WorldWideScience

Sample records for human microbial ecology

  1. Optimization of Human Microbial Ecology

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — With the new tools of high-throughput sequencing providing unprecedented information about the diversity of microbes living in and on the human organism...

  2. Microbial ecology of terrestrial Antarctica: Are microbial systems at risk from human activities?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    White, G.J.

    1996-08-01

    Many of the ecological systems found in continental Antarctica are comprised entirely of microbial species. Concerns have arisen that these microbial systems might be at risk either directly through the actions of humans or indirectly through increased competition from introduced species. Although protection of native biota is covered by the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, strict measures for preventing the introduction on non-native species or for protecting microbial habitats may be impractical. This report summarizes the research conducted to date on microbial ecosystems in continental Antarctica and discusses the need for protecting these ecosystems. The focus is on communities inhabiting soil and rock surfaces in non-coastal areas of continental Antarctica. Although current polices regarding waste management and other operations in Antarctic research stations serve to reduce the introduction on non- native microbial species, importation cannot be eliminated entirely. Increased awareness of microbial habitats by field personnel and protection of certain unique habitats from physical destruction by humans may be necessary. At present, small-scale impacts from human activities are occurring in certain areas both in terms of introduced species and destruction of habitat. On a large scale, however, it is questionable whether the introduction of non-native microbial species to terrestrial Antarctica merits concern.

  3. Patterns of Early-Life Gut Microbial Colonization during Human Immune Development: An Ecological Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabelle Laforest-Lapointe

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Alterations in gut microbial colonization during early life have been reported in infants that later developed asthma, allergies, type 1 diabetes, as well as in inflammatory bowel disease patients, previous to disease flares. Mechanistic studies in animal models have established that microbial alterations influence disease pathogenesis via changes in immune system maturation. Strong evidence points to the presence of a window of opportunity in early life, during which changes in gut microbial colonization can result in immune dysregulation that predisposes susceptible hosts to disease. Although the ecological patterns of microbial succession in the first year of life have been partly defined in specific human cohorts, the taxonomic and functional features, and diversity thresholds that characterize these microbial alterations are, for the most part, unknown. In this review, we summarize the most important links between the temporal mosaics of gut microbial colonization and the age-dependent immune functions that rely on them. We also highlight the importance of applying ecology theory to design studies that explore the interactions between this complex ecosystem and the host immune system. Focusing research efforts on understanding the importance of temporally structured patterns of diversity, keystone groups, and inter-kingdom microbial interactions for ecosystem functions has great potential to enable the development of biologically sound interventions aimed at maintaining and/or improving immune system development and preventing disease.

  4. Molecular microbial ecology manual

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kowalchuk, G.A.; Bruijn, de F.J.; Head, I.M.; Akkermans, A.D.L.

    2004-01-01

    The field of microbial ecology has been revolutionized in the past two decades by the introduction of molecular methods into the toolbox of the microbial ecologist. This molecular arsenal has helped to unveil the enormity of microbial diversity across the breadth of the earth's ecosystems, and has

  5. REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS IN А FIELD OF HUMAN MICROBIAL ECOLOGY AND CONSTRUCTION OF PROBIOTICS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. A. Starovoitova

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Modern huge and world-wide known projects concerning studying of human microbial ecology and construction of probiotics, particularly: Society for Microbial Ecology and Disease, Probiotics & Health Targeted Initiative of International Science and Technology Center (TI PROBIO ISTC, Human Microbiome Project of National Institutes of Health, MetaHIT Project (Metagenomics of the Human Intestinal Tract of European Commission, Human Metabolome Project of Canadian University of Alberta and some more else were characterized in the article. Brief historical information and reference to official sites of every discussed project were given. Main goals and tasks of every project were described. Short characteristic of discussed projects and also modern accessible results of researches were given. Importance of every examined project for widening scientific knowledge in the field of human microbial ecology and also for improvement and/or for construction of modern effective probiotics on basis of human normal intestinal microflora were paid attention. Close interaction of scientific data received by realization of every discussed project was shown.

