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15 Sep 2019 at 01:43
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Bibliography on: Symbiosis


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 15 Sep 2019 at 01:43 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: 2019-09-14

Farci D, Sanna C, Medda R, et al (2019)

Shedding light on the presymbiontic phase of C. arietinum.

Plant physiology and biochemistry : PPB, 143:224-231 pii:S0981-9428(19)30358-4 [Epub ahead of print].

A complex network of symbiotic events between plants and bacteria allows the biosphere to exploit the atmospheric reservoir of molecular nitrogen. In seeds, a series of presymbiotic steps are already identified during imbibition, while interactions between the host and its symbiont begin in the early stages of germination. In the present study, a detailed analysis of the substances' complex delivered by Cicer arietinum seeds during imbibition showed a relevant presence of proteins and amino acids, which, except for cysteine, occurred with the whole proteinogenic pool. The imbibing solution was found to provide essential probiotic properties able to sustain the growth of the specific chickpea symbiont Mesorhizobium ciceri. Moreover, the imbibing solution, behaving as a complete medium, was found to be critically important for the symbiont's attraction, a fact this that is strictly related to the presence of the amino acids glycine, serine, and threonine. Here, the presence of these amino acids is constantly supported by the presence of the enzymes serine hydroxymethyltransferase and formyltetrahydrofolate deformylase, which are both involved in their biosynthesis. The reported findings are discussed in the light of the pivotal role played by the imbibing solution in attracting and sustaining symbiosis between the host and its symbiont.

RevDate: 2019-09-14

Genc O, van Capelleveen G, Erdis E, et al (2019)

A socio-ecological approach to improve industrial zones towards eco-industrial parks.

Journal of environmental management, 250:109507 pii:S0301-4797(19)31225-3 [Epub ahead of print].

One of the concrete examples of industrial symbiosis development is eco-industrial parks, which improves resource efficiency and minimizes environmental impacts by adopting models for waste exchanges between industries. Despite past efforts, many industrial zones around the world are not yet considered as eco-industrial parks because of the low number (or total lack) of symbiotic relationships among industries. A promising strategy is to develop those existing industrial zones into eco-industrial parks. However, there is a lack of studies addressing how to assess environmental improvement in relation to network sustainability. This study demonstrates such an assessment approach using an integration of food web analysis and social network analysis. These two methods can assist in assessing differences in network configurations with respect to potential implementations of industrial symbiosis, and in analysing the resilience, redundancy, connectance, and cyclicity of eco-parks. The use of the methods is illustrated in a case study of an industrial zone in Turkey. Four potential future scenarios are proposed, including potential future co-location of companies in the industrial zone in order to foster industrial symbiotic network formation. These scenarios are compared with the current configuration. The results indicate the method's ability to assess the resilience of an industrial network. Moreover, the case shows an improvement of network sustainability and follows some sustainable properties of natural ecosystems as a result of implementing the industrial symbiosis.

RevDate: 2019-09-14

Noman A, Aqeel M, Qasim M, et al (2019)

Plant-insect-microbe interaction: A love triangle between enemies in ecosystem.

The Science of the total environment, 699:134181 pii:S0048-9697(19)34158-0 [Epub ahead of print].

In natural ecosystems, plants interact with biotic components such as microbes, insects, animals and other plants as well. Generally, researchers have focused on each interaction separately, which condenses the significance of the interaction. This limited presentation of the facts masks the collective role of constantly interacting organisms in complex communities disturbing not only plant responses but also the response of organisms for each other in natural ecological settings. Beneficial microorganisms interact with insect herbivores, their predators and pollinators in a bidirectional way through the plant. Fascinatingly, insects employ diverse tactics to protect themselves from parasites or predators. Influences of microbial and insects attack on plants can bring changes in info-chemical frameworks and play a role in the food chain also. After insect herbivory and microbial pathogenesis, plants exhibit intense morpho-physiological and chemical reprogramming that leads to repellence/attraction of attacking organism or its natural enemy. The characterization of such interactions in different ecosystems is receiving due consideration, and underlying molecular and physiological mechanisms must be the point of concentration to unveil the evolution of multifaceted multitrophic interactions. Therefore, we have focused this phenomenon in a more realistic setting by integrating ecology and physiology to portray these multidimensional interfaces. We have shown, in this article, physiological trajectories in plant-microbe and insect relationship and their ecological relevance in nature. We focus and discuss microbial pathogenesis in plants, induced defense and the corresponding behavior of herbivore insects and vice-versa. It is hoped that this review will stimulate interest and zeal in microbes mediated plant-insect interactions along with their ecological consequences and encourage scientists to accept the challenges in this field.

RevDate: 2019-09-13

Carrillo JD, Rugman-Jones PF, Husein D, et al (2019)

Members of the Euwallacea fornicatus species complex exhibit promiscuous mutualism with ambrosia fungi in Taiwan.

Fungal genetics and biology : FG & B pii:S1087-1845(19)30140-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Carrillo, J.D., Rugman-Jones, PF., Husein, D., Stajich, J.E., Kasson, MT., Carrillo, D., Stouthamer, R., and Eskalen, A. 2019. Members of the Euwallacea fornicatus species complex exhibit promiscuous mutualism with ambrosia fungi in Taiwan A number of ambrosia beetles have come to prominence in recent years because of the damage they inflict on a variety of trees within invaded habitats across the globe. Ambrosia beetles rely on symbiotic microorganisms, mainly fungi, as a dedicated food source and carry those microorganisms around with them within specialized organs termed mycangia. Investigation of members of the Euwallacea fornicatus species complex and their fungal symbionts in Taiwan revealed promiscuous symbioses with ambrosial Fusaria clade (AFC) members, Graphium spp., and Paracremonium spp. based on co-phylogenetic analyses. For AFC members, a novel diagnostic PCR assay targeting mating type genes MAT1-1-1 and MAT1-2-1 was developed and validated by amplicon size and sequencing. Mating types screening of AFC members revealed the isolates screened are all heterothallic (self-sterile), with both MAT types represented and recovered from fungi vectored by E. fornicatus, E. kuroshio, and E. whitfordiodendrus in Taiwan. Members of the Euwallacea fornicatus species complex and the variety of ambrosia fungi they utilize further confirms that their relationship with fungi are more likely promiscuous in native areas, as opposed to strictly obligate to a specific combination of fungi as observed in invaded areas.

RevDate: 2019-09-13

Liu B, Liu X, Liu F, et al (2019)

Growth improvement of Lolium multiflorum Lam. induced by seed inoculation with fungus suspension of Xerocomus badius and Serendipita indica.

AMB Express, 9(1):145 pii:10.1186/s13568-019-0865-7.

In this study, a pot experiment was carried out in greenhouse to investigate the potentials of Xerocomus badius and Serendipita indica to penetrate and colonize roots of ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) and to induce beneficial effects on seed germination and seedling growth. The results showed that X. badius and S. indica successfully colonized in the root system of L. multiflorum seedlings and the root colonization rate was 72.65% and 88.42%, respectively. By microscopy, the hyphae, chlamydospores and spores produced by S. indica were observed in roots cortex of L. multiflorum seedlings. In comparison with the non-inoculated seedlings, seedlings inoculated with X. badius and S. indica showed significant increase in growth parameters with plant height, basal diameter, biomass accumulation, relative growth rate, leaf relative water content and chlorophyll content. Also, we found that seedlings inoculated with S. indica exhibited a greater growth-promotion as compared with X. badius-inoculated seedlings. No significant influence of the two fungus application has been observed with respect to seed germination. It suggested that well establishments of mutualistic symbiosis between L. multiflorum and X. badius or S. indica were not so essential to seed germination but contributed highly to the survival and growth of the seedlings.

RevDate: 2019-09-13
CmpDate: 2019-09-13

Spang A, Stairs CW, Dombrowski N, et al (2019)

Proposal of the reverse flow model for the origin of the eukaryotic cell based on comparative analyses of Asgard archaeal metabolism.

Nature microbiology, 4(7):1138-1148.

The origin of eukaryotes represents an unresolved puzzle in evolutionary biology. Current research suggests that eukaryotes evolved from a merger between a host of archaeal descent and an alphaproteobacterial endosymbiont. The discovery of the Asgard archaea, a proposed archaeal superphylum that includes Lokiarchaeota, Thorarchaeota, Odinarchaeota and Heimdallarchaeota suggested to comprise the closest archaeal relatives of eukaryotes, has helped to elucidate the identity of the putative archaeal host. Whereas Lokiarchaeota are assumed to employ a hydrogen-dependent metabolism, little is known about the metabolic potential of other members of the Asgard superphylum. We infer the central metabolic pathways of Asgard archaea using comparative genomics and phylogenetics to be able to refine current models for the origin of eukaryotes. Our analyses indicate that Thorarchaeota and Lokiarchaeota encode proteins necessary for carbon fixation via the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway and for obtaining reducing equivalents from organic substrates. By contrast, Heimdallarchaeum LC2 and LC3 genomes encode enzymes potentially enabling the oxidation of organic substrates using nitrate or oxygen as electron acceptors. The gene repertoire of Heimdallarchaeum AB125 and Odinarchaeum indicates that these organisms can ferment organic substrates and conserve energy by coupling ferredoxin reoxidation to respiratory proton reduction. Altogether, our genome analyses suggest that Asgard representatives are primarily organoheterotrophs with variable capacity for hydrogen consumption and production. On this basis, we propose the 'reverse flow model', an updated symbiogenetic model for the origin of eukaryotes that involves electron or hydrogen flow from an organoheterotrophic archaeal host to a bacterial symbiont.

RevDate: 2019-09-13
CmpDate: 2019-09-13

Winbourne JB, Harrison MT, Sullivan BW, et al (2018)

A New Framework for Evaluating Estimates of Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation in Forests.

The American naturalist, 192(5):618-629.

Symbiotic nitrogen fixation (SNF) makes atmospheric nitrogen biologically available and regulates carbon storage in many terrestrial ecosystems. Despite its global importance, estimates of SNF rates are highly uncertain, particularly in tropical forests where rates are assumed to be high. Here we provide a framework for evaluating the uncertainty of sample-based SNF estimates and discuss its implications for quantifying SNF and thus understanding of forest function. We apply this framework to field data sets from six lowland tropical rainforests (mature and secondary) in Brazil and Costa Rica. We use this data set to estimate parameters influencing SNF estimation error, notably the root nodule abundance and variation in SNF rates among soil cores containing root nodules. We then use simulations to gauge the relationship between sampling effort and SNF estimation accuracy for a combination of parameters. Field data illuminate a highly right-skewed lognormal distribution of SNF rates among soil cores containing root nodules that were rare and spanned five orders of magnitude. Consequently, simulations demonstrated that sample sizes of hundreds to even thousands of soil cores are needed to obtain estimates of SNF that are within, for example, a factor of 2 of the actual rate with 75% probability. This represents sample sizes that are larger than most studies to date. As a result of this previously undescribed uncertainty, we suggest that current estimates of SNF in tropical forests are not sufficiently constrained to elucidate forest stand-level controls of SNF, which hinders our understanding of the impact of SNF on tropical forest ecosystem processes.

RevDate: 2019-09-13
CmpDate: 2019-09-13

Pierart A, Maes AQ, Dumat C, et al (2019)

Vermicompost addition influences symbiotic fungi communities associated with leek cultivated in metal-rich soils.

Environmental science and pollution research international, 26(20):20040-20051.

In the context of urban agriculture, where soils are frequently contaminated with metal(loid)s (TM), we studied the influence of vermicompost amendments on symbiotic fungal communities associated with plants grown in two metal-rich soils. Leek (Allium porrum L.) plants were grown with or without vermicompost in two metal-rich soils characterized by either geogenic or anthropogenic TM sources, to assess the influence of pollutant origin on soil-plant transfer. Fungal communities associated with the leek roots were identified by high throughput Illumina MiSeq and TM contents were measured using mass spectrometry. Vermicompost addition led to a dramatic change in the fungal community with a loss of diversity in the two tested soils. This effect could partially explain the changes in metal transfer at the soil-AMF-plant interface. Our results suggest being careful while using composts when growing edibles in contaminated soils. More generally, this study highlights the need for further research in the field of fungal communities to refine practical recommendations to gardeners. Graphical abstract.

RevDate: 2019-09-13
CmpDate: 2019-09-13

Blažek R, Polačik M, Smith C, et al (2018)

Success of cuckoo catfish brood parasitism reflects coevolutionary history and individual experience of their cichlid hosts.

Science advances, 4(5):eaar4380.

Obligate brood parasites manipulate other species into raising their offspring. Avian and insect brood parasitic systems demonstrate how interacting species engage in reciprocal coevolutionary arms races through behavioral and morphological adaptations and counteradaptations. Mouthbrooding cichlid fishes are renowned for their remarkable evolutionary radiations and complex behaviors. In Lake Tanganyika, mouthbrooding cichlids are exploited by the only obligate nonavian vertebrate brood parasite, the cuckoo catfish Synodontis multipunctatus. We show that coevolutionary history and individual learning both have a major impact on the success of cuckoo catfish parasitism between coevolved sympatric and evolutionarily naïve allopatric cichlid species. The rate of cuckoo catfish parasitism in coevolved Tanganyikan hosts was 3 to 11 times lower than in evolutionarily naïve cichlids. Moreover, using experimental infections, we demonstrate that parasite egg rejection in sympatric hosts was much higher, leading to seven times greater parasite survival in evolutionarily naïve than sympatric hosts. However, a high rejection frequency of parasitic catfish eggs by coevolved sympatric hosts came at a cost of increased rejection of their own eggs. A significant cost of catfish parasitism was universal, except for coevolved sympatric cichlid species with previous experience of catfish parasitism, demonstrating that learning and individual experience both contribute to a successful host response.

RevDate: 2019-09-13
CmpDate: 2019-09-13

Lebreton F, Valentino MD, Schaufler K, et al (2018)

Transferable vancomycin resistance in clade B commensal-type Enterococcus faecium.

The Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy, 73(6):1479-1486.

Objectives: Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium is a leading cause of MDR hospital infection. Two genetically definable populations of E. faecium have been identified: hospital-adapted MDR isolates (clade A) and vancomycin-susceptible commensal strains (clade B). VanN-type vancomycin resistance was identified in two isolates of E. faecium recovered from blood and faeces of an immunocompromised patient. To understand the genomic context in which VanN occurred in the hospitalized patient, the risk it posed for transmission in the hospital and its origins, it was of interest to determine where these strains placed within the E. faecium population structure.

Methods: We obtained the genome sequence of the VanN isolates and performed comparative and functional genomics of the chromosome and plasmid content.

Results: We show that, in these strains, VanN occurs in a genetic background that clusters with clade B E. faecium, which is highly unusual. We characterized the chromosome and the conjugative plasmid that carries VanN resistance in these strains, pUV24. This plasmid exhibits signatures of in-host selection on the vanN operon regulatory system, which are associated with a constitutive expression of vancomycin resistance. VanN resistance in clade B strains may go undetected by current methods.

Conclusions: We report a case of vancomycin resistance in a commensal lineage of E. faecium responsible for an atypical bacteraemia in an immunocompromised patient. A reservoir of transferable glycopeptide resistance in the community could pose a concern for public health.

RevDate: 2019-09-13
CmpDate: 2019-09-13

Wang Y, F Staubach (2018)

Individual variation of natural D.melanogaster-associated bacterial communities.

FEMS microbiology letters, 365(6):.

Drosophila melanogaster has become an important model organism to study host-microbe interaction in the laboratory. However, the natural microbial communities that are associated with D. melanogaster have received less attention. Especially, information on inter-individual variation is still lacking, because most studies so far have used pooled material from several flies. Here, we collected bacterial 16S rRNA gene community profiles from a set of 32 individuals from a single population. We simulated pools from the individual data (i) to assess how well the microbiome of a host population is represented by pools, and (ii) to compare variation of Drosophila microbiomes within and between populations. Taxon richness was increased in simulated pools, suggesting that pools paint a more comprehensive picture of the taxa associated with a host population. Furthermore, microbiome composition varied less between pools than between individuals, indicating that differences even out in pools. Variation in microbiome composition was larger between populations than between simulated pools from a single population, adding to the notion that there are population-specific effects on the Drosophila microbiome. Surprisingly, samples from individuals clustered into two groups, suggesting that there are yet unknown factors that affect the composition of natural fly-associated microbial communities and need further research.

RevDate: 2019-09-13
CmpDate: 2019-09-13

Raven JA, Lambers H, Smith SE, et al (2018)

Costs of acquiring phosphorus by vascular land plants: patterns and implications for plant coexistence.

The New phytologist, 217(4):1420-1427.

Content Summary 1420 I. Introduction 1421 II. Root adaptations that influence P acquisition 1422 III. Costs of P acquisition: general 1423 IV. Costs of P acquisition that are independent of soil P concentrations 1423 V. Costs of P acquisition that increase as soil P concentrations decline 1424 VI. Discussion and conclusions 1424 Acknowledgements 1425 References 1425 SUMMARY: We compare carbon (and hence energy) costs of the different modes of phosphorus (P) acquisition by vascular land plants. Phosphorus-acquisition modes are considered to be mechanisms of plants together with their root symbionts and structures such as cluster roots involved in mobilising or absorbing P. Phosphorus sources considered are soluble and insoluble inorganic and organic pools. Costs include operating the P-acquisition mechanisms, and resource requirements to construct and maintain them. For most modes, costs increase as the relevant soil P concentration declines. Costs can thus be divided into a component incurred irrespective of soil P concentration, and a component describing how quickly costs increase as the soil P concentration declines. Differences in sensitivity of costs to soil P concentration arise mainly from how economically mycorrhizal fungal hyphae or roots that explore the soil volume are constructed, and from costs of exudates that hydrolyse or mobilise insoluble P forms. In general, modes of acquisition requiring least carbon at high soil P concentrations experience a steeper increase in costs as soil P concentrations decline. The relationships between costs and concentrations suggest some reasons why different modes coexist, and why the mixture of acquisition modes differs between sites.

RevDate: 2019-09-13
CmpDate: 2019-09-13

Waller LP, Felten J, Hiiesalu I, et al (2018)

Sharing resources for mutual benefit: crosstalk between disciplines deepens the understanding of mycorrhizal symbioses across scales.

The New phytologist, 217(1):29-32.

RevDate: 2019-09-12

Gogoleva OA, EA Shchuplova (2019)

The influence of non-tuberculous mycobacteria on the interaction of opportunistic microorganisms with erythrocytes.

