesting that RLKs might have evolved in a modular fashion through frequent domain gains or losses. We also detect signatures of positive selection for many charophyte RLK groups, indicating potential functions in host-microbe interaction. Taken together, our findings provide significant insights in the early evolution and diversification of plant RLKs and the ancient evolution of plant-microbe symbiosis.

RevDate: 2021-01-09

Azargoshasb S, Houwing KHM, Roos PR, et al (2021)

Optical navigation of a DROP-IN gamma probe as a means to strengthen the connection between robot-assisted and radioguided surgery.

Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine pii:jnumed.120.259796 [Epub ahead of print].

Rationale: With translation of the DROP-IN gamma probe, radioguidance has advanced into laparoscopic robot-assisted surgery. 'GPS-like' navigation further enhances the symbiosis between nuclear medicine and surgery. Therefore, we developed a fluorescence-video-based tracking method that integrates the DROP-IN with navigated-robotic surgery. Methods: Fluorescent markers, integrated into the DROP-IN, were automatically detected using a daVinci Firefly laparoscope. Subsequently, a declipseSPECT-navigation platform calculated the DROP-IN's location within the surgical field. Using a phantom (n = 3), we pursued robotic-navigation on single-photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT), while intraoperative feasibility was validated during porcine surgery (n = 4). Results: Video-based tracking allowed for navigation of the DROP-IN towards all lesions detected on SPECT/CT (external-iliac and common-iliac artery regions). Augmented-reality visualization in the surgical console, indicated the distance to these lesions in real-time, confirmed by the DROP-IN read-out. Porcine surgery underlined the feasibility of the concept. Conclusion: Optical navigation of a DROP-IN probe provides a next step towards connecting nuclear-medicine with robotic surgery.

RevDate: 2021-01-09

Shore A, Day RD, Stewart JA, et al (2021)

Dichotomy between regulation of coral bacterial communities and calcification physiology under ocean acidification conditions.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.02189-20 [Epub ahead of print].

Ocean acidification (OA) threatens the growth and function of coral reef ecosystems. A key component to coral health is the microbiome, but little is known about the impact of OA on coral microbiomes. A submarine CO2 vent at Maug Island in the Northern Marianas Islands provides a natural pH gradient to investigate coral responses to long-term OA conditions. Three coral species (Pocillopora eydouxi, Porites lobata, and Porites rus) were sampled from three sites where mean seawater pH is 8.04, 7.98, and 7.94. We characterized coral bacterial communities (using 16S rRNA gene sequencing) and determined pH of the extracellular calcifying fluid (ECF) (using skeletal boron isotopes) across the seawater pH gradient. Bacterial communities of both Porites species stabilized (decreases in community dispersion) with decreased seawater pH, coupled with large increases in the abundance of Endozoicomonas, an endosymbiont. P. lobata experienced a significant decrease in ECF pH near the vent, whereas P. rus experienced a trending decrease in ECF pH near the vent. By contrast, Pocillopora exhibited bacterial community destabilization (increases in community dispersion), with significant decreases in Endozoicomonas abundance, while its ECF pH remained unchanged across the pH gradient. Our study shows that OA has multiple consequences on Endozoicomonas abundance and suggests that Endozoicomonas abundance may be an indicator of coral response to OA. We reveal an interesting dichotomy between two facets of coral physiology (regulation of bacterial communities and regulation of calcification), highlighting the importance of multidisciplinary approaches to understanding coral health and function in a changing ocean.IMPORTANCEOcean acidification (OA) is a consequence of anthropogenic CO2 emissions that is negatively impacting marine ecosystems such as coral reefs. OA affects many aspects of coral physiology, including growth (i.e. calcification) and disrupting associated bacterial communities. Coral-associated bacteria are important for host health, but it remains unclear how coral-associated bacterial communities will respond to future OA conditions. We document changes in coral-associated bacterial communities and changes to calcification physiology with long-term exposure to decreases in seawater pH that are environmentally relevant under mid-range IPCC emission scenarios (0.1 pH units). We also find species-specific responses that may reflect different responses to long-term OA. In Pocillopora, calcification physiology was highly regulated despite changing seawater conditions. In Porites spp., changes in bacterial communities do not reflect a breakdown of coral-bacterial symbiosis. Insights into calcification and host-microbe interactions are critical to predicting the health and function of different coral taxa to future OA conditions.