  6. Diversity, metabolism and microbial ecology of butyrate-producing bacteria from the human large intestine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louis, Petra; Flint, Harry J

    2009-05-01

    Butyrate-producing bacteria play a key role in colonic health in humans. This review provides an overview of the current knowledge of the diversity, metabolism and microbial ecology of this functionally important group of bacteria. Human colonic butyrate producers are Gram-positive firmicutes, but are phylogenetically diverse, with the two most abundant groups related to Eubacterium rectale/Roseburia spp. and to Faecalibacterium prausnitzii. Five different arrangements have been identified for the genes of the central pathway involved in butyrate synthesis, while in most cases butyryl-CoA : acetate CoA-transferase, rather than butyrate kinase, appears to perform the final step in butyrate synthesis. Mechanisms have been proposed recently in non-gut Clostridium spp. whereby butyrate synthesis can result in energy generation via both substrate-level phosphorylation and proton gradients. Here we suggest that these mechanisms also apply to the majority of butyrate producers from the human colon. The roles of these bacteria in the gut community and their influence on health are now being uncovered, taking advantage of the availability of cultured isolates and molecular methodologies. Populations of F. prausnitzii are reported to be decreased in Crohn's disease, for example, while populations of Roseburia relatives appear to be particularly sensitive to the diet composition in human volunteer studies.

  7. Application of Sequence-based Methods in Human MicrobialEcology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weng, Li; Rubin, Edward M.; Bristow, James

    2005-08-29

    Ecologists studying microbial life in the environment have recognized the enormous complexity of microbial diversity for many years, and the development of a variety of culture-independent methods, many of them coupled with high-throughput DNA sequencing, has allowed this diversity to be explored in ever greater detail. Despite the widespread application of these new techniques to the characterization of uncultivated microbes and microbial communities in the environment, their application to human health and disease has lagged behind. Because DNA based-techniques for defining uncultured microbes allow not only cataloging of microbial diversity, but also insight into microbial functions, investigators are beginning to apply these tools to the microbial communities that abound on and within us, in what has aptly been called the second Human Genome Project. In this review we discuss the sequence-based methods for microbial analysis that are currently available and their application to identify novel human pathogens, improve diagnosis of known infectious diseases, and to advance understanding of our relationship with microbial communities that normally reside in and on the human body.

  8. Molecular ecology of microbial mats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bolhuis, H.; Cretoiu, M.S.; Stal, L.J.

    2014-01-01

    Phototrophic microbial mats are ideal model systems for ecological and evolutionary analysis of highly diverse microbial communities. Microbial mats are small-scale, nearly closed, and self-sustaining benthic ecosystems that comprise the major element cycles, trophic levels, and food webs. The steep

  9. Fifty important research questions in microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antwis, Rachael E; Griffiths, Sarah M; Harrison, Xavier A; Aranega-Bou, Paz; Arce, Andres; Bettridge, Aimee S; Brailsford, Francesca L; de Menezes, Alexandre; Devaynes, Andrew; Forbes, Kristian M; Fry, Ellen L; Goodhead, Ian; Haskell, Erin; Heys, Chloe; James, Chloe; Johnston, Sarah R; Lewis, Gillian R; Lewis, Zenobia; Macey, Michael C; McCarthy, Alan; McDonald, James E; Mejia-Florez, Nasmille L; O'Brien, David; Orland, Chloé; Pautasso, Marco; Reid, William D K; Robinson, Heather A; Wilson, Kenneth; Sutherland, William J

    2017-05-01

    Microbial ecology provides insights into the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of microbial communities underpinning every ecosystem on Earth. Microbial communities can now be investigated in unprecedented detail, although there is still a wealth of open questions to be tackled. Here we identify 50 research questions of fundamental importance to the science or application of microbial ecology, with the intention of summarising the field and bringing focus to new research avenues. Questions are categorised into seven themes: host-microbiome interactions; health and infectious diseases; human health and food security; microbial ecology in a changing world; environmental processes; functional diversity; and evolutionary processes. Many questions recognise that microbes provide an extraordinary array of functional diversity that can be harnessed to solve real-world problems. Our limited knowledge of spatial and temporal variation in microbial diversity and function is also reflected, as is the need to integrate micro- and macro-ecological concepts, and knowledge derived from studies with humans and other diverse organisms. Although not exhaustive, the questions presented are intended to stimulate discussion and provide focus for researchers, funders and policy makers, informing the future research agenda in microbial ecology. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. The microbial ecology of permafrost

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jansson, Janet; Tas, Neslihan

    2014-01-01

    Permafrost constitutes a major portion of the terrestrial cryosphere of the Earth and is a unique ecological niche for cold-adapted microorganisms. There is a relatively high microbial diversity in permafrost, although there is some variation in community composition across different permafrost......-gas emissions. This Review describes new data on the microbial ecology of permafrost and provides a platform for understanding microbial life strategies in frozen soil as well as the impact of climate change on permafrost microorganisms and their functional roles....