Folia microbiologica pii:10.1007/s12223-019-00748-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Getting into a weakened organism, non-tuberculosis mycobacteria (NTMB) contact not only with the cells of the microorganism but also with the microflora of the human body; however, these interactions are poorly understood. The purpose of this work was to study the effect of NTMB supernatants on the properties of conditionally pathogenic microorganisms in their interaction with red blood cells. We used strains of non-tuberculous mycobacteria Mycobacterium iranicum and M. rutilum, as well as strains of Staphylococcus epidermidis and Escherichia coli. Using the fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) method, the processes of adhesion to the surface of erythrocytes and the intra-erythrocyte penetration of cells of S. epidermidis and E. coli under the influence of NTMB supernatants were studied. To study changes in the haemoglobin molecule under the action of the supernatants of NTMB, spectral analysis was performed. Statistical processing was performed using STATISTIKA 6.0. The results showed that the supernatants of M. iranicum and M. rutilum increased the adhesion of conditionally pathogenic bacteria with a low level of AntiHbA to the surface of erythrocytes by 3-4 times. It also increased the intra-erythrocyte penetration of cells of S. epidermidis and E. coli relative to the control values. As a result of studying the haemoglobin spectrum of erythrocytes under the influence of M. iranicum, a decrease in the optical density values of oxyhaemoglobin by a factor of 2 relative to the values in the control sample was noted. Thus, the supernatants of NTMB have a multidirectional effect on the interaction of opportunistic microorganisms with erythrocytes, increasing the adhesive activity and the penetration of cells into the erythrocytes, as well as reducing the optical density of oxyhaemoglobin.

RevDate: 2019-09-12
CmpDate: 2019-09-12

Mellal H, Yacine B, Boukaous L, et al (2019)

Phylogenetic diversity of Bradyrhizobium strains isolated from root nodules of Lupinus angustifolius grown wild in the North East of Algeria.

Systematic and applied microbiology, 42(3):397-402.

From a total of 80 bacterial strains isolated from root nodules of Lupinus angustifolius grown wild in the North-Eastern Algerian region of El Tarf, 64 plant host-nodulating strains clustered into 17 random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) fingerprinting groups. The nearly complete 16S rRNA gene sequence from the representative strain of each group revealed they were closely related to members of the genus Bradyrhizobium of the Alphaproteobacteria, but their affiliation at the species level was not clear. Sequencing of the housekeeping genes glnII and recA, and their concatenated phylogenetic analysis, showed that 12 strains belong to B. lupini, other 2 strains affiliated with B. diazoefficiens and that 1 strain was closely related to B. japonicum. The remaining two strains showed similarity values ≤95% with B. cytisi and could represent new lineages within the genus Bradyrhizobium. Sequencing of the symbiotic nodC gene from 4 selected bradyrhizobial strains showed they were all similar to those of the species included in symbiovar genistearum.

RevDate: 2019-09-12
CmpDate: 2019-09-12

Harrison TL, Simonsen AK, Stinchcombe JR, et al (2018)

More partners, more ranges: generalist legumes spread more easily around the globe.

Biology letters, 14(11):.

How does mutualism affect range expansion? On the one hand, mutualists might thrive in new habitats thanks to the resources, stress tolerance or defence provided by their partners. On the other, specialized mutualists might fail to find compatible partners beyond their range margins, limiting further spread. A recent global analysis of legume ranges found that non-symbiotic legumes have been successfully introduced to more ranges than legumes that form symbioses with rhizobia, but there is still abundant unexplained variation in introduction success within symbiotic legumes. We test the hypothesis that generalist legumes have spread to more ranges than specialist legumes. We used published data and rhizobial 16S rRNA sequences from GenBank to quantify the number of rhizobia partners that associate with 159 legume species, spanning the legume phylogeny and the globe. We found that generalist legumes occur in more introduced ranges than specialist legumes, suggesting that among mutualists, specialization hinders range expansions.

RevDate: 2019-09-12
CmpDate: 2019-09-12

Palmer-Young EC, Raffel TR, QS McFrederick (2018)

Temperature-mediated inhibition of a bumblebee parasite by an intestinal symbiont.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 285(1890):.

Competition between organisms is often mediated by environmental factors, including temperature. In animal intestines, nonpathogenic symbionts compete physically and chemically against pathogens, with consequences for host infection. We used metabolic theory-based models to characterize differential responses to temperature of a bacterial symbiont and a co-occurring trypanosomatid parasite of bumblebees, which regulate body temperature during flight and incubation. We hypothesized that inhibition of parasites by bacterial symbionts would increase with temperature, due to symbionts having higher optimal growth temperatures than parasites. We found that a temperature increase over the range measured in bumblebee colonies would favour symbionts over parasites. As predicted by our hypothesis, symbionts reduced the optimal growth temperature for parasites, both in direct competition and when parasites were exposed to symbiont spent medium. Inhibitory effects of the symbiont increased with temperature, reflecting accelerated growth and acid production by symbionts. Our results indicate that high temperatures, whether due to host endothermy or environmental factors, can enhance the inhibitory effects of symbionts on parasites. Temperature-modulated manipulation of microbiota could be one explanation for fever- and heat-induced reductions of infection in animals, with consequences for diseases of medical and conservation concern.

RevDate: 2019-09-12
CmpDate: 2019-09-12

Helliwell KE, Pandhal J, Cooper MB, et al (2018)

Quantitative proteomics of a B12 -dependent alga grown in coculture with bacteria reveals metabolic tradeoffs required for mutualism.

The New phytologist, 217(2):599-612.

The unicellular green alga Lobomonas rostrata requires an external supply of vitamin B12 (cobalamin) for growth, which it can obtain in stable laboratory cultures from the soil bacterium Mesorhizobium loti in exchange for photosynthate. We investigated changes in protein expression in the alga that allow it to engage in this mutualism. We used quantitative isobaric tagging (iTRAQ) proteomics to determine the L. rostrata proteome grown axenically with B12 supplementation or in coculture with M. loti. Data are available via ProteomeXchange (PXD005046). Using the related Chlamydomonas reinhardtii as a reference genome, 588 algal proteins could be identified. Enzymes of amino acid biosynthesis were higher in coculture than in axenic culture, and this was reflected in increased amounts of total cellular protein and several free amino acids. A number of heat shock proteins were also elevated. Conversely, photosynthetic proteins and those of chloroplast protein synthesis were significantly lower in L. rostrata cells in coculture. These observations were confirmed by measurement of electron transfer rates in cells grown under the two conditions. The results indicate that, despite the stability of the mutualism, L. rostrata experiences stress in coculture with M. loti, and must adjust its metabolism accordingly.

RevDate: 2019-09-11

Radice VZ, Brett MT, Fry B, et al (2019)

Evaluating coral trophic strategies using fatty acid composition and indices.

PloS one, 14(9):e0222327 pii:PONE-D-19-13661.

The ecological success of shallow water reef-building corals has been linked to the symbiosis between the coral host and its dinoflagellate symbionts (herein 'symbionts'). As mixotrophs, symbiotic corals depend on nutrients 1) transferred from their photosynthetic symbionts (autotrophy) and 2) acquired by host feeding on particulate organic resources (heterotrophy). However, coral species differ in the extent to which they depend on heterotrophy for nutrition and these differences are typically poorly defined. Here, a multi-tracer fatty acid approach was used to evaluate the trophic strategies of three species of common reef-building coral (Galaxea fascicularis, Pachyseris speciosa, and Pocillopora verrucosa) whose trophic strategies had previously been identified using carbon stable isotopes. The composition and various indices of fatty acids were compared to examine the relative contribution of symbiont autotrophy and host heterotrophy in coral energy acquisition. A linear discriminant analysis (LDA) was used to estimate the contribution of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) derived from various potential sources to the coral hosts. The total fatty acid composition and fatty acid indices revealed differences between the more heterotrophic (P. verrucosa) and more autotrophic (P. speciosa) coral hosts, with the coral host G. fascicularis showing overlap with the other two species and greater variability overall. For the more heterotrophic P. verrucosa, the fatty acid indices and LDA results both indicated a greater proportion of copepod-derived fatty acids compared to the other coral species. Overall, the LDA estimated that PUFA derived from particulate resources (e.g., copepods and diatoms) comprised a greater proportion of coral host PUFA in contrast to the lower proportion of symbiont-derived PUFA. These estimates provide insight into the importance of heterotrophy in coral nutrition, especially in productive reef systems. The study supports carbon stable isotope results and demonstrates the utility of fatty acid analyses for exploring the trophic strategies of reef-building corals.

RevDate: 2019-09-11

He S, Grasis JA, Nicotra ML, et al (2019)

Cnidofest 2018: the future is bright for cnidarian research.

EvoDevo, 10:20 pii:134.

The 2018 Cnidarian Model Systems Meeting (Cnidofest) was held September 6-9th at the University of Florida Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience in St. Augustine, FL. Cnidofest 2018, which built upon the momentum of Hydroidfest 2016, brought together research communities working on a broad spectrum of cnidarian organisms from North America and around the world. Meeting talks covered diverse aspects of cnidarian biology, with sessions focused on genomics, development, neurobiology, immunology, symbiosis, ecology, and evolution. In addition to interesting biology, Cnidofest also emphasized the advancement of modern research techniques. Invited technology speakers showcased the power of microfluidics and single-cell transcriptomics and demonstrated their application in cnidarian models. In this report, we provide an overview of the exciting research that was presented at the meeting and discuss opportunities for future research.

RevDate: 2019-09-10

Dupre C, Grasis JA, Steele RE, et al (2017)

Hydroidfest 2016: celebrating a renaissance in hydrozoan research.

EvoDevo, 8:7 pii:70.

Hydroidfest 2016 took place on September 23-25 at the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory in Bodega Bay, CA. The meeting brought together cnidarian researchers, with an emphasis on those studying hydrozoans, from North America and other parts of the world. The scientific topics discussed were diverse, including sessions focused on development, regeneration, aging, immunology, symbiosis, and neurobiology. Thanks to the application of modern biological technologies, hydrozoans and other cnidarians are now fertile ground for research in numerous disciplines. Moreover, their amenability to comparative approaches is a powerful asset that was repeatedly showcased during the meeting. Here, we give a brief account of the work that was presented and the opportunities that emerged from the ensuing discussions.

RevDate: 2019-09-10

Havird JC, Weaver RJ, Milani L, et al (2019)

Beyond the Powerhouse: Integrating Mitonuclear Evolution, Physiology, and Theory in Comparative Biology.

Integrative and comparative biology pii:5542403 [Epub ahead of print].

Eukaryotes are the outcome of an ancient symbiosis and as such, eukaryotic cells fundamentally possess two genomes. As a consequence, gene products encoded by both nuclear and mitochondrial genomes must interact in an intimate and precise fashion to enable aerobic respiration in eukaryotes. This genomic architecture of eukaryotes is proposed to necessitate perpetual coevolution between the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes to maintain coadaptation, but the presence of two genomes also creates the opportunity for intracellular conflict. In the collection of papers that constitute this symposium volume, scientists working in diverse organismal systems spanning vast biological scales address emerging topics in integrative, comparative biology in light of mitonuclear interactions.

RevDate: 2019-09-10

Freed LL, Easson C, Baker LJ, et al (2019)

Characterization of the microbiome and bioluminescent symbionts across life stages of ceratioid anglerfishes of the gulf of mexico.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:5567176 [Epub ahead of print].

The interdependence of diverse organisms through symbiosis reaches even the deepest parts of the oceans. As part of the DEEPEND project (deependconsortium.org) research on deep Gulf of Mexico biodiversity, we profiled the bacterial communities ('microbiomes') and luminous symbionts of 36 specimens of adult and larval deep-sea anglerfishes of the suborder Ceratioidei using 16S rDNA. Transmission Electron Microscopy was used to characterize the location of symbionts in adult light organs (esca). Whole larval microbiomes, and adult skin and gut microbiomes, were dominated by bacteria in the genera Moritella and Pseudoalteromonas genera. 16S rDNA sequencing results from adult fishes corroborate the previously published identity of ceratioid bioluminescent symbionts and support findings that these symbionts do not consistently exhibit host specificity at the host family level. Bioluminescent symbiont amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) were absent from larval ceratioid samples, but were found at all depths in the seawater, with a highest abundance found at mesopelagic depths. As adults spend the majority of their lives in the meso and bathypelagic, the trend in symbiont abundance is consistent with their life history. These findings support the hypothesis that bioluminescent symbionts are not present throughout host development, and that ceratioids acquire their bioluminescent symbionts from the environment.

RevDate: 2019-09-10

Barelli L, Behie SW, MJ Bidochka (2019)

Availability of carbon and nitrogen in soil affects Metarhizium robertsii root colonization and transfer of insect-derived nitrogen.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:5567177 [Epub ahead of print].

The endophytic, insect pathogenic fungus, Metarhizium, exchanges insect-derived nitrogen for photosynthate as part of a symbiotic association similar to well-known mycorrhizal relationships. However, little is known about this nitrogen transfer in soils where there is an abundance of nitrogen and/or carbon. Here we applied D-glucose and ammonium nitrate to soil to examine the effect on root colonization and transfer of labelled nitrogen (15N) from an insect (injected with 15N-ammonium sulfate), to Metarhizium robertsii, into leaves of the common bean, Phaseolus vulgaris, over the course of 28 days. Application of exogenous carbon and/or nitrogen to soils significantly reduced detectable 15N in plant leaves. Metarhizium root colonization, quantified with real-time PCR, revealed colonization persisted under all conditions but was significantly greater on roots in soil supplemented with glucose and significantly lower in soil supplemented with ammonium nitrate. Fungal gene expression analysis revealed differential expression of sugar and nitrogen transporters (mrt, st3, nrr1, nit1, mep2) when Metarhizium was grown in pure broth culture or in co-culture with plant roots under various carbon and nitrogen conditions. The observation that Metarhizium maintained root colonization in the absence of nitrogen transfer, and without evidence of plant harm, is intriguing and indicates additional benefits with ecological importance.

RevDate: 2019-09-10

Foster RA, JP Zehr (2019)

Diversity, Genomics, and Distribution of Phytoplankton-Cyanobacterium Single-Cell Symbiotic Associations.

Annual review of microbiology, 73:435-456.

Cyanobacteria are common in symbiotic relationships with diverse multicellular organisms (animals, plants, fungi) in terrestrial environments and with single-celled heterotrophic, mixotrophic, and autotrophic protists in aquatic environments. In the sunlit zones of aquatic environments, diverse cyanobacterial symbioses exist with autotrophic taxa in phytoplankton, including dinoflagellates, diatoms, and haptophytes (prymnesiophytes). Phototrophic unicellular cyanobacteria related to Synechococcus and Prochlorococcus are associated with a number of groups. N2-fixing cyanobacteria are symbiotic with diatoms and haptophytes. Extensive genome reduction is involved in the N2-fixing endosymbionts, most dramatically in the unicellular cyanobacteria associated with haptophytes, which have lost most of the photosynthetic apparatus, the ability to fix C, and the tricarboxylic acid cycle. The mechanisms involved in N2-fixing symbioses may involve more interactions beyond simple exchange of fixed C for N. N2-fixing cyanobacterial symbioses are widespread in the oceans, even more widely distributed than the best-known free-living N2-fixing cyanobacteria, suggesting they may be equally or more important in the global ocean biogeochemical cycle of N.Despite their ubiquitous nature and significance in biogeochemical cycles, cyanobacterium-phytoplankton symbioses remain understudied and poorly understood.

RevDate: 2019-09-10
CmpDate: 2019-09-10

Parvin S, Van Geel M, Yeasmin T, et al (2019)

Variation in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities associated with lowland rice (Oryza sativa) along a gradient of soil salinity and arsenic contamination in Bangladesh.

The Science of the total environment, 686:546-554.

Rice is an essential food crop that nourishes >50% of the world population. In many regions of Bangladesh rice production is constrained by high soil salinity and heavy metal contamination due to irrigation practices. Plants may naturally overcome such stress through mutualistic interactions with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). Yet, little is known regarding the diversity and composition of AMF communities in rice fields with high saline and arsenic concentration. Here we used high throughput Illumina sequencing to characterize AMF communities in rice roots from 45 Bangladeshi rice fields, along a large geographical gradient of soil salinity and arsenic contamination. We obtained 77 operational taxonomic units (OTUs, based on a sequence similarity threshold of 97%) from eight AMF families, and showed that high soil salinity and arsenic concentration are significantly associated with low AMF diversity in rice roots. Soil salinity and arsenic concentration also explained a large part of the variation in AMF community composition, but also soil pH, moisture, organic matter content and plant available soil phosphorus played an important role. Overall, our study showed that even at very high salinity and arsenic levels, some AMF OTUs are present in rice roots. Their potential role in mediating a reduction of rice stress and arsenic uptake remains to be investigated.

RevDate: 2019-09-11
CmpDate: 2019-09-11

Zhang Y, Chen Q, Xie JY, et al (2019)

Development of a transcriptomic database for 14 species of scleractinian corals.

BMC genomics, 20(1):387 pii:10.1186/s12864-019-5744-8.

BACKGROUND: Scleractinian corals are important reef builders, but around the world they are under the threat of global climate change as well as local stressors. Molecular resources are critical for understanding a species' stress responses and resilience to the changing environment, but such resources are unavailable for most scleractinian corals, especially those distributed in the South China Sea. We therefore aimed to provide transcriptome resources for 14 common species, including a few structure forming species, in the South China Sea.

DESCRIPTION: We sequenced the transcriptome of 14 species of scleractinian corals using high-throughput RNA-seq and conducted de novo assembly. For each species, we produced 7.4 to 12.0 gigabases of reads, and assembled them into 271 to 762 thousand contigs with a N50 value of 629 to 1427 bp. These contigs included 66 to 114 thousand unigenes with a predicted open reading frame, and 74.3 to 80.5% of the unigenes were functionally annotated. In the azooxanthelate species Tubastraea coccinea, 41.5% of the unigenes had at least a best-hit sequence from corals. In the other thirteen species, 20.2 to 48.9% of the annotated unigenes had best-hit sequences from corals, and 28.3 to 51.6% from symbiotic algae belonging to the family Symbiodinaceae. With these resources, we developed a transcriptome database (CoralTBase) which features online BLAST and keyword search for unigenes/functional terms through a user friendly Internet interface.

SHORT CONCLUSION: We developed comprehensive transcriptome resources for 14 species of scleractinian corals and constructed a publicly accessible database (www.comp.hkbu.edu.hk/~db/CoralTBase). CoralTBase will facilitate not only functional studies using these corals to understand the molecular basis of stress responses and adaptation, but also comparative transcriptomic studies with other species of corals and more distantly related cnidarians.