RevDate: 2021-01-09

Dolgikh AV, Rudaya ES, EA Dolgikh (2020)

Identification of BELL Transcription Factors Involved in Nodule Initiation and Development in the Legumes Pisum sativum and Medicago truncatula.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(12): pii:plants9121808.

Single three-amino acid loop extension (TALE) homeodomain proteins, including the KNOTTED-like (KNOX) and BEL-like (BELL) families in plants, usually work as heterodimeric transcription factor complexes to regulate different developmental processes, often via effects on phytohormonal pathways. Nitrogen-fixing nodule formation in legumes is regulated by different families of homeodomain transcription factors. Whereas the role of KNOX transcription factors in the control of symbiosis was studied early, BELL transcription factors have received less attention. Here, we report the identification and expression analysis of BELL genes in the legume plants Medicago truncatula and Pisum sativum, which are involved in regulating symbiosis initiation and development. A more precise analysis was performed for the most significantly upregulated PsBELL1-2 gene in pea. We found that the PsBELL1-2 transcription factor could be a potential partner of PsKNOX9. In addition, we showed that PsBELL1-2 can interact with the PsDELLA1 (LA) protein-regulator of the gibberellin pathway, which has a previously demonstrated important role in symbiosis development.

RevDate: 2021-01-09

Inácio da Silva LM, Dezordi FZ, Paiva MHS, et al (2021)

Systematic Review of Wolbachia Symbiont Detection in Mosquitoes: An Entangled Topic about Methodological Power and True Symbiosis.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 10(1): pii:pathogens10010039.

Wolbachia is an endosymbiotic bacterium that naturally infects several arthropods and nematode species. Wolbachia gained particular attention due to its impact on their host fitness and the capacity of specific Wolbachia strains in reducing pathogen vector and agricultural pest populations and pathogens transmission. Despite the success of mosquito/pathogen control programs using Wolbachia-infected mosquito release, little is known about the abundance and distribution of Wolbachia in most mosquito species, a crucial knowledge for planning and deployment of mosquito control programs and that can further improve our basic biology understanding of Wolbachia and host relationships. In this systematic review, Wolbachia was detected in only 30% of the mosquito species investigated. Fourteen percent of the species were considered positive by some studies and negative by others in different geographical regions, suggesting a variable infection rate and/or limitations of the Wolbachia detection methods employed. Eighty-three percent of the studies screened Wolbachia with only one technique. Our findings highlight that the assessment of Wolbachia using a single approach limited the inference of true Wolbachia infection in most of the studied species and that researchers should carefully choose complementary methodologies and consider different Wolbachia-mosquito population dynamics that may be a source of bias to ascertain the correct infectious status of the host species.

RevDate: 2021-01-08

Diao F, Dang Z, Xu J, et al (2021)

Effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis on ion homeostasis and salt tolerance-related gene expression in halophyte Suaeda salsa under salt treatments.