  11. Sequence-based Methods in Human Microbial Ecology: A The 2nd HumanGenome Comes of Age

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weng, Li; Rubin, Edward M.; Bristow, James

    2005-06-01

    Ecologists studying microbial life in the environment have recognized the enormous complexity of microbial diversity for more than a decade (Whitman et al. 1998). The development of a variety of culture-independent methods, many of them coupled with high-throughput DNA sequencing, has allowed this diversity to be explored in ever greater detail (Handelsman 2004; Harris et al. 2004; Hugenholtz et al. 1998; Moreira and Lopez-Garcia 2002; Rappe and Giovannoni 2003). Despite the widespread application of these new techniques to the characterization of uncultivated microbes and microbial communities in the environment, their application to human health and disease has lagged behind. Because these techniques now allow not only cataloging of microbial diversity, but also insight into microbial functions, it is time for clinical microbiologists to apply these tools to the microbial communities that abound on and within us, in what has been aptly called ''the second Human Genome Project'' (Relman and Falkow 2001). In this review we will discuss the sequence-based methods for microbial analysis that are currently available and their application to identify novel human pathogens, improve diagnosis and treatment of known infectious diseases, and finally to advance understanding of our relationship with microbial communities that normally reside in and on the human body.

  12. The maturing of microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Thomas M

    2006-09-01

    A.J. Kluyver and C.B. van Niel introduced many scientists to the exceptional metabolic capacity of microbes and their remarkable ability to adapt to changing environments in The Microbe's Contribution to Biology. Beyond providing an overview of the physiology and adaptability of microbes, the book outlined many of the basic principles for the emerging discipline of microbial ecology. While the study of pure cultures was highlighted, provided a unifying framework for understanding the vast metabolic potential of microbes and their roles in the global cycling of elements, extrapolation from pure cultures to natural environments has often been overshadowed by microbiologists inability to culture many of the microbes seen in natural environments. A combination of genomic approaches is now providing a culture-independent view of the microbial world, revealing a more diverse and dynamic community of microbes than originally anticipated. As methods for determining the diversity of microbial communities become increasingly accessible, a major challenge to microbial ecologists is to link the structure of natural microbial communities with their functions. This article presents several examples from studies of aquatic and terrestrial microbial communities in which culture and culture-independent methods are providing an enhanced appreciation for the microbe's contribution to the evolution and maintenance of life on Earth, and offers some thoughts about the graduate-level educational programs needed to enhance the maturing field of microbial ecology.

  13. Microbial Ecology: Where are we now?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boughner, Lisa A; Singh, Pallavi

    2016-11-01

    Conventional microbiological methods have been readily taken over by newer molecular techniques due to the ease of use, reproducibility, sensitivity and speed of working with nucleic acids. These tools allow high throughput analysis of complex and diverse microbial communities, such as those in soil, freshwater, saltwater, or the microbiota living in collaboration with a host organism (plant, mouse, human, etc). For instance, these methods have been robustly used for characterizing the plant (rhizosphere), animal and human microbiome specifically the complex intestinal microbiota. The human body has been referred to as the Superorganism since microbial genes are more numerous than the number of human genes and are essential to the health of the host. In this review we provide an overview of the Next Generation tools currently available to study microbial ecology, along with their limitations and advantages.

  14. What is microbial community ecology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konopka, Allan

    2009-11-01

    The activities of complex communities of microbes affect biogeochemical transformations in natural, managed and engineered ecosystems. Meaningfully defining what constitutes a community of interacting microbial populations is not trivial, but is important for rigorous progress in the field. Important elements of research in microbial community ecology include the analysis of functional pathways for nutrient resource and energy flows, mechanistic understanding of interactions between microbial populations and their environment, and the emergent properties of the complex community. Some emergent properties mirror those analyzed by community ecologists who study plants and animals: biological diversity, functional redundancy and system stability. However, because microbes possess mechanisms for the horizontal transfer of genetic information, the metagenome may also be considered as a community property.