RevDate: 2019-09-11
CmpDate: 2019-09-11

Wu Y, Zhou Z, Wang J, et al (2019)

Temperature regulates the recognition activities of a galectin to pathogen and symbiont in the scleractinian coral Pocillopora damicornis.

Developmental and comparative immunology, 96:103-110.

Lectins serve as essential pattern recognition receptors, and play important roles in the recognition of non-self and mediation of innate immune response in metazoans. Scleractinian corals are vulnerable to pathogen infection and endosymbiosis disruption under heat stress that can finally lead to coral bleaching. In this study, a cDNA sequence encoding one galectin was cloned in scleractinian coral Pocillopora damicornis (PdGLT-1). The deduced PdGLT-1 protein shared highest amino acid sequence similarity (99%) with galectin from Stylophora pistillata (XP_022806650.1), and was composed of one signal peptide, one Collagen domain and one Gal-Lectin domain. PdGLT-1 recombinant protein (rPdGLT-1) was expressed and purified in vitro. Binding activities of rPdGLT-1 to bacteria and symbiont were determined using western blotting method. Results showed that rPdGLT-1 was able to bind to gram-positive bacterium Streptococcus mutans, gram-negative bacteria Vibrio coralliilyticus and Escherichia coli, with the highest activity for V. coralliilyticus, and further agglutinated them. The bound rPdGLT-1 to Symbiodinium (10-104 cells mL-1) was detectable, and its binding ability was concentration-dependent. Furthermore, dual binding activities were determined under different temperatures (20, 25, 30 and 35 °C), and the optimal temperatures were found to be 25 and 30 °C for V. coralliilyticus and Symbiodinium, respectively. Results suggested that PdGLT-1 could recognize pathogenic bacteria and symbiotic dinoflagellates Symbiodinium. However, their recognition activities were repressed under high temperature (>30 °C). This study provided insights into the underlying mechanism of lectin modulation to heat bleaching through its pathogen and Symbiodinium recognition in the scleractinian coral P. damicornis.

RevDate: 2019-09-10
CmpDate: 2019-09-10

Myles IA, Moore IN, Castillo CR, et al (2018)

Differing Virulence of Healthy Skin Commensals in Mouse Models of Infection.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 8:451.

Introduction: As therapies for atopic dermatitis (AD) based on live biotherapeutic products (LBP) are developed, the potential displacement of biotherapeutic strains, and species to mucosal sites where they are not naturally found is of investigative interest. However, formal assessment of the toxicity potential of healthy skin commensal organisms has not been reported in the literature. Our previous research indicates that topical application of live Roseomonas mucosa to treat AD was associated with clinical benefit on the skin, but the effects of exposure via inhalation, eye inoculation, and ingestion were unknown. Methods: Herein we report our findings from mice inoculated with commensal strains of R. mucosa, coagulase negative Staphylococci (CNS), and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Bacterial isolates were collected under clinical trial NCT03018275, however these results do not represent an interventional clinical trial. Results: Our tested R. mucosa isolates did not display significant infection or inflammation. However, neutropenic mice inoculated with CNS had infection without major inflammation in pulmonary models. In contrast, systemic infection generated hepatic and splenic pathology for P. aeruginosa and CNS, which was worsened by the presence of neutropenia. Discussion: Our results suggest that LBP derived from bacteria without significant infectivity histories, such as R. mucosa, may represent safer options than known pathobionts like P. aeruginosa and Staphylococcus spp. Overall, these results suggest that topically applied LBP from select skin commensals are likely to present safe therapeutic options and reinforce our prior clinical findings.

RevDate: 2019-09-09

Shtark OY, Puzanskiy RK, Avdeeva GS, et al (2019)

Metabolic alterations in pea leaves during arbuscular mycorrhiza development.

PeerJ, 7:e7495 pii:7495.

Arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) is known to be a mutually beneficial plant-fungal symbiosis; however, the effect of mycorrhization is heavily dependent on multiple biotic and abiotic factors. Therefore, for the proper employment of such plant-fungal symbiotic systems in agriculture, a detailed understanding of the molecular basis of the plant developmental response to mycorrhization is needed. The aim of this work was to uncover the physiological and metabolic alterations in pea (Pisum sativum L.) leaves associated with mycorrhization at key plant developmental stages. Plants of pea cv. Finale were grown in constant environmental conditions under phosphate deficiency. The plants were analyzed at six distinct time points, which corresponded to certain developmental stages of the pea: I: 7 days post inoculation (DPI) when the second leaf is fully unfolded with one pair of leaflets and a simple tendril; II: 21 DPI at first leaf with two pairs of leaflets and a complex tendril; III: 32 DPI when the floral bud is enclosed; IV: 42 DPI at the first open flower; V: 56 DPI when the pod is filled with green seeds; and VI: 90-110 DPI at the dry harvest stage. Inoculation with Rhizophagus irregularis had no effect on the fresh or dry shoot weight, the leaf photochemical activity, accumulation of chlorophyll a, b or carotenoids. However, at stage III (corresponding to the most active phase of mycorrhiza development), the number of internodes between cotyledons and the youngest completely developed leaf was lower in the inoculated plants than in those without inoculation. Moreover, inoculation extended the vegetation period of the host plants, and resulted in increase of the average dry weight per seed at stage VI. The leaf metabolome, as analyzed with GC-MS, included about three hundred distinct metabolites and showed a strong correlation with plant age, and, to a lesser extent, was influenced by mycorrhization. Metabolic shifts influenced the levels of sugars, amino acids and other intermediates of nitrogen and phosphorus metabolism. The use of unsupervised dimension reduction methods showed that (i) at stage II, the metabolite spectra of inoculated plants were similar to those of the control, and (ii) at stages IV and V, the leaf metabolic profiles of inoculated plants shifted towards the profiles of the control plants at earlier developmental stages. At stage IV the inoculated plants exhibited a higher level of metabolism of nitrogen, organic acids, and lipophilic compounds in comparison to control plants. Thus, mycorrhization led to the retardation of plant development, which was also associated with higher seed biomass accumulation in plants with an extended vegetation period. The symbiotic crosstalk between host plant and AM fungi leads to alterations in several biochemical pathways the details of which need to be elucidated in further studies.

RevDate: 2019-09-09

Iwai S, Fujita K, Takanishi Y, et al (2019)

Photosynthetic Endosymbionts Benefit from Host's Phagotrophy, Including Predation on Potential Competitors.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(19)30954-6 [Epub ahead of print].

In many endosymbioses, hosts have been shown to benefit from symbiosis, but it remains unclear whether intracellular endosymbionts benefit from their association with hosts [1, 2]. This makes it difficult to determine evolutionary mechanisms underlying cooperative behaviors between hosts and intracellular endosymbionts, such as mutual exchange of vital resources. Here, we investigate the fitness effects of symbiosis on the ciliate host Paramecium bursaria and on the algal endosymbiont Chlorella [3, 4], using experimental microcosms that include the free-living alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to mimic ecologically realistic conditions. We demonstrate that both host ciliate and the endosymbiotic algae gain fitness benefits from the symbiosis when another alga C. reinhardtii is present in the system. Specifically, the endosymbiotic Chlorella can grow as the host ciliate feeds and grows on C. reinhardtii, whereas the growth of free-living Chlorella is reduced by its competitor, C. reinhardtii. Thus, we propose that the endosymbiotic algae benefit from the host's phagotrophy, which allows the endosymbiont to access particulate nutrient sources and to indirectly prey on the potential competitors competing with its free-living counterparts. Even though the ecological contexts in which each partner receives its benefits differ, both partners would gain net fitness benefits in an ecological timescale. Thus, the cooperative behaviors can evolve through fitness feedback (partner fidelity feedback) between the host and the endosymbiont, without need for special partner control mechanisms. The proposed ecological and evolutionary mechanisms provide a basis for understanding cooperative resource exchanges in endosymbioses, including many photosynthetic endosymbioses widespread in aquatic ecosystems.

RevDate: 2019-09-09
CmpDate: 2019-09-09

Sazanova AL, Safronova VI, Kuznetsova IG, et al (2019)

Bosea caraganae sp. nov. a new species of slow-growing bacteria isolated from root nodules of the relict species Caragana jubata (Pall.) Poir. originating from Mongolia.

International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology, 69(9):2687-2695.

Two Gram-stain-negative strains, RCAM04680T and RCAM04685, were isolated from root nodules of the relict legume Caragana jubata (Pall.) Poir. originating from the south-western shore of Lake Khuvsgul (Mongolia). The 16S rRNA gene (rrs) sequencing data showed that these novel isolates belong to the genus Bosea and are phylogenetically closest to the type strains Bosea lathyri LMG 26379T, Bosea vaviloviae LMG 28367T, Bosea massiliensis LMG 26221T and Bosea lupini LMG 26383T (the rrs-similarity levels were 98.7-98.8 %). The recA gene of strain RCAM04680T showed the highest sequence similarity to the type strain B. lupini LMG 26383T (95.4 %), while its atpD gene was closest to that of B. lathyri LMG 26379T (94.4 %). The ITS, dnaK and gyrB sequences of this isolate were most similar to the B. vaviloviae LMG 28367T (86.8 % for ITS, 90.4 % for the other genes). The most abundant fatty acid was C18 : 1ω7c (40.8 %). The whole genomes of strains RCAM04680T and RCAM04685 were identical (100 % average nucleotide identity). The highest average nucleotide identity value (82.8 %) was found between the genome of strain RCAM04680T and B. vaviloviae LMG 28367T. The common nodABC genes required for legume nodulation were absent in both strains; however, some other symbiotic nol, nod, nif and fix genes were detected. Based on the genetic study, as well as analyses of the whole-cell fatty acid compositions and phenotypic properties, a new species, Boseacaraganae sp. nov. (type strain RCAM04680T (=LMG 31125T), is proposed.

RevDate: 2019-09-09
CmpDate: 2019-09-09

Javaheri-Kermani M, A Asoodeh (2019)

A novel beta-1,4 glucanase produced by symbiotic Bacillus sp. CF96 isolated from termite (Anacanthotermes).

International journal of biological macromolecules, 131:752-759.

A novel beta-1,4-glucanase was purified and characterized from symbiotic Bacillus sp. CF96 of termite. The SDS-PAGE and zymogram analyses revealed a molecular mass of 35.6 kDa. Optimal activity was at 50 °C and pH 5.5, while the enzyme was active over a wide range of temperature 20-80 °C and pH 4-10 and interestingly more than 60% of the maximum activity remained up to pH 9. The enzyme activity increased in the presence of hexane, chloroform and methanol (20% v/v). while, the enzyme activity was inhibited by metal ions such as Mn2+, Hg2+, Cu2+, Zn2+, Mg2+, Fe2+. The isolated enzyme was able to degrade carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), avicel and cellulose. Cellobiose was the hydrolytic product of enzymatic reaction based on thin layer chromatography (TLC) analysis. Regarding beta-1,4 endo/exoglucanase activity and high temperature, pH and solvent stability, the enzyme has potential for various industrial applications especially in designing pesticide for termite.

RevDate: 2019-09-09
CmpDate: 2019-09-09

Murakami T, Segawa T, Takeuchi N, et al (2018)

Metagenomic analyses highlight the symbiotic association between the glacier stonefly Andiperla willinki and its bacterial gut community.

Environmental microbiology, 20(11):4170-4183.

The glacier stonefly Andiperla willinki is the largest metazoan inhabiting the Patagonian glaciers. In this study, we analysed the gut microbiome of the aquatic nymphs by 16S rRNA gene amplicon and metagenomic sequencing. The bacterial gut community was consistently dominated by taxa typical of animal digestive tracts, such as Dysgonomonadaceae and Lachnospiraceae, as well as those generally indigenous to glacier environments, such as Polaromonas. Interestingly, the dominant Polaromonas phylotypes detected in the stonefly gut were almost never detected in the glacier surface habitat. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis revealed that the bacterial lineages typical of animal guts colonized the gut wall in a co-aggregated form, while Polaromonas cells were not included in the aggregates. Draft genomes of several dominant bacterial lineages were reconstructed from metagenomic datasets and indicated that the predominant Dysgonomonadaceae bacterium is capable of degrading various polysaccharides derived from host-ingested food, such as algae, and that other dominant bacterial lineages ferment saccharides liberated by the polysaccharide degradation. Our results suggest that the gut bacteria-host association in the glacier stonefly contributes to host nutrition as well as material cycles in the glacier environment.

RevDate: 2019-09-09
CmpDate: 2019-09-09

Kapitan M, Niemiec MJ, Steimle A, et al (2019)

Fungi as Part of the Microbiota and Interactions with Intestinal Bacteria.

Current topics in microbiology and immunology, 422:265-301.

The human microbiota consists of bacteria, archaea, viruses, and fungi that build a highly complex network of interactions between each other and the host. While there are many examples for commensal bacterial influence on host health and immune modulation, little is known about the role of commensal fungi inside the gut community. Up until now, fungal research was concentrating on opportunistic diseases caused by fungal species, leaving the possible role of fungi as part of the microbiota largely unclear. Interestingly, fungal and bacterial abundance in the gut appear to be negatively correlated and disruption of the bacterial microbiota is a prerequisite for fungal overgrowth. The mechanisms behind bacterial colonization resistance are likely diverse, including direct antagonism as well as bacterial stimulation of host defense mechanisms. In this work, we will review the current knowledge of the development of the intestinal bacterial and fungal community, the influence of the microbiota on human health and disease, and the role of the opportunistic yeast C. albicans. We will furthermore discuss the possible benefits of commensal fungal colonization. Finally, we will summarize the recent findings on bacterial-fungal interactions.

RevDate: 2019-09-09
CmpDate: 2019-09-09

Heiss CN, LE Olofsson (2018)

Gut Microbiota-Dependent Modulation of Energy Metabolism.

Journal of innate immunity, 10(3):163-171.

The gut microbiota has emerged as an environmental factor that modulates the host's energy balance. It increases the host's ability to harvest energy from the digested food, and produces metabolites and microbial products such as short-chain fatty acids, secondary bile acids, and lipopolysaccharides. These metabolites and microbial products act as signaling molecules that modulate appetite, gut motility, energy uptake and storage, and energy expenditure. Several findings suggest that the gut microbiota can affect the development of obesity. Germ-free mice are leaner than conventionally raised mice and they are protected against diet-induced obesity. Furthermore, obese humans and rodents have an altered gut microbiota composition with less phylogeneic diversity compared to lean controls, and transplantation of the gut microbiota from obese subjects to germ-free mice can transfer the obese phenotype. Taken together, these findings indicate a role for the gut microbiota in obesity and suggest that the gut microbiota could be targeted to improve metabolic diseases like obesity. This review focuses on the role of the gut microbiota in energy balance regulation and its potential role in obesity.

RevDate: 2019-09-07

Hidalgo-Castellanos J, Duque AS, Burgueño A, et al (2019)

Overexpression of the arginine decarboxylase gene promotes the symbiotic interaction Medicago truncatula-Sinorhizobium meliloti and induces the accumulation of proline and spermine in nodules under salt stress conditions.

Journal of plant physiology, 241:153034 pii:S0176-1617(19)30151-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Legumes have the capacity to fix nitrogen in symbiosis with soil bacteria known as rhizobia by the formation of root nodules. However, nitrogen fixation is highly sensitive to soil salinity with a concomitant reduction of the plant yield and soil fertilization. Polycationic aliphatic amines known as polyamines (PAs) have been shown to be involved in the response to a variety of stresses in plants including soil salinity. Therefore, the generation of transgenic plants overexpressing genes involved in PA biosynthesis have been proposed as a promising tool to improve salt stress tolerance in plants. In this work we tested whether the modulation of PAs in transgenic Medicago truncatula plants was advantageous for the symbiotic interaction with Sinorhizobium meliloti under salt stress conditions, when compared to wild type plants. Consequently, we characterized the symbiotic response to salt stress of the homozygous M. truncatula plant line L-108, constitutively expressing the oat adc gene, coding for the PA biosynthetic enzyme arginine decarboxylase, involved in PAs biosynthesis. In a nodulation kinetic assay, nodule number incremented in L-108 plants under salt stress. In addition, these plants at vegetative stage showed higher nitrogenase and nodule biomass and, under salt stress, accumulated proline (Pro) and spermine (Spm) in nodules, while in wt plants, the accumulation of glutamic acid (Glu), γ-amino butyric acid (GABA) and 1-aminocyclopropane carboxylic acid (ACC) (the ethylene (ET) precursor) were the metabolites involved in the salt stress response. Therefore, overexpression of oat adc gene favours the symbiotic interaction between plants of M. truncatula L-108 and S. meliloti under salt stress and the accumulation of Pro and Spm, seems to be the molecules involved in salt stress tolerance.

RevDate: 2019-09-07

Chagas PMB, Caetano AA, Tireli AA, et al (2019)

Use of an Environmental Pollutant From Hexavalent Chromium Removal as a Green Catalyst in The Fenton Process.

Scientific reports, 9(1):12819 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-49196-9.

The present study refers to the use of an environmental pollutant generated during the removal of hexavalent chromium from aqueous media. This pollutant is a material with catalytic properties suitable for application in the oxidative degradation of problematic organic compounds. The material, initially used as an adsorbent, is a composite prepared by modifying the crystalline phases of iron oxides together with the chitosan (CT-FeCr). Chemical and morphological characterizations of the materials were performed using SEM analysis coupled with EDS, XRD and DSC. The CT-FeCr beads were used in the degradation of methylene blue dye (MB) and showed excellent degradation potential (93.6%). The presence of Cr on the surface of the catalyst was responsible for the increase in catalytic activity compared to the CT-Fe and pure magnetite materials. The product of the effluent treatment and the presence of the catalyst itself in the environment do not pose toxic effects. In addition, the CT-FeCr beads showed catalytic stability for several consecutive reaction cycles with possible technical and economic viability. The concept of "industrial symbiosis" may be applied to this technology, with that term relating to the reuse of a byproduct generated in one particular industrial sector by another as a raw material.

RevDate: 2019-09-07

Treitli SC, Kolisko M, Husník F, et al (2019)

Revealing the metabolic capacity of Streblomastix strix and its bacterial symbionts using single-cell metagenomics.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America pii:1910793116 [Epub ahead of print].