Microbiological research, 245:126688 pii:S0944-5013(20)30556-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Halophytes can remove large quantities of salts from saline soils, so their importance in ecology has received increasing attention. Preliminary studies have shown that arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi can improve the salt tolerance of halophytes. However, few studies have focused on the molecular mechanisms and effects of AM fungi in halophytes under different salt conditions. A pot experiment was carried out to investigate the effects of Funneliformis mosseae inoculation on growth, nutrient uptake, ion homeostasis and the expression of salt tolerance-related genes in Suaeda salsa under 0, 100, 200 and 400 mM NaCl. The results showed that F. mosseae promoted the growth of S. salsa and increased the shoot Ca2+ and Mg2+ concentrations under no-salt condition and high-salt condition. In addition, AM fungi increased the K+ concentration and maintained a high K+/Na+ ratio at 400 mM NaCl, while AM fungi decreased the K+ concentration and reduced the K+/Na+ ratio at 0 mM NaCl. AM fungi downregulated the expression of SsNHX1 in shoots and the expression of SsSOS1 in roots at 400 mM NaCl. These effects may decrease the compartmentation of Na+ into leaf vacuoles and restrict Na+ transport from roots to shoots, leading to an increase in root Na+ concentration. AM symbiosis upregulated the expression of SsSOS1 in shoots and downregulated the expression of SsSOS1 and SsNHX1 in roots at 100 mM NaCl. However, regulation of the genes (SsNHX1, SsSOS, SsVHA-B and SsPIP) was not significantly different with AM symbiosis at 0 mM or 200 mM NaCl. The results revealed that AM symbiosis might induce diverse modulation strategies in S. salsa, depending on external Na+ concentrations. These findings suggest that AM fungi may play significant ecological roles in the phytoremediation of salinized ecosystems.

RevDate: 2021-01-08

Song T, Sun N, Dong L, et al (2021)

Enhanced alkali tolerance of rhizobia-inoculated alfalfa correlates with altered proteins and metabolic processes as well as decreased oxidative damage.

Plant physiology and biochemistry : PPB, 159:301-311 pii:S0981-9428(20)30644-6 [Epub ahead of print].

AIMS: Alkaline salt is one of the most devastating environmental factors limiting alfalfa productivity, however, the mechanisms underlying adaptation of alfalfa to alkaline remain unclear. Our aim is to investigate proteomic and metabolomic differences in growth and root of alfalfa under alkaline salt in Rhizobium-alfalfa symbiotic relationships.

METHODS: Rhizobium-inoculated and non-inoculated alfalfa plants were treated with 200 mmol/L NaHCO3 to investigate physiological, metabolic, and proteomic responses of root-nodule symbiosis under alkaline-induced stress, using an integrated approach combining metabolome and proteome analysis with measurements of physiological parameters.

RESULTS: The improved tolerance to alkalinity was observed in RI-plants compared with NI-plants. RI-plants accumulated more proline and MDH, and had higher antioxidant activity and relatively high RWC but low MDA content and low Na+/K+ ratio. The stress-related genes (P5CS, GST13, H+-Ppase, NADP-Me, SDH, and CS) were actively upregulated in RI plants under alkaline stress. In RI-plants, damage caused by alkaline stress was mainly alleviated by decreasing oxidative damage, enhancing the organic acid and amino acid metabolic processes, and scavenging harmful ROS by activating the phenylpropanoid biosynthetic pathway.

CONCLUSIONS: We revealed distinct proteins and metabolites related to alkali tolerance in RI-plants compared to NI-plants. Alkali tolerance of rhizobia-inoculated alfalfa was enhanced by altered proteins and metabolic processes as well as decreased oxidative damage.

RevDate: 2021-01-08

Liu Y, Liu Y, Jiao D, et al (2021)

Synthesis and release of fatty acids under the interaction of Ulva pertusa and Heterosigma akashiwo by stable isotope analysis.