  15. The role of ecological theory in microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prosser, James I; Bohannan, Brendan J M; Curtis, Tom P; Ellis, Richard J; Firestone, Mary K; Freckleton, Rob P; Green, Jessica L; Green, Laura E; Killham, Ken; Lennon, Jack J; Osborn, A Mark; Solan, Martin; van der Gast, Christopher J; Young, J Peter W

    2007-05-01

    Microbial ecology is currently undergoing a revolution, with repercussions spreading throughout microbiology, ecology and ecosystem science. The rapid accumulation of molecular data is uncovering vast diversity, abundant uncultivated microbial groups and novel microbial functions. This accumulation of data requires the application of theory to provide organization, structure, mechanistic insight and, ultimately, predictive power that is of practical value, but the application of theory in microbial ecology is currently very limited. Here we argue that the full potential of the ongoing revolution will not be realized if research is not directed and driven by theory, and that the generality of established ecological theory must be tested using microbial systems.

  16. Statistical Physics Approaches to Microbial Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, Pankaj

    The unprecedented ability to quantitatively measure and probe complex microbial communities has renewed interest in identifying the fundamental ecological principles governing community ecology in microbial ecosystems. Here, we present work from our group and others showing how ideas from statistical physics can help us uncover these ecological principles. Two major lessons emerge from this work. First, large, ecosystems with many species often display new, emergent ecological behaviors that are absent in small ecosystems with just a few species. To paraphrase Nobel laureate Phil Anderson, ''More is Different'', especially in community ecology. Second, the lack of trophic layer separation in microbial ecology fundamentally distinguishes microbial ecology from classical paradigms of community ecology and leads to qualitative different rules for community assembly in microbes. I illustrate these ideas using both theoretical modeling and novel new experiments on large microbial ecosystems performed by our collaborators (Joshua Goldford and Alvaro Sanchez). Work supported by Simons Investigator in MMLS and NIH R35 R35 GM119461.

  17. Theoretical microbial ecology without species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tikhonov, Mikhail

    2017-09-01

    Ecosystems are commonly conceptualized as networks of interacting species. However, partitioning natural diversity of organisms into discrete units is notoriously problematic and mounting experimental evidence raises the intriguing question whether this perspective is appropriate for the microbial world. Here an alternative formalism is proposed that does not require postulating the existence of species as fundamental ecological variables and provides a naturally hierarchical description of community dynamics. This formalism allows approaching the species problem from the opposite direction. While the classical models treat a world of imperfectly clustered organism types as a perturbation around well-clustered species, the presented approach allows gradually adding structure to a fully disordered background. The relevance of this theoretical construct for describing highly diverse natural ecosystems is discussed.

  18. Microbial ecology of watery kimchi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyung, Kyu Hang; Medina Pradas, Eduardo; Kim, Song Gun; Lee, Yong Jae; Kim, Kyong Ho; Choi, Jin Joo; Cho, Joo Hyong; Chung, Chang Ho; Barrangou, Rodolphe; Breidt, Frederick

    2015-05-01

    The biochemistry and microbial ecology of 2 similar types of watery (mul) kimchi, containing sliced and unsliced radish and vegetables (nabak and dongchimi, respectively), were investigated. Samples from kimchi were fermented at 4, 10, and 20 °C were analyzed by plating on differential and selective media, high-performance liquid chromatography, and high-throughput DNA sequencing of 16S rDNA. Nabak kimchi showed similar trends as dongchimi, with increasing lactic and acetic acids and decreasing pH for each temperature, but differences in microbiota were apparent. Interestingly, bacteria from the Proteobacterium phylum, including Enterobacteriaceae, decreased more rapidly during fermentation at 4 °C in nabak cabbage fermentations compared with dongchimi. Although changes for Proteobacterium and Enterobacteriaceae populations were similar during fermentation at 10 and 20 °C, the homolactic stage of fermentation did not develop for the 4 and 10 °C samples of both nabak and dongchimi during the experiment. These data show the differences in biochemistry and microbial ecology that can result from preparation method and fermentation conditions of the kimchi, which may impact safety (Enterobacteriaceae populations may include pathogenic bacteria) and quality (homolactic fermentation can be undesirable, if too much acid is produced) of the product. In addition, the data also illustrate the need for improved methods for identifying and differentiating closely related lactic acid bacteria species using high-throughput sequencing methods. © 2015 Institute of Food Technologists®. This article has been contributed by US Government employees and their work is in the public domain in the USA.