Lower termites harbor in their hindgut complex microbial communities that are involved in the digestion of cellulose. Among these are protists, which are usually associated with specific bacterial symbionts found on their surface or inside their cells. While these form the foundations of a classic system in symbiosis research, we still know little about the functional basis for most of these relationships. Here, we describe the complex functional relationship between one protist, the oxymonad Streblomastix strix, and its ectosymbiotic bacterial community using single-cell genomics. We generated partial assemblies of the host S. strix genome and Candidatus Ordinivivax streblomastigis, as well as a complex metagenome assembly of at least 8 other Bacteroidetes bacteria confirmed by ribosomal (r)RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to be associated with S. strix. Our data suggest that S. strix is probably not involved in the cellulose digestion, but the bacterial community on its surface secretes a complex array of glycosyl hydrolases, providing them with the ability to degrade cellulose to monomers and fueling the metabolism of S. strix In addition, some of the bacteria can fix nitrogen and can theoretically provide S. strix with essential amino acids and cofactors, which the protist cannot synthesize. On the contrary, most of the bacterial symbionts lack the essential glycolytic enzyme enolase, which may be overcome by the exchange of intermediates with S. strix This study demonstrates the value of the combined single-cell (meta)genomic and FISH approach for studies of complicated symbiotic systems.

RevDate: 2019-09-07

Zhou K, Zhang R, Sun J, et al (2019)

Potential SUP05-Phage Interactions in Hydrothermal Vent Sponges.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.00992-19 [Epub ahead of print].

In deep-sea hydrothermal vent environments, sulfur-oxidizing bacteria belonging to the clade SUP05 are crucial symbionts of invertebrate animals. Marine viruses, as the most abundant biological entities in the ocean, play essential roles in regulating the sulfur metabolism of the SUP05 bacteria. To date, vent-sponge-associated SUP05 and their phages have not been well documented. The current study analyzed the microbiome of Haplosclerida spp. sponges from hydrothermal vents in the Okinawa Trough and recovered the dominant SUP05 genome, designated VS-SUP05. Phylogenetic analysis showed that VS-SUP05 was closely related to endosymbiotic SUP05 strains from mussels living in deep-sea hydrothermal vent fields. Homology and metabolic pathway comparisons against free-living and symbiotic SUP05 revealed that the VS-SUP05 genome shared many features with the deep-sea mussel symbionts. Supporting a potentially-symbiotic lifestyle, the VS-SUP05 genome contained genes involved in the synthesis of essential amino acids and cofactors that are desired by the host. Analysis of sponge-associated viral sequences revealed putative VS-SUP05 phages, all of which were double-stranded viruses belonging to the families Myoviridae, Siphoviridae, Podoviridae, and Microviridae Among the phage sequences, one contig contained metabolic genes (iscR, iscS, and iscU) involved in iron-sulfur cluster formation. Interestingly, genome sequence comparison revealed horizontal transfer of the iscS gene among phages, VS-SUP05 and other symbiotic SUP05, indicating an interaction between marine phages and SUP05 symbionts. Overall, our findings confirm the presence of SUP05 bacteria and their phages in sponges from deep-sea vents, and imply a beneficial interaction that allows adaptation of the host sponge to the hydrothermal vent environment.Importance Chemosynthetic SUP05 bacteria dominate the microbial communities of deep-sea hydrothermal vents around the world,. SUP05 bacteria utilize the reduced chemical compounds in vent fluids and commonly form symbioses with invertebrate organisms. This symbiotic relationship could be key to adapting to such unique and extreme environments. Viruses are the most abundant biological entities on the planet and have been identified in hydrothermal vent environments. However, their interactions with the symbiotic microbes of the SUP05 clade, along with their role in the symbiotic system, remain unclear. Here, using metagenomic sequence-based analyses, we determined that bacteriophages may support metabolism in SUP05 bacteria and play a role in the sponge-associated symbiosis system in hydrothermal vent environments.

RevDate: 2019-09-07

Eckstein S, Dominelli N, Brachmann A, et al (2019)

Phenotypic heterogeneity of insect pathogenic Photorhabdus luminescens - insights into the fate of secondary cells.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.01910-19 [Epub ahead of print].

Photorhabdus luminescens are Gram-negative bacteria that live in symbiosis with soil nematodes and are simultaneously highly pathogenic towards insects. The bacteria exist in two phenotypically different forms, designated as primary (1°) and secondary (2°) cells. Yet unknown environmental stimuli as well as global stress conditions induce phenotypic switching of up to 50% of 1° to 2° cells. An important difference between the two phenotypic forms is that 2° cells are unable to live in symbiosis with nematodes and are therefore believed to remain in the soil after a successful infection cycle. In this work, we performed a transcriptomic analysis to highlight and better understand the role of 2° cells and their putative ability to adapt to a life in soil. We could confirm that the major phenotypic differences between the two cell forms are mediated at transcriptional level as the corresponding genes were down-regulated in 2° cells. Furthermore, 2° cells seem to be adapted to another environment as we found several differentially expressed genes involved in the cells' metabolism, motility and chemotaxis as well as stress resistance, which are either up- or down-regulated in 2° cells. As in contrast to 1° cells 2° cells chemotactically responded to different attractants including plant root exudates there is evidence for the rhizosphere as an alternative environment for the 2° cells. Since P. luminescens is biotechnologically used as bio-insecticide, investigation of a putative interaction of 2° cells with plants is also of great interest for agriculture.Importance The biological function and the fate of P. luminescens 2° cells was unclear. Here we performed comparative transcriptomics of P. luminescens 1° and 2° cultures and found several genes that are up- or down-regulated in 2° cells compared to 1° cells not only coding for known phenotypic differences of the two cell forms. Our results suggest that when 1° cells convert to 2° cells, they drastically change their way of life. Thus, 2° cells could easily adapt to an alternative environment such as a free live in the rhizosphere putatively utilizing plant derived compounds as nutrient source. Since 2° cells are not able to re-associate with the nematodes, an alternative lifestyle in the rhizosphere would be conceivable.

RevDate: 2019-09-06

Sakanaka M, Hansen ME, Gotoh A, et al (2019)

Evolutionary adaptation in fucosyllactose uptake systems supports bifidobacteria-infant symbiosis.

Science advances, 5(8):eaaw7696 pii:aaw7696.

The human gut microbiota established during infancy has persistent effects on health. In vitro studies have suggested that human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) in breast milk promote the formation of a bifidobacteria-rich microbiota in infant guts; however, the underlying molecular mechanism remains elusive. Here, we characterized two functionally distinct but overlapping fucosyllactose transporters (FL transporter-1 and -2) from Bifidobacterium longum subspecies infantis. Fecal DNA and HMO consumption analyses, combined with deposited metagenome data mining, revealed that FL transporter-2 is primarily associated with the bifidobacteria-rich microbiota formation in breast-fed infant guts. Structural analyses of the solute-binding protein (SBP) of FL transporter-2 complexed with 2'-fucosyllactose and 3-fucosyllactose, together with phylogenetic analysis of SBP homologs of both FL transporters, highlight a unique adaptation strategy of Bifidobacterium to HMOs, in which the gain-of-function mutations enable FL transporter-2 to efficiently capture major fucosylated HMOs. Our results provide a molecular insight into HMO-mediated symbiosis and coevolution between bifidobacteria and humans.

RevDate: 2019-09-06
CmpDate: 2019-09-06

Chen PW, Lin YL, MS Huang (2018)

Profiles of commensal and opportunistic bacteria in human milk from healthy donors in Taiwan.

Journal of food and drug analysis, 26(4):1235-1244.

Recent studies indicate that milk from healthy mothers may harbor potential probiotics. Nonetheless, the distribution of bacterial profiles in human milk samples in Taiwan is not fully understood. Therefore, with the aim to address this question, in this study, milk samples were collected from 33 healthy mothers (D1 to D33) visiting our hospital during a 6-month period. The milk microbiota was analyzed by a molecular approach (Illumina MiSeq sequencing). The results indicate that the milk samples have a unique profile and patterns of bacterial abundance levels. Moreover, in colostrum and transitional-milk samples, we detected 154 and 127 bacterial species, respectively, and these sets shared 42.6% of the bacterial species. The most common bacterial species among all milk samples were Staphylococcus epidermidis, Streptococcus lactarius, and Staphylococcus hominis, suggesting that the skin contamination route plays an important role in the composition of the milk microbiota. Nevertheless, four Lactobacillus species, Lactobacillus helveticus, Lactobacillus iners, Lactobacillus zeae, and Lactobacillus gasseri, were present in only 7 samples (21% prevalence), and bifidobacterial species were quite rare taxa among the present samples. The Staphylococcus aureus was detected in a total of 15 samples (45% prevalence), suggesting that this species may be commonly present in milk samples. In conclusion, each milk sample revealed a unique profile and patterns of bacterial abundance levels, and our data do not support the idea that lactobacilli and bifidobacteria are common and abundant in modern milk samples. Because none of the donors of the milk samples showed mastitis or any discomfort during the sampling process or at follow-up inspection, the microbiota of these milk samples is not likely to negatively affect its host. This study provides new information on the proportions of commensal bacteria in human milk in Taiwan.

RevDate: 2019-09-06
CmpDate: 2019-09-05

Gavelis GS, GH Gile (2018)

How did cyanobacteria first embark on the path to becoming plastids?: lessons from protist symbioses.

FEMS microbiology letters, 365(19):.

Symbioses between phototrophs and heterotrophs (a.k.a 'photosymbioses') are extremely common, and range from loose and temporary associations to obligate and highly specialized forms. In the history of life, the most transformative was the 'primary endosymbiosis,' wherein a cyanobacterium was engulfed by a eukaryote and became genetically integrated as a heritable photosynthetic organelle, or plastid. By allowing the rise of algae and plants, this event dramatically altered the biosphere, but its remote origin over one billion years ago has obscured the sequence of events leading to its establishment. Here, we review the genetic, physiological and developmental hurdles involved in early primary endosymbiosis. Since we cannot travel back in time to witness these evolutionary junctures, we will draw on examples of unicellular eukaryotes (protists) spanning diverse modes of photosymbiosis. We also review experimental approaches that could be used to recreate aspects of early primary endosymbiosis on a human timescale.

RevDate: 2019-09-05

Feng Z, Zhang L, Wu Y, et al (2019)

The Rpf84 gene, encoding a ribosomal large subunit protein, RPL22, regulates symbiotic nodulation in Robinia pseudoacacia.

Planta pii:10.1007/s00425-019-03267-3 [Epub ahead of print].

MAIN CONCLUSION: A homologue of the ribosomal protein L22e, Rpf84, regulates root nodule symbiosis by mediating the infection process of rhizobia and preventing bacteroids from degradation in Robinia pseudoacacia. Ribosomal proteins (RPs) are known to have extraribosomal functions, including developmental regulation and stress responses; however, the effects of RPs on symbiotic nodulation of legumes are still unclear. Ribosomal protein 22 of the large 60S subunit (RPL22), a non-typical RP that is only found in eukaryotes, has been shown to function as a tumour suppressor in animals. Here, a homologue of RPL22, Rpf84, was identified from the leguminous tree R. pseudoacacia. Subcellular localization assays showed that Rpf84 was expressed in the cytoplasm and nucleus. Knockdown of Rpf84 by RNA interference (RNAi) technology impaired the infection process and nodule development. Compared with the control, root and stem length, dry weight and nodule number per plant were drastically decreased in Rpf84-RNAi plants. The numbers of root hair curlings, infection threads and nodule primordia were also significantly reduced. Ultrastructure analyses showed that Rpf84-RNAi nodules contained fewer infected cells with fewer bacteria. In particular, remarkable deformation of bacteroids and fusion of multiple symbiosomes occurred in infected cells. By contrast, overexpression of Rpf84 promoted nodulation, and the overexpression nodules maintained a larger infection/differentiation region and had more infected cells filled with bacteroids than the control at 45 days post inoculation, suggesting a retarded ageing process in nodules. These results indicate for the first time that RP regulates the symbiotic nodulation of legumes and that RPL22 may function in initiating the invasion of rhizobia and preventing bacteroids from degradation in R. pseudoacacia.

RevDate: 2019-09-04

Huang R, Li Z, Mao C, et al (2019)

Natural variation at OsCERK1 regulates arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis in rice.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

The symbiotic interaction between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and land plants is essential for efficient nutrient acquisition and utilization. Our understanding of key processes controlling the AMF colonization in rice is still limited. Dongxiang wild rice (DY) exhibited a stronger colonization with Rhizophagus irregularis than the rice cultivar Zhongzao 35 (ZZ35). Chromosome-segment substitution lines were constructed and the OsCERK1 gene from DY was mapped. Transgenic plants in the japonica rice Zhonghua 11 (ZZ11) were constructed to compare root colonization by AMF. Chromosome single-segment substitution lines containing OsCERK1DY showed higher phosphorus content and grain yield relative to ZZ35. Four amino acids substitutions were identified among the OsCERK1 haplotypes of DY, ZZ35 and ZH11, and two of them were in the second lysin motif domain, which is essential for the differences of AMF colonization level among rice varieties. Heterologous expression of OsCERK1DY in ZH11 significantly enhanced AMF colonization and increased resistance against the pathogenic fungi Magnaporthe oryzae. Notably, the OsCERK1DY haplotype was absent from 4,660 cultivated rice varieties. We conclude that OsCERK1 is a key gene affecting the symbiotic interaction with AMF and OsCERK1DY has the biotechnological potential to increase rice phosphorus acquisition and utilization efficiency for sustainable agriculture. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-09-05

Li J, Wang T, Yu S, et al (2019)

Community characteristics and ecological roles of bacterial biofilms associated with various algal settlements on coastal reefs.

Journal of environmental management, 250:109459 pii:S0301-4797(19)31177-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Bacterial biofilms, which are a group of bacteria attaching to and ultimately forming communities on reefs, perform essential ecological functions in coastal ecosystems. Particularly, they may attract or repulse the settling down of opportunistic algae. However, this phenomenon and the interaction mechanism are not fully understood. This study investigated reefs from the Changdao coastal zone to determine the structures and functions of bacterial biofilms symbiosing with various algae using high-throughput sequencing analysis. The Shannon diversity index of microbiota with algal symbiosis reached 5.34, which was higher than that of microbiota wherein algae were absent (4.80). The beta diversity results for 11 samples revealed that there existed a separation between bacterial communities on reefs with and without attached algae, while communities with similar algae clustered together. The taxa mostly associated with algae-symbiotic microbiota are the Actinobacteria phylum, and the Flavobacteriia and Gammaproteobacteria classes. The Cyanobacteria phylum was not associated with algae-symbiotic microbiota. As revealed by functional analysis, the bacteria mostly involved in the metabolism of sulfur were represented by brown and red algae in the biofilm symbiosis. Bacteria related to the metabolism of certain trace elements were observed only in specific groups. Moreover, phototrophy-related bacteria were less abundant in samples coexisting with algae. This study established the link between bacterial biofilms and algal settlements on costal reefs, and revealed the possible holobiont relationship between them. This may provide new technical directions toward realizing algal cultivation and management during the construction of artificial reef ecosystems.

RevDate: 2019-09-03

Azevedo GPR, Paz PHCD, Mattsson HK, et al (2019)

[PROVISIONAL] Genome sequence of Shewanella corallii strain A687 isolated from pufferfish (Sphoeroides spengleri).

Genetics and molecular biology pii:S1415-47572019005041102 [Epub ahead of print].

We present here the genome sequence of Shewanella corallii strain A687 isolated from pufferfish Sphoeroides spengleri (Family Tetraodontidae). The assembly consists of 5,215,037 bp and contains 284 contigs, with a G+C content of 50.3%. The genus Shewanella comprises 67 recognized species. These bacteria are Gram-negative, rod-shaped, facultatively anaerobic gammaproteobacteria and frequently isolated from marine environments (MacDonell & Colwell, 1985, Sugimoto et al., 2018). Shewanella species are involved in the production of antimicrobial metabolites and tetrodotoxin, a strong neurotoxin (Simidu et al., 1990, Magarlamov et al., 2017, Matsui et al., 1989). Shewanella corallii was recorded from red sea coral (Shnit-Orland, 2010). The aim of the present study was to determine the genome sequence of Shewanella corallii strain A687. S. corallii A687 was isolated from pufferfish Sphoeroides spengleri (Family Tetraodontidae), in Arraial do Cabo (Brazil) in 2016. Genomic DNA was extracted using according to Pitcher's protocol (Pitcher et al., 1989) and used for 300-bp paired-end library preparation with Nextera XT DNA Sample Preparation Kit. The genome was sequenced using MiSeq (Illumina, San Diego, CA, USA) as previously described (Walter et al., 2016). Sequences obtained were pre-processed using PRINSEQ software to remove reads smaller than 35 bp and low-score sequences (Phred 30) (Schmieder & Edwards, 2011). Sequence reads were assembled using A5-Miseq (Coil et al., 2015) and CAP3 software (Huang & Madan, 1999). The gene prediction and functional annotation were performed using the RAST server (Overbeek et al., 2014). Secondary metabolism was analyzed by antiSMASH (Weber et al., 2015) and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) arrays were determined with CRISPRFinder (Grissa et al., 2007). The sequencing generated a total of 4,557,272 reads and 768,079,097 bp that were assembled in 284 contigs (N50=298,540 bp). The estimated genome size is 5,215,037 bp with G+C of 50.3%, and a coverage of 146-fold. RAST predicted 4,555 coding sequences, and 175 RNA sequences (147 tRNAs, 11 16S rRNAs, 6 23S rRNAs, and 11 5S rRNAs). Analyzing the genes predicted by RAST, a total of 74 genes were involved in resistance to antibiotics and toxic compounds including copper homeostasis (N=8); bile hydrolysis (N=2); cobalt-zinc-cadmium resistance (N=20); resistance to fluoroquinolones (N=4); arsenic resistance (N=4); copper homeostasis: copper tolerance (N=6); tetracycline resistance, ribosome protection type II (N=2); beta-lactamase (N=5); multidrug resistance efflux pumps (N=22); resistance to chromium compounds (N=1); 24 genes for the metabolism of aromatic compounds, including salicylate ester, chloroaromatic and quinate degradation. Phage elements sequences (N=44) were found in this genome, and CRISPRs arrays candidates were predicted in four sequences. We searched through subsystems for genes associated to symbiosis. Genes encoding type I, (lapBCDE, lapL, lapP, RTX and TolC) and type II (TadA, TadB, TadC, VirB11, RcpC, CpaB and CpaF) secretion systems were detected. We also identified 16 genes related to vitamin B12 synthesis and four LuxR gene families (Bondarev et al., 2013).