Ecotoxicology and environmental safety, 210:111852 pii:S0147-6513(20)31688-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Symbiosis of marine algae is inevitable in the marine environment, and species may occur interaction on the growth. In this study, the macroalgae Ulva pertusa and marine microalgae Heterosigma akashiwo were selected as target species to study the interaction mechanism between them. After the 8 days of co-cultivation, the inhibition on growth was observed for both of U. pertusa and H. akashiwo. Eight fatty acids in U. pertusa was detected, with the significant decrease in contents of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) especially for C18:2, C18:3n-3 and C18:3n-6. Twelve fatty acids in H. akashiwo was detected, with the significant change for PUFAs. PUFA concentrations in the co-culture group were less than those in the mono-culture. Meanwhile the principal component analysis was conducted to insight into the interaction between U. pertusa and H. akashiwo by fatty acids content and carbon stable isotope ratio of fatty acids (δ13CFAs). Fatty acid content could not distinguish mono and co-culture. However, δ13CFAs could distinguish not only the culture time of algae, but also the living environment of algae. In addition, this study combined fatty acids content and δ13CFAs to explore the release of fatty acids by algae into the seawater. The C18:3n-3 was identified as the allelochemical released by U. pertusa to inhibit the growth of H. akashiwo. The ratio of δ13CFAs in seawater decreased. This study provides a theoretical basis for the symbiosis of marine algae, and a new method of compound-specific stable carbon isotopes was used to better explore the metabolism of fatty acids in algae.

RevDate: 2021-01-08

Scharf ME, BF Peterson (2021)

A Century of Synergy in Termite Symbiosis Research: Linking the Past with New Genomic Insights.

Annual review of entomology, 66:23-43.

Termites have long been studied for their symbiotic associations with gut microbes. In the late nineteenth century, this relationship was poorly understood and captured the interest of parasitologists such as Joseph Leidy; this research led to that of twentieth-century biologists and entomologists including Cleveland, Hungate, Trager, and Lüscher. Early insights came via microscopy, organismal, and defaunation studies, which led to descriptions of microbes present, descriptions of the roles of symbionts in lignocellulose digestion, and early insights into energy gas utilization by the host termite. Focus then progressed to culture-dependent microbiology and biochemical studies of host-symbiont complementarity, which revealed specific microhabitat requirements for symbionts and noncellulosic mechanisms of symbiosis (e.g., N2 fixation). Today, knowledge on termite symbiosis has accrued exponentially thanks to omic technologies that reveal symbiont identities, functions, and interdependence, as well as intricacies of host-symbiont complementarity. Moving forward, the merging of classical twentieth-century approaches with evolving omic tools should provide even deeper insights into host-symbiont interplay.

RevDate: 2021-01-08

Ogura-Tsujita Y, Yukawa T, A Kinoshita (2021)

Evolutionary histories and mycorrhizal associations of mycoheterotrophic plants dependent on saprotrophic fungi.

Journal of plant research [Epub ahead of print].

Mycoheterotrophic plants (MHPs) are leafless, achlorophyllous, and completely dependent on mycorrhizal fungi for their carbon supply. Mycorrhizal symbiosis is a mutualistic association with fungi that is undertaken by the majority of land plants, but mycoheterotrophy represents a breakdown of this mutualism in that plants parasitize fungi. Most MHPs are associated with fungi that are mycorrhizal with autotrophic plants, such as arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) or ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi. Although these MHPs gain carbon via the common mycorrhizal network that links the surrounding autotrophic plants, some mycoheterotrophic lineages are associated with saprotrophic (SAP) fungi, which are free-living and decompose leaf litter and wood materials. Such MHPs are dependent on the forest carbon cycle, which involves the decomposition of wood debris and leaf litter, and have a unique biology and evolutionary history. MHPs associated with SAP fungi (SAP-MHPs) have to date been found only in the Orchidaceae and likely evolved independently at least nine times within that family. Phylogenetically divergent SAP Basidiomycota, mostly Agaricales but also Hymenochaetales, Polyporales, and others, are involved in mycoheterotrophy. The fungal specificity of SAP-MHPs varies from a highly specific association with a single fungal species to a broad range of interactions with multiple fungal orders. Establishment of symbiotic culture systems is indispensable for understanding the mechanisms underlying plant-fungus interactions and the conservation of MHPs. Symbiotic culture systems have been established for many SAP-MHP species as a pure culture of free-living SAP fungi is easier than that of biotrophic AM or ECM fungi. Culturable SAP-MHPs are useful research materials and will contribute to the advancement of plant science.