RevDate: 2019-09-03

Breusing C, Johnson SB, Vrijenhoek RC, et al (2019)

Host hybridization as a potential mechanism of lateral symbiont transfer in deep-sea vesicomyid clams.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Deep-sea vesicomyid clams live in mutualistic symbiosis with chemosynthetic bacteria that are inherited through the maternal germ line. On evolutionary timescales, strictly vertical transmission should lead to co-speciation of host mitochondrial and symbiont lineages; nonetheless, examples of incongruent phylogenies have been reported, suggesting that symbionts are occasionally horizontally transmitted between host species. The current paradigm for vesicomyid clams holds that direct transfers cause host shifts or mixtures of symbionts. An alternative hypothesis suggests that hybridization between host species might explain symbiont transfers. Two clam species, Archivesica gigas and Phreagena soyoae, frequently co-occur at deep-sea hydrocarbon seeps in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Although the two species typically host gammaproteobacterial symbiont lineages marked by divergent 16S rRNA phylotypes, we identified a number of clams with the A. gigas mitotype that hosted symbionts with the P. soyoae phylotype. Demographic inference models based on genome-wide SNP data and three Sanger sequenced gene markers provided evidence that A. gigas and P. soyoae hybridized in the past, supporting the hypothesis that hybridization might be a viable mechanism of inter-specific symbiont transfer. These findings provide new perspectives on the evolution of vertically transmitted symbionts and their hosts in deep-sea chemosynthetic environments. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-09-03

Müller LM, Flokova K, Schnabel E, et al (2019)

A CLE-SUNN module regulates strigolactone content and fungal colonization in arbuscular mycorrhiza.

Nature plants pii:10.1038/s41477-019-0501-1 [Epub ahead of print].

During arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis, colonization of the root is modulated in response to the physiological status of the plant, with regulation occurring locally and systemically. Here, we identify differentially expressed genes encoding CLAVATA3/ESR-related (CLE) peptides that negatively regulate colonization levels by modulating root strigolactone content. CLE function requires a receptor-like kinase, SUNN; thus, a CLE-SUNN-strigolactone feedback loop is one avenue through which the plant modulates colonization levels.

RevDate: 2019-09-03

Ibny FYI, Jaiswal SK, Mohammed M, et al (2019)

Symbiotic effectiveness and ecologically adaptive traits of native rhizobial symbionts of Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea L. Verdc.) in Africa and their relationship with phylogeny.

Scientific reports, 9(1):12666 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-48944-1.

Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea L. Verdc.) is an indigenous, drought-tolerant, underutilized African food legume, with the ability to fix atmospheric N2 in symbiosis with soil bacteria called rhizobia. The aim of this study was to assess the morpho-physiological, symbiotic and phylogenetic characteristics of rhizobia nodulating Bambara groundnut in Ghana, Mali and South Africa. The morpho-physiologically diverse isolates tested were also found to exhibit differences in functional efficiency and phylogenetic positions. Based on Enterobacterial Repetitive Intergenic Consensus (ERIC)-PCR banding patterns, the isolates were grouped into eight major clusters. The concentrations of Ca, Na and K in soils had a significant (p ≤ 0.01) effect on the distribution of rhizobia. Though many isolates were symbiotically very effective, the effectiveness index varied markedly (p ≤ 0.05) among them. Moreover, the isolates also exhibited tolerance to a wide range of NaCl (0.5-7%), streptomycin (50-500 µg.ml-1), and kanamycin (25-150 µg.ml-1) concentrations. Additionally, these isolates could produce 0.02 to 69.71 µg.ml-1 of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) in tryptophan-supplemented medium, as well as solubilize tri-calcium phosphate. Phylogenetic analysis of these rhizobial isolates using 16S rRNA, atpD, glnII, gyrB, recA and symbiotic (nifH and nodC) gene sequences revealed distinct and novel evolutionary lineages related to the genus Bradyrhizobium, with some of them being very close to Bradyrhizobium vignae, B. kavangense, B. subterraneum, B. elkanii and B. pachyrhizi.

RevDate: 2019-09-03

Attardo GM, Abd-Alla AMM, Acosta-Serrano A, et al (2019)

Comparative genomic analysis of six Glossina genomes, vectors of African trypanosomes.

Genome biology, 20(1):187 pii:10.1186/s13059-019-1768-2.

BACKGROUND: Tsetse flies (Glossina sp.) are the vectors of human and animal trypanosomiasis throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Tsetse flies are distinguished from other Diptera by unique adaptations, including lactation and the birthing of live young (obligate viviparity), a vertebrate blood-specific diet by both sexes, and obligate bacterial symbiosis. This work describes the comparative analysis of six Glossina genomes representing three sub-genera: Morsitans (G. morsitans morsitans, G. pallidipes, G. austeni), Palpalis (G. palpalis, G. fuscipes), and Fusca (G. brevipalpis) which represent different habitats, host preferences, and vectorial capacity.

RESULTS: Genomic analyses validate established evolutionary relationships and sub-genera. Syntenic analysis of Glossina relative to Drosophila melanogaster shows reduced structural conservation across the sex-linked X chromosome. Sex-linked scaffolds show increased rates of female-specific gene expression and lower evolutionary rates relative to autosome associated genes. Tsetse-specific genes are enriched in protease, odorant-binding, and helicase activities. Lactation-associated genes are conserved across all Glossina species while male seminal proteins are rapidly evolving. Olfactory and gustatory genes are reduced across the genus relative to other insects. Vision-associated Rhodopsin genes show conservation of motion detection/tracking functions and variance in the Rhodopsin detecting colors in the blue wavelength ranges.

CONCLUSIONS: Expanded genomic discoveries reveal the genetics underlying Glossina biology and provide a rich body of knowledge for basic science and disease control. They also provide insight into the evolutionary biology underlying novel adaptations and are relevant to applied aspects of vector control such as trap design and discovery of novel pest and disease control strategies.

RevDate: 2019-09-02

Wardhani TAK, Roswanjaya YP, Dupin S, et al (2019)

Transforming, Genome Editing and Phenotyping the Nitrogen-fixing Tropical Cannabaceae Tree Parasponia andersonii.

Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE.

Parasponia andersonii is a fast-growing tropical tree that belongs to the Cannabis family (Cannabaceae). Together with 4 additional species, it forms the only known non-legume lineage able to establish a nitrogen-fixing nodule symbiosis with rhizobium. Comparative studies between legumes and P. andersonii could provide valuable insight into the genetic networks underlying root nodule formation. To facilitate comparative studies, we recently sequenced the P. andersonii genome and established Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated stable transformation and CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing. Here, we provide a detailed description of the transformation and genome editing procedures developed for P. andersonii. In addition, we describe procedures for the seed germination and characterization of symbiotic phenotypes. Using this protocol, stable transgenic mutant lines can be generated in a period of 2-3 months. Vegetative in vitro propagation of T0 transgenic lines allows phenotyping experiments to be initiated at 4 months after A. tumefaciens co-cultivation. Therefore, this protocol takes only marginally longer than the transient Agrobacterium rhizogenes-based root transformation method available for P. andersonii, though offers several clear advantages. Together, the procedures described here permit P. andersonii to be used as a research model for studies aimed at understanding symbiotic associations as well as potentially other aspects of the biology of this tropical tree.

RevDate: 2019-09-02

Hu Y, Linz DM, Parker ES, et al (2019)

Developmental bias in horned dung beetles and its contributions to innovation, adaptation, and resilience.

Evolution & development [Epub ahead of print].

Developmental processes transduce diverse influences during phenotype formation, thereby biasing and structuring amount and type of phenotypic variation available for evolutionary processes to act on. The causes, extent, and consequences of this bias are subject to significant debate. Here we explore the role of developmental bias in contributing to organisms' ability to innovate, to adapt to novel or stressful conditions, and to generate well integrated, resilient phenotypes in the face of perturbations. We focus our inquiry on one taxon, the horned dung beetle genus Onthophagus, and review the role developmental bias might play across several levels of biological organization: (a) gene regulatory networks that pattern specific body regions; (b) plastic developmental mechanisms that coordinate body wide responses to changing environments and; (c) developmental symbioses and niche construction that enable organisms to build teams and to actively modify their own selective environments. We posit that across all these levels developmental bias shapes the way living systems innovate, adapt, and withstand stress, in ways that can alternately limit, bias, or facilitate developmental evolution. We conclude that the structuring contribution of developmental bias in evolution deserves further study to better understand why and how developmental evolution unfolds the way it does.

RevDate: 2019-09-05

Chang ACG, Chen T, Li N, et al (2019)

Perspectives on Endosymbiosis in Coralloid Roots: Association of Cycads and Cyanobacteria.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:1888.

Past endosymbiotic events allowed photosynthetic organisms to flourish and evolve in terrestrial areas. The precursor of chloroplasts was an ancient photosynthetic cyanobacterium. Presently, cyanobacteria are still capable of establishing successful symbioses in a wide range of hosts. One particular host plant among the gymnosperms is cycads (Order Cycadales) in which a special type of root system, referred to as coralloid roots, develops to house symbiotic cyanobacteria. A number of studies have explained coralloid root formation and cyanobiont invasion but the questions on mechanisms of this host-microbe association remains vague. Most researches focus on diversity of symbionts in coralloid roots but equally important is to explore the underlying mechanisms of cycads-Nostoc symbiosis as well. Besides providing an overview of relevant areas presently known about this association and citing putative genes involved in cycad-cyanobacteria symbioses, this paper aims to identify the limitations that hamper attempts to get to the root of the matter and suggests future research directions that may prove useful.

RevDate: 2019-09-05

Beinart RA, Luo C, Konstantinidis KT, et al (2019)

The Bacterial Symbionts of Closely Related Hydrothermal Vent Snails With Distinct Geochemical Habitats Show Broad Similarity in Chemoautotrophic Gene Content.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:1818.

Symbiosis has evolved between a diversity of invertebrate taxa and chemosynthetic bacterial lineages. At the broadest level, these symbioses share primary function: the bacterial symbionts use the energy harnessed from the oxidation of reduced chemicals to power the fixation of inorganic carbon and/or other nutrients, providing the bulk of host nutrition. However, it is unclear to what extent the ecological niche of the host species is influenced by differences in symbiont traits, particularly those involved in chemoautotrophic function and interaction with the geochemical environment. Hydrothermal vents in the Lau Basin (Tonga) are home to four morphologically and physiologically similar snail species from the sister genera Alviniconcha and Ifremeria. Here, we assembled nearly complete genomes from their symbionts to determine whether differences in chemoautotrophic capacity exist among these symbionts that could explain the observed distribution of these snail species into distinct geochemical habitats. Phylogenomic analyses confirmed that the symbionts have evolved from four distinct lineages in the classes γ-proteobacteria or Campylobacteria. The genomes differed with respect to genes related to motility, adhesion, secretion, and amino acid uptake or excretion, though were quite similar in chemoautotrophic function, with all four containing genes for carbon fixation, sulfur and hydrogen oxidation, and oxygen and nitrate respiration. This indicates that differences in the presence or absence of symbiont chemoautotrophic functions does not likely explain the observed geochemical habitat partitioning. Rather, differences in gene expression and regulation, biochemical differences among these chemoautotrophic pathways, and/or differences in host physiology could all influence the observed patterns of habitat partitioning.

RevDate: 2019-09-02

Weber PM, Moessel F, Paredes GF, et al (2019)

A Bidimensional Segregation Mode Maintains Symbiont Chromosome Orientation toward Its Host.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(19)30944-3 [Epub ahead of print].

All living organisms require accurate segregation of their genetic material. However, in microbes, chromosome segregation is less understood than replication and cell division, which makes its decipherment a compelling research frontier. Furthermore, it has only been studied in free-living microbes so far. Here, we investigated this fundamental process in a rod-shaped symbiont, Candidatus Thiosymbion oneisti. This gammaproteobacterium divides longitudinally as to form a columnar epithelium ensheathing its nematode host. We hypothesized that uninterrupted host attachment would affect bacterial chromosome dynamics and set out to localize specific chromosomal loci and putative DNA-segregating proteins by fluorescence in situ hybridization and immunostaining, respectively. First, DNA replication origins (ori) number per cell demonstrated symbiont monoploidy. Second, we showed that sister ori segregate diagonally prior to septation onset. Moreover, the localization pattern of the centromere-binding protein ParB recapitulates that of ori, and consistently, we showed recombinant ParB to specifically bind an ori-proximal site (parS) in vitro. Third, chromosome replication ends prior to cell fission, and as the poles start to invaginate, termination of replication (ter) sites localize medially, at the leading edges of the growing septum. They then migrate to midcell, concomitantly with septation progression and until this is completed. In conclusion, we propose that symbiont ParB might drive chromosome segregation along the short axis and that tethering of sister ter regions to the growing septum mediates their migration along the long axis. Crucially, active bidimensional segregation of the chromosome allows transgenerational maintenance of its configuration, and therefore, it may represent an adaptation to symbiosis. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

RevDate: 2019-08-31

Khemaissia H, Jelassi R, Ghemari C, et al (2019)

Evaluation of trace element contamination using Armadillo officinalis Duméril, 1816 (Crustacea, Isopoda) as a tool: An ultrastructural study.

Microscopy research and technique [Epub ahead of print].

To estimate trace element bioaccumulation in Armadillo officinalis, specimens were collected from Ghar El Melh lagoon then exposed for 3 weeks in contaminated sediments with copper, zinc, and cadmium. From the first week until the end of the experiment, a decrease in A. officinalis growth related to the increase of Cd concentration in the sediment was recorded. However, a mass gain was highlighted under Cu and Zn exposures. At the end of experiment, body metal concentrations were measured using flame atomic emission spectrometry. Results of the bioaccumulation factor showed that the species could be considered as a macroconcentrator of copper (BAF > 2) and a deconcentrator of zinc (BAF < 2). Microscopy observations of hepatopancreas cells showed morphological and histological changes even at the lowest concentration. They consisted in the microvillus border destruction, lipid droplets modifications, trace element accumulation, and the condensation of the majority of cellular organelles. The degree of these alterations was found to be dose-dependent. Through these results, the isopod A. officinalis could be used as relevant monitor organisms for soil metal contamination.

RevDate: 2019-08-30

Cui Y, Gao J, He Y, et al (2019)

Plant extracellular vesicles.

Protoplasma pii:10.1007/s00709-019-01435-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Exocytosis is a key mechanism for delivering materials into the extracellular space for cell function and communication. In plant cells, conventional protein secretion (CPS) is achieved via an ER (endoplasmic reticulum)-Golgi-TGN (trans-Golgi network)-PM (plasma membrane) pathway. Unconventional protein secretion (UPS) bypassing these secretory organelles is also in operation and can potentially lead to the formation of extracellular vesicles (EVs) in plant cells. Although multiple types of EVs have been identified and shown to play important roles in mediating intercellular communications in mammalian cells, there has been a long debate about the possible existence of EVs in plants because of the presence of the cell wall. However, increasing evidence suggests that plants also release EVs having various functions including unconventional protein secretion, RNA transport, and defense against pathogens. In this review, we present an update on the current knowledge about the nature, secretory mechanism, and function of various types of EVs in plants. The key regulators involved in EV secretion are also summarized and discussed. We pay special attention to the function of EVs in plant defense and symbiosis.

RevDate: 2019-08-29

Tikhonenkov DV, Jhin SH, Eglit Y, et al (2019)

Ecological and evolutionary patterns in the enigmatic protist genus Percolomonas (Heterolobosea; Discoba) from diverse habitats.

PloS one, 14(8):e0216188 pii:PONE-D-19-10704.

The heterotrophic flagellate Percolomonas cosmopolitus (Heterolobosea) is often observed in saline habitats worldwide, from coastal waters to saturated brines. However, only two cultures assigned to this morphospecies have been examined using molecular methods, and their 18S rRNA gene sequences are extremely different. Further the salinity tolerances of individual strains are unknown. Thus, our knowledge on the autecology and diversity in this morphospecies is deficient. Here, we report 18S rRNA gene data on seven strains similar to P. cosmopolitus from seven geographically remote locations (New Zealand, Kenya, Korea, Poland, Russia, Spain, and the USA) with sample salinities ranging from 4‰ to 280‰, and compare morphology and salinity tolerance of the nine available strains. Percolomonas cosmopolitus-like strains show few-to-no consistent morphological differences, and form six clades separated by often extremely large 18S rRNA gene divergences (up to 42.4%). Some strains grow best at salinities from 75 to 125‰ and represent halophiles. All but one of these belong to two geographically heterogeneous clusters that form a robust monophyletic group in phylogenetic trees; this likely represents an ecologically specialized subclade of halophiles. Our results suggest that P. cosmopolitus is a cluster of several cryptic species (at least), which are unlikely to be distinguished by geography. Interestingly, the 9 Percolomonas strains formed a clade in 18S rRNA gene phylogenies, unlike most previous analyses based on two sequences.

RevDate: 2019-08-29

Shah S, Darekar B, Salvi S, et al (2019)

Quadriceps strength in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Lung India : official organ of Indian Chest Society, 36(5):417-421.

Background: Skeletal muscle dysfunction is well known in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The muscle strength is altered in various muscles variedly. Lower-limb muscle strength is very important for walking distance. Reduced lower-limb strength can affect the physical quality of life.

Objectives: The aim of the study was to assess and compare the quadriceps strength in COPD patients and age-matched healthy controls and to study the correlation between lung function parameters and the quadriceps strength in patients with COPD.

Methodology: Thirty nonsmoker male patients; thirty nonsmoker female patients with COPD; and sixty age-, BMI-, and gender-matched healthy controls were studied. Quadriceps muscle strength was measured using a quadriceps dynamometer. Forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), FEF 25-75, and peak expiratory flow rate were measured using Helios 702 Spirometer. The quadriceps muscle strength between the two groups was compared using the unpaired Student's t-test. Correlations between FVC and FEV1with muscle strength were analyzed using the Pearson's coefficient.

Results: The mean unilateral and bilateral quadriceps strength in both male and female COPD patients was significantly lesser than the healthy controls (P < 0.05). There was a significant positive correlation between muscle strength and FVC and muscle strength and FEV1in patients with COPD.

Conclusion: The study shows that there is quadriceps weakness in COPD patients, and pulmonary functions have a direct impact on skeletal muscle strength. Identifying those patients who have reduced strength will allow early interventions targeted at improving the quality of life of the patient.

RevDate: 2019-08-29

Monteiro PHR, Kaschuk G, Winagraski E, et al (2019)

Rhizobial inoculation in black wattle plantation (Acacia mearnsii De Wild.) in production systems of southern Brazil.

Brazilian journal of microbiology : [publication of the Brazilian Society for Microbiology] pii:10.1007/s42770-019-00148-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Black wattle (Acacia mearnsii De Wild.) is a tree legume native to southeast Australia, but present in all continents. Today it covers about 142,400 ha in Brazil, with plantations concentrated in the southern region of the country. Black wattle may form nodules and establish rhizobial symbiosis capable of fixing N2, but rhizobial inoculation is not done in commercial plantations. About 40 kg ha-1 of urea is applied during seedling transplantation. In this review, evidences by which rhizobial inoculation affects monoculture, mixed cultivation, and agroforestry black wattle production systems were searched in literature. Previous measurements in cultivated forests have indicated that biological nitrogen fixation in black wattle may provide up to 200 kg of N ha-1 year-1 to the soil. Therefore, rhizobia inoculation may bring several opportunities to improve black wattle production systems. Black wattle is not a very selective partner in the rhizobial symbiosis, but the genus Bradyrhizobium dominates the rhizobial diversity of black wattle nodules. Investigation on rhizobial diversity in soils where the crop is cultivated may represent an opportunity to find more effective rhizobia strains for inoculants. The successful history of biological nitrogen fixation in grain legumes must inspire the history of tree legumes. Microbiology applied to forestry must overcome challenges on the lack of trained professionals and the development of new application technologies.

RevDate: 2019-09-01

Couret J, Huynh-Griffin L, Antolic-Soban I, et al (2019)

Even obligate symbioses show signs of ecological contingency: Impacts of symbiosis for an invasive stinkbug are mediated by host plant context.

Ecology and evolution, 9(16):9087-9099 pii:ECE35454.

Abstract: Many species interactions are dependent on environmental context, yet the benefits of obligate, mutualistic microbial symbioses to their hosts are typically assumed to be universal across environments. We directly tested this assumption, focusing on the symbiosis between the sap-feeding insect Megacopta cribraria and its primary bacterial symbiont Candidatus Ishikawaella capsulata. We assessed host development time, survival, and body size in the presence and absence of the symbiont on two alternative host plants and in the insects' new invasive range. We found that association with the symbiont was critical for host survival to adulthood when reared on either host plant, with few individuals surviving in the absence of symbiosis. Developmental differences between hosts with and without microbial symbionts, however, were mediated by the host plants on which the insects were reared. Our results support the hypothesis that benefits associated with this host-microbe interaction are environmentally contingent, though given that few individuals survive to adulthood without their symbionts, this may have minimal impact on ecological dynamics and current evolutionary trajectories of these partners.

OPEN RESEARCH BADGES: This article has earned an Open Data Badge for making publicly available the digitally-shareable data necessary to reproduce the reported results. The data is available at https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.kg4bc56.

RevDate: 2019-08-29

Bahadur A, Batool A, Nasir F, et al (2019)

Mechanistic Insights into Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi-Mediated Drought Stress Tolerance in Plants.

International journal of molecular sciences, 20(17): pii:ijms20174199.

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) establish symbiotic interaction with 80% of known land plants. It has a pronounced impact on plant growth, water absorption, mineral nutrition, and protection from abiotic stresses. Plants are very dynamic systems having great adaptability under continuously changing drying conditions. In this regard, the function of AMF as a biological tool for improving plant drought stress tolerance and phenotypic plasticity, in terms of establishing mutualistic associations, seems an innovative approach towards sustainable agriculture. However, a better understanding of these complex interconnected signaling pathways and AMF-mediated mechanisms that regulate the drought tolerance in plants will enhance its potential application as an innovative approach in environmentally friendly agriculture. This paper reviews the underlying mechanisms that are confidently linked with plant-AMF interaction in alleviating drought stress, constructing emphasis on phytohormones and signaling molecules and their interaction with biochemical, and physiological processes to maintain the homeostasis of nutrient and water cycling and plant growth performance. Likewise, the paper will analyze how the AMF symbiosis helps the plant to overcome the deleterious effects of stress is also evaluated. Finally, we review how interactions between various signaling mechanisms governed by AMF symbiosis modulate different physiological responses to improve drought tolerance. Understanding the AMF-mediated mechanisms that are important for regulating the establishment of the mycorrhizal association and the plant protective responses towards unfavorable conditions will open new approaches to exploit AMF as a bioprotective tool against drought.

RevDate: 2019-08-30

Balestrini R, Rosso LC, Veronico P, et al (2019)

Transcriptomic Responses to Water Deficit and Nematode Infection in Mycorrhizal Tomato Roots.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:1807.

Climate changes include the intensification of drought in many parts of the world, increasing its frequency, severity and duration. However, under natural conditions, environmental stresses do not occur alone, and, in addition, more stressed plants may become more susceptible to attacks by pests and pathogens. Studies on the impact of the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis on tomato response to water deficit showed that several drought-responsive genes are differentially regulated in AM-colonized tomato plants (roots and leaves) during water deficit. To date, global changes in mycorrhizal tomato root transcripts under water stress conditions have not been yet investigated. Here, changes in root transcriptome in the presence of an AM fungus, with or without water stress (WS) application, have been evaluated in a commercial tomato cultivar already investigated for the water stress response during AM symbiosis. Since root-knot nematodes (RKNs, Meloidogyne incognita) are obligate endoparasites and cause severe yield losses in tomato, the impact of the AM fungal colonization on RKN infection at 7 days post-inoculation was also evaluated. Results offer new information about the response to AM symbiosis, highlighting a functional redundancy for several tomato gene families, as well as on the tomato and fungal genes involved in WS response during symbiosis, underlying the role of the AM fungus. Changes in the expression of tomato genes related to nematode infection during AM symbiosis highlight a role of AM colonization in triggering defense responses against RKN in tomato. Overall, new datasets on the tomato response to an abiotic and biotic stress during AM symbiosis have been obtained, providing useful data for further researches.

RevDate: 2019-08-28

Creekmore BC, Gray JH, Walton WG, et al (2019)

Mouse Gut Microbiome-Encoded β-Glucuronidases Identified Using Metagenome Analysis Guided by Protein Structure.

mSystems, 4(4): pii:4/4/e00452-19.

Gut microbial β-glucuronidase (GUS) enzymes play important roles in drug efficacy and toxicity, intestinal carcinogenesis, and mammalian-microbial symbiosis. Recently, the first catalog of human gut GUS proteins was provided for the Human Microbiome Project stool sample database and revealed 279 unique GUS enzymes organized into six categories based on active-site structural features. Because mice represent a model biomedical research organism, here we provide an analogous catalog of mouse intestinal microbial GUS proteins-a mouse gut GUSome. Using metagenome analysis guided by protein structure, we examined 2.5 million unique proteins from a comprehensive mouse gut metagenome created from several mouse strains, providers, housing conditions, and diets. We identified 444 unique GUS proteins and organized them into six categories based on active-site features, similarly to the human GUSome analysis. GUS enzymes were encoded by the major gut microbial phyla, including Firmicutes (60%) and Bacteroidetes (21%), and there were nearly 20% for which taxonomy could not be assigned. No differences in gut microbial gus gene composition were observed for mice based on sex. However, mice exhibited gus differences based on active-site features associated with provider, location, strain, and diet. Furthermore, diet yielded the largest differences in gus composition. Biochemical analysis of two low-fat-associated GUS enzymes revealed that they are variable with respect to their efficacy of processing both sulfated and nonsulfated heparan nonasaccharides containing terminal glucuronides.IMPORTANCE Mice are commonly employed as model organisms of mammalian disease; as such, our understanding of the compositions of their gut microbiomes is critical to appreciating how the mouse and human gastrointestinal tracts mirror one another. GUS enzymes, with importance in normal physiology and disease, are an attractive set of proteins to use for such analyses. Here we show that while the specific GUS enzymes differ at the sequence level, a core GUSome functionality appears conserved between mouse and human gastrointestinal bacteria. Mouse strain, provider, housing location, and diet exhibit distinct GUSomes and gus gene compositions, but sex seems not to affect the GUSome. These data provide a basis for understanding the gut microbial GUS enzymes present in commonly used laboratory mice. Further, they demonstrate the utility of metagenome analysis guided by protein structure to provide specific sets of functionally related proteins from whole-genome metagenome sequencing data.

RevDate: 2019-08-30

Lim SJ, Alexander L, Engel AS, et al (2019)

Extensive Thioautotrophic Gill Endosymbiont Diversity within a Single Ctena orbiculata (Bivalvia: Lucinidae) Population and Implications for Defining Host-Symbiont Specificity and Species Recognition.

mSystems, 4(4): pii:4/4/e00280-19.

Seagrass-dwelling members of the bivalve family Lucinidae harbor environmentally acquired gill endosymbionts. According to previous studies, lucinid symbionts potentially represent multiple strains from a single thioautotrophic gammaproteobacterium species. This study utilized genomic- and transcriptomic-level data to resolve symbiont taxonomic, genetic, and functional diversity from Ctena orbiculata endosymbiont populations inhabiting carbonate-rich sediment at Sugarloaf Key, FL (USA). The sediment had mixed seagrass and calcareous green alga coverage and also was colonized by at least five other lucinid species. Four coexisting, thioautotrophic endosymbiont operational taxonomic units (OTUs), likely representing four strains from two different bacterial species, were identified from C. orbiculata Three of these OTUs also occurred at high relative abundances in the other sympatric lucinid species. Interspecies genetic differences averaged about 5% lower at both pairwise average nucleotide identity and amino acid identity than interstrain differences. Despite these genetic differences, C. orbiculata endosymbionts shared a high number of metabolic functions, including highly expressed thioautotrophy-related genes and a moderately to weakly expressed conserved one-carbon (C1) oxidation gene cluster previously undescribed in lucinid symbionts. Few symbiont- and host-related genes, including those encoding symbiotic sulfurtransferase, host respiratory functions, and host sulfide oxidation functions, were differentially expressed between seagrass- and alga-covered sediment locations. In contrast to previous studies, the identification of multiple endosymbiont taxa within and across C. orbiculata individuals, which were also shared with other sympatric lucinid species, suggests that neither host nor endosymbiont displays strict taxonomic specificity. This necessitates further investigations into the nature and extent of specificity of lucinid hosts and their symbionts.IMPORTANCE Symbiont diversity and host/symbiont functions have been comprehensively profiled for only a few lucinid species. In this work, unprecedented thioautotrophic gill endosymbiont taxonomic diversity was characterized within a Ctena orbiculata population associated with both seagrass- and alga-covered sediments. Endosymbiont metabolisms included known chemosynthetic functions and an additional conserved, previously uncharacterized C1 oxidation pathway. Lucinid-symbiont associations were not species specific because this C. orbiculata population hosted multiple endosymbiont strains and species, and other sympatric lucinid species shared overlapping symbiont 16S rRNA gene diversity profiles with C. orbiculata Our results suggest that lucinid-symbiont association patterns within some host species could be more taxonomically diverse than previously thought. As such, this study highlights the importance of holistic analyses, at the population, community, and even ecosystem levels, in understanding host-microbe association patterns.

RevDate: 2019-08-27

Wang F, Sun Y, Z Shi (2019)

Arbuscular Mycorrhiza Enhances Biomass Production and Salt Tolerance of Sweet Sorghum.

Microorganisms, 7(9): pii:microorganisms7090289.

Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi (AMF) are widely known to form a symbiosis with most higher plants and enhance plant adaptation to a series of environmental stresses. Sweet sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) is considered a promising alternative feedstock for bioalcohol production because of its sugar-rich stalk and high biomass. However, little is known of AMF benefit for biomass production and salt tolerance of sweet sorghum. Here, we investigated the effects of Acaulosporamellea ZZ on growth and salt tolerance in two sweet sorghum cultivars (Liaotian5 and Yajin2) under different NaCl addition levels (0, 0.5, 1, 2, and 3 g NaCl/kg soil). Results showed AMF colonized the two cultivars well under all NaCl addition levels. NaCl addition increased mycorrhizal colonization rates in Yajin2, but the effects on Liaotian5 ranged from stimulatory at 0.5 and 1 g/kg to insignificant at 2 g/kg, and even inhibitory at 3 g/kg. High NaCl addition levels produced negative effects on both AM and non-AM plants, leading to lower biomass production, poorer mineral nutrition (N, P, K), higher Na+ uptake, and lower soluble sugar content in leaves. Compared with non-AM plants, AM plants of both cultivars had improved plant biomass and mineral uptake, as well as higher K+/Na+ ratio, but only Yajin2 plants had a low shoot/root Na ratio. AM inoculation increased the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), and catalase (CAT), and soluble sugar content in leaves. Overall, both cultivars benefited from mycorrhization, and Yajin2 with less salt tolerance showed higher mycorrhizal response. In conclusion, AMF could help to alleviate the negative effects caused by salinity, and thus showed potential in biomass production of sweet sorghum in saline soil.

RevDate: 2019-08-27

Bi Y, Wang F, W Zhang (2019)

Omics Analysis for Dinoflagellates Biology Research.

Microorganisms, 7(9): pii:microorganisms7090288.

Dinoflagellates are important primary producers for marine ecosystems and are also responsible for certain essential components in human foods. However, they are also notorious for their ability to form harmful algal blooms, and cause shellfish poisoning. Although much work has been devoted to dinoflagellates in recent decades, our understanding of them at a molecular level is still limited owing to some of their challenging biological properties, such as large genome size, permanently condensed liquid-crystalline chromosomes, and the 10-fold lower ratio of protein to DNA than other eukaryotic species. In recent years, omics technologies, such as genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, have been applied to the study of marine dinoflagellates and have uncovered many new physiological and metabolic characteristics of dinoflagellates. In this article, we review recent application of omics technologies in revealing some of the unusual features of dinoflagellate genomes and molecular mechanisms relevant to their biology, including the mechanism of harmful algal bloom formations, toxin biosynthesis, symbiosis, lipid biosynthesis, as well as species identification and evolution. We also discuss the challenges and provide prospective further study directions and applications of dinoflagellates.

RevDate: 2019-08-27

Chakraborty S, Nguyen B, Wasti SD, et al (2019)

Plant Leucine-Rich Repeat Receptor Kinase (LRR-RK): Structure, Ligand Perception, and Activation Mechanism.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 24(17): pii:molecules24173081.

In recent years, secreted peptides have been recognized as essential mediators of intercellular communication which governs plant growth, development, environmental interactions, and other mediated biological responses, such as stem cell homeostasis, cell proliferation, wound healing, hormone sensation, immune defense, and symbiosis, among others. Many of the known secreted peptide ligand receptors belong to the leucine-rich repeat receptor kinase (LRR-RK) family of membrane integral receptors, which contain more than 200 members within Arabidopsis making it the largest family of plant receptor kinases (RKs). Genetic and biochemical studies have provided valuable data regarding peptide ligands and LRR-RKs, however, visualization of ligand/LRR-RK complex structures at the atomic level is vital to understand the functions of LRR-RKs and their mediated biological processes. The structures of many plant LRR-RK receptors in complex with corresponding ligands have been solved by X-ray crystallography, revealing new mechanisms of ligand-induced receptor kinase activation. In this review, we briefly elaborate the peptide ligands, and aim to detail the structures and mechanisms of LRR-RK activation as induced by secreted peptide ligands within plants.

RevDate: 2019-09-03

Chen X, Hu Z, Qi Y, et al (2019)

The interactions of algae-activated sludge symbiotic system and its effects on wastewater treatment and lipid accumulation.

Bioresource technology, 292:122017 pii:S0960-8524(19)31247-7 [Epub ahead of print].

The ability of Scenedesmus sp. 336, Chlorella sp. 1602 and activated sludge (AS) alone or in combination to remove nutrients and accumulate lipid in artificial municipal wastewater under light/dark conditions was studied. The symbiotic systems showed greater advantages than the sterile systems. Scenedesmus sp. 336 + AS system obtained the highest lipid productivity after seven days of cultivation in light, while the NO3--N and COD were completely absorbed and utilized, as well as the removal rate of PO43--P and NH4+-N were 99.82% and 87.13%, respectively. Total superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity was measured to demonstrate the relationship between oxidative stress and lipid accumulation. Besides, the results of microbial analysis showed that some dominant plant growth-promoting bacteria could secrete indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) to enhance the interaction between algae and bacteria, and the denitrifying bacteria that could coexist with microalgae also improved the efficiency of wastewater treatment in the symbiotic systems.

RevDate: 2019-08-26

Dorchin N, Harris KM, JO Stireman Iii (2019)

Phylogeny of the gall midges (Diptera, Cecidomyiidae, Cecidomyiinae): systematics, evolution of feeding modes and diversification rates.

Molecular phylogenetics and evolution pii:S1055-7903(19)30344-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Gall midges (Cecidomyiidae) constitute one of the largest and most diverse families of Diptera, with close to 6600 described species and thousands of undescribed species worldwide. The family is divided into six subfamilies, the five basal ones comprising only fungivorous taxa, whereas the largest, youngest and most diverse subfamily Cecidomyiinae includes fungivorous as well as herbivorous and predatory species. The currently accepted classification of the Cecidomyiinae is morphology-based, and the few phylogenetic inferences that have previously been suggested for it were based on fragmentary or limited datasets. In a first comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the Cecidomyiinae we sampled 142 species representing 88 genera of 13 tribes from all feeding guilds and zoogeographic regions in order to test the validity of the systematic division of the subfamily and gain insight into patterns of diversification and the evolution of feeding modes. We used sequences from five mitochondrial and nuclear genes to reconstruct maximum likelihood and Bayesian, time-calibrated phylogenies and conducted ancestral state reconstruction of feeding modes. Our results corroborate to a great extent the morphology-based classification of the Cecidomyiinae, with strong support for all supertribes and tribes, all were apparently established in the Upper Cretaceous concordant with the major radiation of angiosperms. We infer that transitions from fungus-feeding to plant-feeding occurred only once or twice in the evolution of the subfamily and that predation evolved only once, contrary to previous hypotheses. All herbivorous clades in the subfamily are very species rich and have diversified at a significantly greater rate than expected, but we found no support for the assertion that herbivorous clades associated with symbiotic fungi in their galls diversify faster than clades that do not have such associations. Currently available data also do not support the hypothesis that symbiotic clades have broader host ranges than non-symbiotic clades.

RevDate: 2019-08-29

S J, S Kk (2019)

Multifunctional aspects of Piriformospora indica in plant endosymbiosis.

Mycology, 10(3):182-190 pii:1600063.