RevDate: 2021-01-08

Li H, Young SE, Poulsen M, et al (2021)

Symbiont-Mediated Digestion of Plant Biomass in Fungus-Farming Insects.

Annual review of entomology, 66:297-316.

Feeding on living or dead plant material is widespread in insects. Seminal work on termites and aphids has provided profound insights into the critical nutritional role that microbes play in plant-feeding insects. Some ants, beetles, and termites, among others, have evolved the ability to use microbes to gain indirect access to plant substrate through the farming of a fungus on which they feed. Recent genomic studies, including studies of insect hosts and fungal and bacterial symbionts, as well as metagenomics and proteomics, have provided important insights into plant biomass digestion across insect-fungal mutualisms. Not only do advances in understanding of the divergent and complementary functions of complex symbionts reveal the mechanism of how these herbivorous insects catabolize plant biomass, but these symbionts also represent a promising reservoir for novel carbohydrate-active enzyme discovery, which is of considerable biotechnological interest.

RevDate: 2021-01-08
CmpDate: 2021-01-08

Mestre A, Poulin R, J Hortal (2020)

A niche perspective on the range expansion of symbionts.

Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 95(2):491-516.

Range expansion results from complex eco-evolutionary processes where range dynamics and niche shifts interact in a novel physical space and/or environment, with scale playing a major role. Obligate symbionts (i.e. organisms permanently living on hosts) differ from free-living organisms in that they depend on strong biotic interactions with their hosts which alter their niche and spatial dynamics. A symbiotic lifestyle modifies organism-environment relationships across levels of organisation, from individuals to geographical ranges. These changes influence how symbionts experience colonisation and, by extension, range expansion. Here, we investigate the potential implications of a symbiotic lifestyle on range expansion capacity. We present a unified conceptual overview on range expansion of symbionts that integrates concepts grounded in niche and metapopulation theories. Overall, we explain how niche-driven and dispersal-driven processes govern symbiont range dynamics through their interaction across scales, from host switching to geographical range shifts. First, we describe a background framework for range dynamics based on metapopulation concepts applied to symbiont organisation levels. Then, we integrate metapopulation processes operating in the physical space with niche dynamics grounded in the environmental arena. For this purpose, we provide a definition of the biotope (i.e. living place) specific to symbionts as a hinge concept to link the physical and environmental spaces, wherein the biotope unit is a metapopulation patch (either a host individual or a land fragment). Further, we highlight the dual nature of the symbionts' niche, which is characterised by both host traits and the external environment, and define proper conceptual variants to provide a meaningful unification of niche, biotope and symbiont organisation levels. We also explore variation across systems in the relative relevance of both external environment and host traits to the symbiont's niche and their potential implications on range expansion. We describe in detail the potential mechanisms by which hosts, through their function as biotopes, could influence how some symbionts expand their range - depending on the life history and traits of both associates. From the spatial point of view, hosts can extend symbiont dispersal range via host-mediated dispersal, although the requirement for among-host dispersal can challenge symbiont range expansion. From the niche point of view, homeostatic properties of host bodies may allow symbiont populations to become insensitive to off-host environmental gradients during host-mediated dispersal. These two potential benefits of the symbiont-host interaction can enhance symbiont range expansion capacity. On the other hand, the central role of hosts governing the symbiont niche makes symbionts strongly dependent on the availability of suitable hosts. Thus, environmental, dispersal and biotic barriers faced by suitable hosts apply also to the symbiont, unless eventual opportunities for host switching allow the symbiont to expand its repertoire of suitable hosts (thus expanding its fundamental niche). Finally, symbionts can also improve their range expansion capacity through their impacts on hosts, via protecting their affiliated hosts from environmental harshness through biotic facilitation.

RevDate: 2021-01-07

Renelies-Hamilton J, Germer K, Sillam-Dussès D, et al (2021)

Disentangling the Relative Roles of Vertical Transmission, Subsequent Colonizations, and Diet on Cockroach Microbiome Assembly.

mSphere, 6(1):.

A multitude of factors affect the assemblies of complex microbial communities associated with animal hosts, with implications for community flexibility, resilience, and long-term stability; however, their relative effects have rarely been deduced. Here, we use a tractable lab model to quantify the relative and combined effects of parental transmission (egg case microbiome present/reduced), gut inocula (cockroach versus termite gut provisioned), and varying diets (matched or unmatched with gut inoculum source) on gut microbiota structure of hatchlings of the omnivorous cockroach Shelfordella lateralis using 16S rRNA gene (rDNA) amplicon sequencing. We show that the presence of a preexisting bacterial community via vertical transmission of microbes on egg cases reduces subsequent microbial invasion, suggesting priority effects that allow initial colonizers to take a strong hold and which stabilize the microbiome. However, subsequent inoculation sources more strongly affect ultimate community composition and their ecological networks, with distinct host-taxon-of-origin effects on which bacteria establish. While this is so, communities respond flexibly to specific diets in ways that consequently impact predicted community functions. In conclusion, our findings suggest that inoculations drive communities toward different stable states depending on colonization and extinction events, through ecological host-microbe relations and interactions with other gut bacteria, while diet in parallel shapes the functional capabilities of these microbiomes. These effects may lead to consistent microbial communities that maximize the extended phenotype that the microbiota provides the host, particularly if microbes spend most of their lives in host-associated environments.IMPORTANCE When host fitness is dependent on gut microbiota, microbial community flexibility and reproducibility enhance host fitness by allowing fine-tuned environmental tracking and sufficient stability for host traits to evolve. Our findings lend support to the importance of vertically transmitted early-life microbiota as stabilizers, through interactions with potential colonizers, which may contribute to ensuring that the microbiota aligns within host fitness-enhancing parameters. Subsequent colonizations are driven by microbial composition of the sources available, and we confirm that host-taxon-of-origin affects stable subsequent communities, while communities at the same time retain sufficient flexibility to shift in response to available diets. Microbiome structure is thus the result of the relative impact and combined effects of inocula and fluctuations driven by environment-specific microbial sources and digestive needs. These affect short-term community structure on an ecological time scale but could ultimately shape host species specificities in microbiomes across evolutionary time, if environmental conditions prevail.

RevDate: 2021-01-07

Kawade A, Gore M, Lele P, et al (2021)

Interplaying role of healthcare activist and homemaker: a mixed-methods exploration of the workload of community health workers (Accredited Social Health Activists) in India.

Human resources for health, 19(1):7.

BACKGROUND: Globally, community health workers (CHWs) are integral contributors to many health systems. In India, Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) have been deployed since 2005. Engaged in multiple health care activities, they are a key link between the health system and population. ASHAs are expected to participate in new health programmes prompting interest in their current workload from the perspective of the health system, community and their family.

METHODS: This mixed-methods design study was conducted in rural and tribal Primary Health Centers (PHCs), in Pune district, Western Maharashtra, India. All ASHAs affiliated with these PHCs were invited to participate in the quantitative study, those agreeing to contribute in-depth interviews (IDI) were enrolled in an additional qualitative study. Key informants' interviews were conducted with the Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM), Block Facilitators (BFF) and Medical Officers (MO) of the same PHCs. Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics. Qualitative data were analysed thematically.

RESULTS: We recruited 67 ASHAs from the two PHCs. ASHAs worked up to 20 h/week in their village of residence, serving populations of approximately 800-1200, embracing an increasing range of activities, despite a workload that contributed to feelings of being rushed and tiredness. They juggled household work, other paid jobs and their ASHA activities. Practical problems with travel added to time involved, especially in tribal areas where transport is lacking. Their sense of benefiting the community coupled with respect and recognition gained in village brought happiness and job satisfaction. They were willing to take on new tasks. ASHAs perceived themselves as 'voluntary community health workers' rather than as 'health activists".