Piriformospora indica (Hymenomycetes, Basidiomycota) is an endophytic fungus that colonises plant roots, and was originally isolated from Rajasthan desert. It is comparable to Arbuscular Mycorrhizal (AM) fungi in terms of plant growth promotional effects. P. indica has been used as an ideal example to analyse the mechanisms of mutualistic symbiosis. Major benefit of P. indica over AM fungi is that it is axenically cultivable in different synthetic and complex media. A preliminary attempt was made to scrutinise the role of P. indica co-cultivation on seedling vigour of common vegetables like Cucumis sativus L., Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench, Solanum melongena L. and Capsicum annuum L. The positive effect of P. indica co-culture on seedling performance was compared to the effects of growth hormones like indole acetic acid and benzyl amino purine when supplemented to the MS medium at a concentration of 0.1 mg ml-1. An exogenous supply of auxin resulted in enhanced production of roots and cytokinin supplement favoured shoot production, whereas P. indica co-culture favoured simultaneous production of shoot and root over the control. P. indica colonisation inside the roots of C. sativus L. was also successfully established. These preliminary results indicate the prospective role of P. indica in vegetable farming through its favourable effect on plant growth.

RevDate: 2019-08-29

Johansson ON, Pinder MIM, Ohlsson F, et al (2019)

Friends With Benefits: Exploring the Phycosphere of the Marine Diatom Skeletonema marinoi.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:1828.

Marine diatoms are the dominant phytoplankton in the temperate oceans and coastal regions, contributing to global photosynthesis, biogeochemical cycling of key nutrients and minerals and aquatic food chains. Integral to the success of marine diatoms is a diverse array of bacterial species that closely interact within the diffusive boundary layer, or phycosphere, surrounding the diatom partner. Recently, we isolated seven distinct bacterial species from cultures of Skeletonema marinoi, a chain-forming, centric diatom that dominates the coastal regions of the temperate oceans. Genomes of all seven bacteria were sequenced revealing many unusual characteristics such as the existence of numerous plasmids of widely varying sizes. Here we have investigated the characteristics of the bacterial interactions with S. marinoi, demonstrating that several strains (Arenibacter algicola strain SMS7, Marinobacter salarius strain SMR5, Sphingorhabdus flavimaris strain SMR4y, Sulfitobacter pseudonitzschiae strain SMR1, Yoonia vestfoldensis strain SMR4r and Roseovarius mucosus strain SMR3) stimulate growth of the diatom partner. Testing of many different environmental factors including low iron concentration, high and low temperatures, and chemical signals showed variable effects on this growth enhancement by each bacterial species, with the most significant being light quality in which green and blue but not red light enhanced the stimulatory effect on S. marinoi growth by all bacteria. Several of the bacteria also inhibited growth of one or more of the other bacterial strains to different extents when mixed together. This study highlights the complex interactions between diatoms and their associated bacteria within the phycosphere, and that further studies are needed to resolve the underlying mechanisms for these relationships and how they might influence the global success of marine diatoms.

RevDate: 2019-08-25

Lemos LN, Medeiros JD, Dini-Andreote F, et al (2019)

Genomic signatures and co-occurrence patterns of the ultra-small Saccharimonadia (CPR/Patescibacteria phylum) suggest a symbiotic lifestyle.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The size of bacterial genomes is often associated with organismal metabolic capabilities determining ecological breadth and lifestyle. The recently proposed Candidate Phyla Radiation (CPR)/Patescibacteria encompasses mostly unculturable bacterial taxa with relatively small genome sizes with potential to co-metabolism interdependencies. Up to date, little is known about the ecology and evolution of CPR, particularly with respect to how they might interact with other taxa. Here, we reconstructed two novel genomes (namely, Candidatus Saccharibacter sossegus and Candidatus Chaer renensis) of taxa belonging to the class Saccharimonadia within the CPR/Patescibacteria using metagenomes obtained from Acid Mine Drainage (AMD). By testing the hypothesis of genome streamlining or symbiotic lifestyle, our results revealed clear signatures of gene losses in these genomes, such as those associated with de novo biosynthesis of essential amino acids, nucleotide, fatty acids, and cofactors. In addition, co-occurrence analysis provided evidence supporting potential symbioses of these organisms with Hydrotalea sp. in the AMD system. Taken together, our findings provide a better understanding of the ecology and evolution of CPR/Patescibacteria and highlight the importance of genome-reconstruction for studying metabolic interdependencies between unculturable Saccharimonadia representatives. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-08-24

Fujimoto K, Kawaguchi Y, Shimohigoshi M, et al (2019)

Antigen-specific Mucosal Immunity Regulates Development of Intestinal Bacteria-mediated Diseases.

Gastroenterology pii:S0016-5085(19)41241-9 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Dysregulation of the microbiome has been associated with development of complex diseases such as obesity and diabetes. However, no method has been developed to control disease-associated commensal microbes. We investigated whether immunization with microbial antigens, using CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG-ODN) and/or curdlan as adjuvants, induces systemic antigen-specific immunoglobulin (Ig)A and IgG production and affects development of diseases in mice.

METHODS: C57BL/6 mice were given intramuscular injections of antigens (ovalbumin, cholera toxin (CT) B-subunit, or PspA) combined with CpG-ODN and/or curdlan. Blood and fecal samples were collected weekly and antigen-specific IgG and IgA titers were measured. Lymph nodes and spleens were collected and analyzed by ELISA for antigen-specific splenic T-helper (Th)1 cells, Th17 cells, and memory B cells. Six weeks after primary immunization, mice were given a oral, nasal, or vaginal boost of ovalbumin; intestinal lamina propria, bronchial lavage, and vaginal swab samples were collected and antibodies and cytokines were measured. Some mice were also given oral CT or intranasal Streptococcus pneumoniae and the severity of diarrhea or pneumonia was analyzed. Gnotobiotic mice were gavaged with fecal material from obese individuals, which had a high abundance of Clostridium ramosum (a commensal microbe associated with obesity and diabetes), and were placed on a high-fat diet 2 weeks after immunization with C. ramosum. Intestinal tissues were collected and analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR.

RESULTS: Serum and fecal samples from mice given injections of antigens in combination with CpG-ODN and curdlan for 3 weeks contained antigen-specific IgA and IgG, and splenocytes produced IFNG and IL17A. Lamina propria, bronchial, and vaginal samples contained antigen-specific IgA following the ovalbumin boost. This immunization regimen prevented development of diarrhea following injection of CT, and inhibited lung colonization by S. pneumoniae. In gnotobiotic mice colonized with C. ramosum and placed on a high-fat diet, the mice that had been immunized with C. ramosum became less obese than the non-immunized mice.

CONCLUSIONS: Injection of mice with microbial antigens and adjuvant induces antigen-specific mucosal and systemic immune responses. Immunization with S pneumoniae antigen prevented lung infection by this bacteria, and immunization with C ramosum reduced obesity in mice colonized with this microbe and placed on a high-fat diet. This immunization approach might be used to protect against microbe-associated disorders of intestine.

RevDate: 2019-08-23

Shimoda Y, Imaizumi-Anraku H, M Hayashi (2019)

Kinase activity-dependent stability of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase of Lotus japonicus.

Planta pii:10.1007/s00425-019-03264-6 [Epub ahead of print].

MAIN CONCLUSION: Accumulation of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CCaMK) in root cell nucleus depends on its kinase activity but not on nuclear symbiotic components crucial for nodulation. Plant calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CCaMK) is a key regulator of symbioses with rhizobia and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi as it decodes symbiotic calcium signals induced by microsymbionts. CCaMK is expressed mainly in root cells and localizes to the nucleus, where microsymbiont-triggered calcium oscillations occur. The molecular mechanisms that control CCaMK localization are unknown. Here, we analyzed the expression and subcellular localization of mutated CCaMK in the roots of Lotus japonicus and found a clear relation between CCaMK kinase activity and its stability. Kinase-defective CCaMK variants showed lower protein levels than the variants with kinase activity. The levels of transcripts driven by the CaMV 35S promoter were similar among the variants, indicating that stability of CCaMK is regulated post-translationally. We also demonstrated that CCaMK localized to the root cell nucleus in several symbiotic mutants, including cyclops, an interaction partner and phosphorylation target of CCaMK. Our results suggest that kinase activity of CCaMK is required not only for the activation of downstream symbiotic components but also for its stability in root cells.

RevDate: 2019-08-25

Zhu DT, Zou C, Ban FX, et al (2019)

Conservation of transcriptional elements in the obligate symbiont of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci.

PeerJ, 7:e7477 pii:7477.

Background: Bacterial symbiosis is widespread in arthropods, especially in insects. Some of the symbionts undergo a long-term co-evolution with the host, resulting in massive genome decay. One particular consequence of genome decay is thought to be the elimination of transcriptional elements within both the coding region and intergenic sequences. In the whitefly Bemisia tabaci species complex, the obligate symbiont Candidatus Portiera aleyrodidarum is of vital importance in nutrient provision, and yet little is known about the regulatory capacities of it.

Methods: Portiera genomes of two whitefly species in China were sequenced and assembled. Gene content of these two Portiera genomes was predicted, and then subjected to Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway analysis. Together with two other Portiera genomes from whitefly species available previously, four Portiera genomes were utilized to investigate regulatory capacities of Portiera, focusing on transcriptional elements, including genes related with transcription and functional elements within the intergenic spacers.

Results: Comparative analyses of the four Portiera genomes of whitefly B. tabaci indicate that the obligate symbionts Portiera is similar in different species of whiteflies, in terms of general genome features and possible functions in the biosynthesis of essential amino acids. The screening of transcriptional factors suggests compromised ability of Portiera to regulate the essential amino acid biosynthesis pathways. Meanwhile, thermal tolerance ability of Portiera is indicated with the detection of a σ32 factor, as well as two predicted σ32 binding sites. Within intergenic spacers, functional elements are predicted, including 37 Shine-Dalgarno sequences and 34 putative small RNAs.

RevDate: 2019-08-25

Li Y, Zhang K, Liu Y, et al (2019)

Community Composition and Diversity of Intestinal Microbiota in Captive and Reintroduced Przewalski's Horse (Equus ferus przewalskii).

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:1821.

Large and complex intestinal microbiota communities in hosts have profound effects on digestion and metabolism. To better understand the community structure of intestinal microbiota in Przewalski's horse (Equus ferus przewalskii) under different feeding regimes, we compared bacterial diversity and composition between captive and reintroduced Przewalski's horses, using high-throughput 16S-rRNA gene sequencing for identification. Reintroduced Przewalski's horses were sampled in two Chinese nature reserves, i.e., Dunhuang Xihu Nature Reserve (DXNR; n = 8) in Gansu Province and Kalamaili Nature Reserve (KNR; n = 12) in Xinjiang Province, and compared to a captive population at the Przewalski's Horse Breeding Center in Xinjiang (PHBC; n = 11). The composition of intestinal microbiota in Przewalski's horses was significantly different at the three study sites. Observed species was lowest in DXNR, but highest in KNR. Lowest Shannon diversity was observed in DXNR, while in KNR and PHBC had a moderately high diversity; Simpson diversity showed an opposite trend compared with the Shannon index. Linear Discriminant Analysis effect size was used to determine differentially distributed bacterial taxa at each study site. The most dominant phyla of intestinal microbiota were similar in all feeding regimes, including mainly Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Verrucomicrobia, and Spirochaetes. Differing abundances of intestinal microbiota in Przewalski's horses may be related to different food types at each study site, differences in diversity may be attributed to low quality food in DXNR. Results indicated that diet is one of the important factors that can influence the structure of intestinal microbiota communities in Przewalski's horse. These findings combined with a detailed knowledge of the available and consumed food plant species could provide guidelines for the selection of potential future reintroduction sites.

RevDate: 2019-08-29

Li C, Chng KR, Kwah JS, et al (2019)

An expectation-maximization algorithm enables accurate ecological modeling using longitudinal microbiome sequencing data.

Microbiome, 7(1):118 pii:10.1186/s40168-019-0729-z.

BACKGROUND: The dynamics of microbial communities is driven by a range of interactions from symbiosis to predator-prey relationships, the majority of which are poorly understood. With the increasing availability of high-throughput microbiome taxonomic profiling data, it is now conceivable to directly learn the ecological models that explicitly define microbial interactions and explain community dynamics. The applicability of these approaches is severely limited by the lack of accurate absolute cell density measurements (biomass).

METHODS: We present a new computational approach that resolves this key limitation in the inference of generalized Lotka-Volterra models (gLVMs) by coupling biomass estimation and model inference with an expectation-maximization algorithm (BEEM).

RESULTS: BEEM outperforms the state-of-the-art methods for inferring gLVMs, while simultaneously eliminating the need for additional experimental biomass data as input. BEEM's application to previously inaccessible public datasets (due to the lack of biomass data) allowed us to construct ecological models of microbial communities in the human gut on a per-individual basis, revealing personalized dynamics and keystone species.

CONCLUSIONS: BEEM addresses a key bottleneck in "systems analysis" of microbiomes by enabling accurate inference of ecological models from high throughput sequencing data without the need for experimental biomass measurements.

RevDate: 2019-09-05

Hammer TJ, NA Moran (2019)

Links between metamorphosis and symbiosis in holometabolous insects.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 374(1783):20190068.

Many animals depend on microbial symbionts to provide nutrition, defence or other services. Holometabolous insects, as well as other animals that undergo metamorphosis, face unique constraints on symbiont maintenance. Microbes present in larvae encounter a radical transformation of their habitat and may also need to withstand chemical and immunological challenges. Metamorphosis also provides an opportunity, in that symbiotic associations can be decoupled over development. For example, some holometabolous insects maintain the same symbiont as larvae and adults, but house it in different tissues; in other species, larvae and adults may harbour entirely different types or numbers of microbes, in accordance with shifts in host diet or habitat. Such flexibility may provide an advantage over hemimetabolous insects, in which selection on adult-stage microbial associations may be constrained by its negative effects on immature stages, and vice versa. Additionally, metamorphosis itself can be directly influenced by symbionts. Across disparate insect taxa, microbes protect hosts from pathogen infection, supply nutrients essential for rebuilding the adult body and provide cues regulating pupation. However, microbial associations remain completely unstudied for many families and even orders of Holometabola, and future research will undoubtedly reveal more links between metamorphosis and microbiota, two widespread features of animal life. This article is part of the theme issue 'The evolution of complete metamorphosis'.

RevDate: 2019-08-23

Mei J, E Xia (2019)

Knowledge Learning Symbiosis for Developing Risk Prediction Models from Regional EHR Repositories.

Studies in health technology and informatics, 264:258-262.

Secondary use of regional EHR data suffers several problems, including data selection bias and limited data size caused by data incompleteness. Here, we propose knowledge learning symbiosis (KLS) as a framework to incorporate domain knowledge to address the problems and make better secondary use of EHR data. Under the framework, we introduce three main categories of methods: knowledge injection to input features, objective functions, and output labels, where knowledge-enhanced neural network (KENN) was first introduced to inject knowledge into objective functions. A case study was conducted to build a cardiovascular disease risk prediction model on the type 2 diabetes patient cohort using regional EHR repositories. By incorporating a well-established knowledge risk model as domain knowledge under our KLS framework, we increased risk prediction performance both on small and biased data, where KENN showed the best performance among all methods.

RevDate: 2019-08-22

Teotia D, Gaid M, Saini SS, et al (2019)

Cinnamate:CoA-ligase is involved in benzoate-derived biphenyl phytoalexin biosynthesis in Malus × domestica 'Golden Delicious' cell cultures.

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

Apple (Malus sp.) and other genera belonging to the sub-tribe Malinae of the Rosaceous family produce unique benzoic acid-derived biphenyl phytoalexins. Cell cultures of Malus domestica cv. 'Golden Delicious' accumulate two biphenyl phytoalexins, aucuparin and noraucuparin, in response to the addition of Venturia inaequalis elicitor (VIE). In this study, we isolated and expressed a cinnamate-CoA ligase-encoding sequence in VIE-treated cell cultures of cv. 'Golden Delicious' (M. domestica CNL; MdCNL). MdCNL catalyzes the conversion of cinnamic acid into cinnamoyl-CoA, which is subsequently converted to biphenyls. MdCNL failed to accept benzoic acid as a substrate. When scab-resistant (cv. 'Shireen') and moderately scab-susceptible (cv. 'Golden Delicious') apple cultivars were challenged with the V. inaequalis scab fungus, an increase in MdCNL transcript levels was observed in internodal regions. The increase in MdCNL transcript levels could conceivably correlate with the accumulation pattern of biphenyls. C-terminal signal in the MdCNL protein directed its N-terminal reporter fusion to peroxisomes in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves. Thus, this report records the cloning and characterization of a cinnamoyl-CoA-forming enzyme from apple via a series of in vivo and in vitro studies. Defining the key step of phytoalexin formation in apple provides a biotechnological tool for engineering elite cultivars with improved resistance. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-08-22

Watanabe D, H Takagi (2019)

Yeast prion-based metabolic reprogramming induced by bacteria in fermented foods.

FEMS yeast research pii:5553466 [Epub ahead of print].

Microbial communities of yeast and bacterial cells are often observed in the manufacturing processes of fermented foods and drinks, such as sourdough bread, cheese, kefir, wine, and sake. Community interactions and dynamics among microorganisms, as well as their significance during the manufacturing processes, are central issues in modern food microbiology. Recent studies demonstrated that emergence of a yeast prion termed [GAR+] in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is induced by coculturing with bacterial cells, resulting in switching of the carbon metabolism. In order to facilitate mutualistic symbiosis among microorganisms, this mode of microbial interaction is induced between yeasts and lactic acid bacteria species used in traditional sake making. Thus, yeast prions have attracted much attention as novel platforms that govern the metabolic adaptation of cross-kingdom ecosystems. Our mini-review focuses on the plausible linkage between fermented-food microbial communication and yeast prion-mediated metabolic reprogramming.

RevDate: 2019-08-20

Reiter S, Cahn JKB, Wiebach V, et al (2019)

Characterization of an orphan type III polyketide synthase conserved in uncultivated 'Entotheonella' sponge symbionts.

Chembiochem : a European journal of chemical biology [Epub ahead of print].

Uncultivated bacterial symbionts from the candidate genus 'Entotheonella' have been shown to produce diverse natural products previously attributed to their sponge hosts. In addition to these known compounds, 'Entotheonella' genomes contain rich sets of biosynthetic gene clusters lacking identified natural products. Among these is a small type III polyketide synthase (PKS) cluster, one of only three clusters present in all known 'Entotheonella' genomes. This c onserved ' E ntotheonella' P KS (cep) cluster encodes the type III PKS CepA and the putative methyltransferase CepB. Here we report the characterization of CepA as an enzyme involved in phenolic lipid biosynthesis. In vitro analysis showed a specificity for alkyl starter substrates and the production of tri- and tetraketide pyrones and tetraketide resorcinols. The conserved distribution of the cep cluster suggests an important role for the phenolic lipid polyketides produced in 'Entotheonella' variants.