CONCLUSIONS: ASHAs were struggling to balance their significant ASHA work and domestic tasks. They were proud of their role as CHWs and willing to take on new activities. Strategies to recruit, train, skills enhancement, incentivise, and retain ASHAs, need to be prioritised. Evolving attitudes to the advantages/disadvantages of current voluntary status and role of ASHAs need to be understood and addressed if ASHAs are to be remain a key component in achieving universal health coverage in India.

RevDate: 2021-01-07

Day DA, PMC Smith (2021)

Iron Transport across Symbiotic Membranes of Nitrogen-Fixing Legumes.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(1): pii:ijms22010432.

Iron is an essential nutrient for the legume-rhizobia symbiosis and nitrogen-fixing bacteroids within root nodules of legumes have a very high demand for the metal. Within the infected cells of nodules, the bacteroids are surrounded by a plant membrane to form an organelle-like structure called the symbiosome. In this review, we focus on how iron is transported across the symbiosome membrane and accessed by the bacteroids.

RevDate: 2021-01-06

Chevignon G, Foray V, Pérez-Jiménez MM, et al (2021)

Dual RNAseq analyses at soma and germline levels reveal evolutionary innovations in the elephantiasis-agent Brugia malayi, and adaptation of its Wolbachia endosymbionts.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 15(1):e0008935 pii:PNTD-D-20-01242.

Brugia malayi is a human filarial nematode responsible for elephantiasis, a debilitating condition that is part of a broader spectrum of diseases called filariasis, including lymphatic filariasis and river blindness. Almost all filarial nematode species infecting humans live in mutualism with Wolbachia endosymbionts, present in somatic hypodermal tissues but also in the female germline which ensures their vertical transmission to the nematode progeny. These α-proteobacteria potentially provision their host with essential metabolites and protect the parasite against the vertebrate immune response. In the absence of Wolbachia wBm, B. malayi females become sterile, and the filarial nematode lifespan is greatly reduced. In order to better comprehend this symbiosis, we investigated the adaptation of wBm to the host nematode soma and germline, and we characterized these cellular environments to highlight their specificities. Dual RNAseq experiments were performed at the tissue-specific and ovarian developmental stage levels, reaching the resolution of the germline mitotic proliferation and meiotic differentiation stages. We found that most wBm genes, including putative effectors, are not differentially regulated between infected tissues. However, two wBm genes involved in stress responses are upregulated in the hypodermal chords compared to the germline, indicating that this somatic tissue represents a harsh environment to which wBm have adapted. A comparison of the B. malayi and C. elegans germline transcriptomes reveals a poor conservation of genes involved in the production of oocytes, with the filarial germline proliferative zone relying on a majority of genes absent from C. elegans. The first orthology map of the B. malayi genome presented here, together with tissue-specific expression enrichment analyses, indicate that the early steps of oogenesis are a developmental process involving genes specific to filarial nematodes, that likely result from evolutionary innovations supporting the filarial parasitic lifestyle.

RevDate: 2021-01-07

Huisman R, R Geurts (2020)

A Roadmap toward Engineered Nitrogen-Fixing Nodule Symbiosis.

Plant communications, 1(1):100019 pii:S2590-3462(19)30019-7.

In the late 19th century, it was discovered that legumes can establish a root nodule endosymbiosis with nitrogen-fixing rhizobia. Soon after, the question was raised whether it is possible to transfer this trait to non-leguminous crops. In the past century, an ever-increasing amount of knowledge provided unique insights into the cellular, molecular, and genetic processes controlling this endosymbiosis. In addition, recent phylogenomic studies uncovered several genes that evolved to function specifically to control nodule formation and bacterial infection. However, despite this massive body of knowledge, the long-standing objective to engineer the nitrogen-fixing nodulation trait on non-leguminous crop plants has not been achieved yet. In this review, the unsolved questions and engineering strategies toward nitrogen-fixing nodulation in non-legume plants are discussed and highlighted.


RJR Experience and Expertise


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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E-mail: RJR8222@gmail.com

Collection of publications by R J Robbins

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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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