RevDate: 2019-08-22

Nadzieja M, Stougaard J, D Reid (2019)

A Toolkit for High Resolution Imaging of Cell Division and Phytohormone Signaling in Legume Roots and Root Nodules.

Frontiers in plant science, 10:1000.

Legume plants benefit from a nitrogen-fixing symbiosis in association with rhizobia hosted in specialized root nodules. Formation of root nodules is initiated by de novo organogenesis and coordinated infection of these developing lateral root organs by rhizobia. Both bacterial infection and nodule organogenesis involve cell cycle activation and regulation by auxin and cytokinin is tightly integrated in the process. To characterize the hormone dynamics and cell division patterns with cellular resolution during nodulation, sensitive and specific sensors suited for imaging of multicellular tissues are required. Here we report a modular toolkit, optimized in the model legume Lotus japonicus, for use in legume roots and root nodules. This toolkit includes synthetic transcriptional reporters for auxin and cytokinin, auxin accumulation sensors and cell cycle progression markers optimized for fluorescent and bright field microscopy. The developed vectors allow for efficient one-step assembly of multiple units using the GoldenGate cloning system. Applied together with a fluorescence-compatible clearing approach, these reporters improve imaging depth and facilitate fluorescence examination in legume roots. We additionally evaluate the utility of the dynamic gravitropic root response in altering the timing and location of auxin accumulation and nodule emergence. We show that alteration of auxin distribution in roots allows for preferential nodule emergence at the outer side of the bend corresponding to a region of high auxin signaling capacity. The presented tools and procedures open new possibilities for comparative mutant studies and for developing a more comprehensive understanding of legume-rhizobia interactions.

RevDate: 2019-08-20

Cherif-Silini H, Thissera B, Bouket AC, et al (2019)

Durum Wheat Stress Tolerance Induced by Endophyte Pantoea agglomerans with Genes Contributing to Plant Functions and Secondary Metabolite Arsenal.

International journal of molecular sciences, 20(16): pii:ijms20163989.

In the arid region Bou-Saâda at the South of Algeria, durum wheat Triticum durum L. cv Waha production is severely threatened by abiotic stresses, mainly drought and salinity. Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) hold promising prospects towards sustainable and environmentally-friendly agriculture. Using habitat-adapted symbiosis strategy, the PGPR Pantoea agglomerans strain Pa was recovered from wheat roots sampled in Bou-Saâda, conferred alleviation of salt stress in durum wheat plants and allowed considerable growth in this unhostile environment. Strain Pa showed growth up to 35 °C temperature, 5-10 pH range, and up to 30% polyethylene glycol (PEG), as well as 1 M salt concentration tolerance. Pa strain displayed pertinent plant growth promotion (PGP) features (direct and indirect) such as hormone auxin biosynthesis, production of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase, and ammonia and phosphate solubilization. PGPR features were stable over wide salt concentrations (0-400 mM). Pa strain was also able to survive in seeds, in the non-sterile and sterile wheat rhizosphere, and was shown to have an endophytic life style. Phylogenomic analysis of strain Pa indicated that Pantoea genus suffers taxonomic imprecision which blurs species delimitation and may have impacted their practical use as biofertilizers. When applied to plants, strain Pa promoted considerable growth of wheat seedlings, high chlorophyll content, lower accumulation of proline, and favored K+ accumulation in the inoculated plants when compared to Na+ in control non-inoculated plants. Metabolomic profiling of strain Pa under one strain many compounds (OSMAC) conditions revealed a wide diversity of secondary metabolites (SM) with interesting salt stress alleviation and PGP activities. All these findings strongly promote the implementation of Pantoea agglomerans strain Pa as an efficient biofertilizer in wheat plants culture in arid and salinity-impacted regions.

RevDate: 2019-08-29

Doremus MR, Kelly SE, MS Hunter (2019)

Exposure to opposing temperature extremes causes comparable effects on Cardinium density but contrasting effects on Cardinium-induced cytoplasmic incompatibility.

PLoS pathogens, 15(8):e1008022 pii:PPATHOGENS-D-19-00998.

Terrestrial arthropods, including insects, commonly harbor maternally inherited intracellular symbionts that confer benefits to the host or manipulate host reproduction to favor infected female progeny. These symbionts may be especially vulnerable to thermal stress, potentially leading to destabilization of the symbiosis and imposing costs to the host. For example, increased temperatures can reduce the density of a common reproductive manipulator, Wolbachia, and the strength of its crossing incompatibility (cytoplasmic incompatibility, or CI) phenotype. Another manipulative symbiont, Cardinium hertigii, infects ~ 6-10% of Arthropods, and also can induce CI, but there is little homology between the molecular mechanisms of CI induced by Cardinium and Wolbachia. Here we investigated whether temperature disrupts the CI phenotype of Cardinium in a parasitic wasp host, Encarsia suzannae. We examined the effects of both warm (32°C day/ 29°C night) and cool (20°C day/ 17°C night) temperatures on Cardinium CI and found that both types of temperature stress modified aspects of this symbiosis. Warm temperatures reduced symbiont density, pupal developmental time, vertical transmission rate, and the strength of both CI modification and rescue. Cool temperatures also reduced symbiont density, however this resulted in stronger CI, likely due to cool temperatures prolonging the host pupal stage. The opposing effects of cool and warm-mediated reductions in symbiont density on the resulting CI phenotype indicates that CI strength may be independent of density in this system. Temperature stress also modified the CI phenotype only if it occurred during the pupal stage, highlighting the likely importance of this stage for CI induction in this symbiosis.

RevDate: 2019-08-27

Ikuta T, Tame A, Saito M, et al (2019)

Identification of cells expressing two peptidoglycan recognition proteins in the gill of the vent mussel, Bathymodiolus septemdierum.

Fish & shellfish immunology, 93:815-822 pii:S1050-4648(19)30822-8 [Epub ahead of print].

In symbiotic systems in which symbionts are transmitted horizontally, hosts must accept symbionts from the environment while defending themselves against invading pathogenic microorganisms. How they distinguish pathogens from symbionts and how the latter evade host immune defences are not clearly understood. Recognition of foreign materials is one of the most critical steps in stimulating immune responses, and pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) play vital roles in this process. In this study, we focused on a group of highly conserved PRRs, peptidoglycan recognition proteins (PGRPs), in the deep-sea mussel, Bathymodiolus septemdierum, which harbours chemosynthetic bacteria in their gill epithelial cells. We isolated B. septemdierum PGRP genes BsPGRP-S and BsPGRP-L, which encode a short- and a long-type PGRP, respectively. The short-type PGRP has a signal peptide and was expressed in the asymbiotic goblet mucous cells in the gill epithelium, whereas the long-type PGRP was predicted to include a transmembrane domain and was expressed in gill bacteriocytes. Based on these findings, we hypothesize that the secreted and transmembrane PGRPs are engaged in host defence against pathogenic bacteria and/or in the regulation of symbiosis via different cellular localizations and mechanisms.

RevDate: 2019-08-30

Liu X, Tang K, Zhang D, et al (2019)

Symbiosis of a P2-family phage and deep-sea Shewanella putrefaciens.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Almost all bacterial genomes harbour prophages, yet it remains unknown why prophages integrate into tRNA-related genes. Approximately 1/3 of Shewanella isolates harbour a prophage at the tmRNA (ssrA) gene. Here, we discovered a P2-family prophage integrated at the 3'-end of ssrA in the deep-sea bacterium S. putrefaciens. We found that ~0.1% of host cells are lysed to release P2 constitutively during host growth. P2 phage production is induced by a prophage-encoded Rep protein and its excision is induced by the Cox protein. We also found that P2 genome excision leads to the disruption of wobble base pairing of SsrA due to site-specific recombination, thus disrupting the trans-translation function of SsrA. We further demonstrated that P2 excision greatly hinders growth in seawater medium and inhibits biofilm formation. Complementation with a functional SsrA in the P2-excised strain completely restores the growth defects in seawater medium and partially restores biofilm formation. Additionally, we found that products of the P2 genes also increase biofilm formation. Taken together, this study illustrates a symbiotic relationship between P2 and its marine host, thus providing multiple benefits for both sides when a phage is integrated but suffers from reduced fitness when the prophage is excised.

RevDate: 2019-08-16

Chen Q, Wu WW, Qi SS, et al (2019)

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi improve the growth and disease resistance of the invasive plant Wedelia trilobata.

Journal of applied microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

AIMS: Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are symbiotic partners of many invasive plants, however it is still unclear how AMF contribute to traits that are important for the successful invasion of their host and how environmental factors, such as nutrient conditions, influence this. This study was to explore the effects of Glomus versiforme (GV) and Glomus mosseae (GM) on the growth and disease resistance of the invasive plant Wedelia trilobata under different nutrient conditions.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We found that GV and GM had higher root colonization rates resulting in faster W. trilobata growth under both low-N and low-P nutrient conditions compared to the normal condition. Also, the colonization of W. trilobata by GV significantly reduced the infection area of the pathogenic fungus Rhizoctonia solani under low-N conditions.

CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrated that AMF can promote the growth and pathogenic defense of W. trilobata in a nutrient-poor environment, which might contribute to their successful invasion into certain type of habitats.

In this study, we report for the first time that AMF can promote growth and disease resistance of W. trilobata under nutrient-poor environment, which contribute to a better understanding of plant invasion. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-08-30

Andryuschenko SV, Ivanova EV, Perunova NB, et al (2019)

Genome Sequence and Biochemical Properties of Bifidobacterium longum Strain ICIS-505, Isolated from the Intestine of a Healthy Woman.

Microbiology resource announcements, 8(33): pii:8/33/e00491-19.

This report describes the genome sequence of Bifidobacterium longum strain ICIS-505, isolated from human feces. The size of the genome was 2,448,844 bp (59.71% G+C content), including 3,751 bp of the crypto-plasmid pBL505. Annotation revealed 2,241 gene sequences, including 2,033 proteins, 7 rRNA genes, 76 tRNA genes, and 4 noncoding RNA genes.

RevDate: 2019-08-16

Cope KR, Bascaules A, Irving TB, et al (2019)

The Ectomycorrhizal Fungus Laccaria bicolor Produces Lipochitooligosaccharides and Uses the Common Symbiosis Pathway to Colonize Populus Roots.

The Plant cell pii:tpc.18.00676 [Epub ahead of print].

Mycorrhizal fungi form mutualistic associations with the roots of most land plants and provide them with mineral nutrients from the soil in exchange for fixed carbon derived from photosynthesis. The common symbiosis pathway (CSP) is a conserved molecular signaling pathway in all plants capable of associating with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi . It is required not only for arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis but also for rhizobia-legume and actinorhizal symbioses. Given its role in such diverse symbiotic associations, we hypothesized that the CSP also plays a role in ectomycorrhizal associations. We showed that the ectomycorrhizal fungus Laccaria bicolor produces an array of lipochitooligosaccharides (LCOs) that can trigger both root hair branching in legumes and, most importantly, calcium spiking in the host plant Populus in a CASTOR/POLLUX-dependent manner. Nonsulfated LCOs enhanced lateral root development in Populus in a CCaMK-dependent manner, and sulfated LCOs enhanced the colonization of Populus by L. bicolor. Compared to wild-type Populus, the colonization of CASTOR/POLLUX and CCaMK RNA interference lines by L. bicolor was reduced. Our work demonstrates that similar to other root symbioses, L. bicolor uses the CSP for the full establishment of its mutualistic association with Populus.

RevDate: 2019-08-16

Černajová I, P Škaloud (2019)

The first survey of Cystobasidiomycete yeasts in the lichen genus Cladonia; with the description of Lichenozyma pisutiana gen. nov., sp. nov.

Fungal biology, 123(9):625-637.

The view of lichens as a symbiosis only between a mycobiont and a photobiont has been challenged by discoveries of diverse associated organisms. Specific basidiomycete yeasts in the cortex of a range of macrolichens were hypothesized to influence the lichens' phenotype. The present study explores the occurrence and diversity of cystobasidiomycete yeasts in the lichen genus Cladonia. We obtained seven cultures and 56 additional sequences using specific primers from 27 Cladonia species from all over Europe and performed phylogenetic analyses based on ITS, LSU and SSU rDNA loci. We revealed yeast diversity distinct from any previously reported. Representatives of Cyphobasidiales, Microsporomycetaceae and of an unknown group related to Symmetrospora have been found. We present evidence that the Microsporomycetaceae contains mainly lichen-associated yeasts. Lichenozyma pisutiana is circumscribed here as a new genus and species. We report the first known associations between cystobasidiomycete yeasts and Cladonia (both corticate and ecorticate), and find that the association is geographically widespread in various habitats. Our results also suggest that a great diversity of lichen associated yeasts remains to be discovered.

RevDate: 2019-08-20

Yang QS, Dong JD, Ahmad M, et al (2019)

Analysis of nifH DNA and RNA reveals a disproportionate contribution to nitrogenase activities by rare plankton-associated diazotrophs.

BMC microbiology, 19(1):188 pii:10.1186/s12866-019-1565-9.

BACKGROUND: Holobionts comprising nitrogen-fixing diazotrophs and phytoplankton or zooplankton are ubiquitous in the pelagic sea. However, neither the community structure of plankton-associated diazotrophs (PADs) nor their nitrogenase transcriptional activity are well-understood. In this study, we used nifH gene Illumina sequencing and quantitative PCR to characterize the community composition and nifH expression profile of PADs with > 100 μm size fraction in the euphotic zone of the northern South China Sea.

RESULTS: The results of DNA- and RNA-derived nifH gene revealed a higher alpha-diversity in the active than in the total community. Moreover, the compositional resemblance among different sites was less for active than for total communities of PADs. We characterized the 20 most abundant OTUs by ranking the sum of sequence reads across 9 sampling stations for individual OTUs in both nifH DNA and RNA libraries, and then assessed their phylogenetic relatedness. Eight of the 20 abundant OTUs were phylogenetically affiliated with Trichodesmium and occurred in approximately equal proportion in both the DNA and RNA libraries. The analysis of nifH gene expression level showed uneven attribute of the abundance and nitrogenase activities by the remaining 12 OTUs. Taxa belonging to cluster III and Betaproteobacteria were present at moderate abundance but exhibited negligible nitrogenase transcription activity. Whereas, the abundances of Richelia, Deltaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria were low but the contribution of these groups to nitrogenase transcription was disproportionately high.

CONCLUSIONS: The substantial variation in community structure among active dizatrophic fractions compared to the total communities suggests that the former are better indicators of biological response to environmental changes. Altogether, our study highlights the importance of rare PADs groups in nitrogen fixation in plankton holobionts, evidenced by their high level of nitrogenase transcription.

RevDate: 2019-09-03

Ruszkiewicz JA, Tinkov AA, Skalny AV, et al (2019)

Brain diseases in changing climate.

Environmental research, 177:108637.

Climate change is one of the biggest and most urgent challenges for the 21st century. Rising average temperatures and ocean levels, altered precipitation patterns and increased occurrence of extreme weather events affect not only the global landscape and ecosystem, but also human health. Multiple environmental factors influence the onset and severity of human diseases and changing climate may have a great impact on these factors. Climate shifts disrupt the quantity and quality of water, increase environmental pollution, change the distribution of pathogens and severely impacts food production - all of which are important regarding public health. This paper focuses on brain health and provides an overview of climate change impacts on risk factors specific to brain diseases and disorders. We also discuss emerging hazards in brain health due to mitigation and adaptation strategies in response to climate changes.

RevDate: 2019-08-18

Cheng YT, Zhang L, SY He (2019)

Plant-Microbe Interactions Facing Environmental Challenge.

Cell host & microbe, 26(2):183-192.

In the past four decades, tremendous progress has been made in understanding how plants respond to microbial colonization and how microbial pathogens and symbionts reprogram plant cellular processes. In contrast, our knowledge of how environmental conditions impact plant-microbe interactions is less understood at the mechanistic level, as most molecular studies are performed under simple and static laboratory conditions. In this review, we highlight research that begins to shed light on the mechanisms by which environmental conditions influence diverse plant-pathogen, plant-symbiont, and plant-microbiota interactions. There is a great need to increase efforts in this important area of research in order to reach a systems-level understanding of plant-microbe interactions that are more reflective of what occurs in nature.

RevDate: 2019-08-19
CmpDate: 2019-08-19

Fleming BA, MA Mulvey (2019)

Commensal Strains of Neisseria Use DNA to Poison Their Pathogenic Rivals.

Cell host & microbe, 26(2):156-158.

Commensal bacteria can interfere with colonization of the host by infiltrating pathogens. In this issue of Cell Host & Microbe, Kim et al. (2019) describe an intriguing mechanism of colonization resistance driven by the mismatching of methylation patterns following uptake of commensal-derived DNA by pathogenic strains of Neisseria.

RevDate: 2019-08-18

Boem F, A Amedei (2019)

Healthy axis: Towards an integrated view of the gut-brain health.

World journal of gastroenterology, 25(29):3838-3841.

Despite the lack of precise mechanisms of action, a growing number of studies suggests that gut microbiota is involved in a great number of physiological functions of the human organism. In fact, the composition and the relations of intestinal microbial populations play a role, either directly or indirectly, to both the onset and development of various pathologies. In particular, the gastrointestinal tract and nervous system are closely connected by the so-called gut-brain axis, a complex bidirectional system in which the central and enteric nervous system interact with each other, also engaging endocrine, immune and neuronal circuits. This allows us to put forward new working hypotheses on the origin of some multifactorial diseases: from eating to neuropsychiatric disorders (such as autism spectrum disorders and depression) up to diabetes and tumors (such as colorectal cancer). This scenario reinforces the idea that the microbiota and its composition represent a factor, which is no longer negligible, not only in preserving what we call "health" but also in defining and thus determining it. Therefore, we propose to consider the gut-brain axis as the focus of new scientific and clinical investigation as long as the locus of possible systemic therapeutic interventions.

RevDate: 2019-08-14

McIntire PJ (2019)

Mankind and the machine: A relationship of symbiosis or conflict?.


RJR Experience and Expertise


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

963 Red Tail Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226


E-mail: RJR8222@gmail.com

Collection of publications by R J Robbins

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

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

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

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

short personal version

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

long standard version

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