  19. Manipulatiaon of Biofilm Microbial Ecology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burkhalter, R.; Macnaughton, S.J.; Palmer, R.J.; Smith, C.A.; Whitaker, K.W.; White, D.C.; Zinn, M.; kirkegaard, R.

    1998-08-09

    The Biofilm mode of growth provides such significant advantages to the members of the consortium that most organisms in important habitats are found in biofilms. The study of factors that allow manipulation of biofilm microbes in the biofilm growth state requires that reproducible biofilms by generated. The most effective monitoring of biofilm formation, succession and desquamation is with on-line monitoring of microbial biofilms with flowcell for direct observation. The biofilm growth state incorporates a second important factor, the heterogeneity in the distribution in time and space of the component members of the biofilm consortium. This heterogeneity is reflected not only in the cellular distribution but in the metabolic activity within a population of cells. Activity and cellular distribution can be mapped in four dimensions with confocal microscopy, and function can be ascertained by genetically manipulated reporter functions for specific genes or by vital stains. The methodology for understanding the microbial ecology of biofilms is now much more readily available and the capacity to manipulate biofilms is becoming an important feature of biotechnology.

  20. Manipulation of Biofilm Microbial Ecology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    White, D.C.; Palmer, R.J., Jr.; Zinn, M.; Smith, C.A.; Burkhalter, R.; Macnaughton, S.J.; Whitaker, K.W.; Kirkegaard, R.D.

    1998-08-15

    The biofilm mode of growth provides such significant advantages to the members of the consortium that most organisms in important habitats are found in biofilms. The study of factors that allow manipulation of biofilm microbes in the biofilm growth state requires that reproducible biofilms be generated. The most effective monitoring of biofilm formation, succession and desaturation is with on-line monitoring of microbial biofilms with flowcell for direct observation. The biofilm growth state incorporates a second important factor, the heterogeneity in distribution in time and space of the component members of the biofilm consortium. This heterogeneity is reflected not only in the cellular distribution but in the metabolic activity within a population of cells. Activity and cellular distribution can be mapped in four dimensions with confocal microscopy, and function can be ascertained by genetically manipulated reporter functions for specific genes or by vital stains. The methodology for understanding the microbial ecology of biofilms is now much more readily available and the capacity to manipulate biofilms is becoming an important feature of biotechnology.

  1. Synthetic microbial ecology and the dynamic interplay between microbial genotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolinšek, Jan; Goldschmidt, Felix; Johnson, David R

    2016-11-01

    Assemblages of microbial genotypes growing together can display surprisingly complex and unexpected dynamics and result in community-level functions and behaviors that are not readily expected from analyzing each genotype in isolation. This complexity has, at least in part, inspired a discipline of synthetic microbial ecology. Synthetic microbial ecology focuses on designing, building and analyzing the dynamic behavior of ‘ecological circuits’ (i.e. a set of interacting microbial genotypes) and understanding how community-level properties emerge as a consequence of those interactions. In this review, we discuss typical objectives of synthetic microbial ecology and the main advantages and rationales of using synthetic microbial assemblages. We then summarize recent findings of current synthetic microbial ecology investigations. In particular, we focus on the causes and consequences of the interplay between different microbial genotypes and illustrate how simple interactions can create complex dynamics and promote unexpected community-level properties. We finally propose that distinguishing between active and passive interactions and accounting for the pervasiveness of competition can improve existing frameworks for designing and predicting the dynamics of microbial assemblages.

  2. Mapping the ecological networks of microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Yandong; Angulo, Marco Tulio; Friedman, Jonathan; Waldor, Matthew K; Weiss, Scott T; Liu, Yang-Yu

    2017-12-11

    Mapping the ecological networks of microbial communities is a necessary step toward understanding their assembly rules and predicting their temporal behavior. However, existing methods require assuming a particular population dynamics model, which is not known a priori. Moreover, those methods require fitting longitudinal abundance data, which are often not informative enough for reliable inference. To overcome these limitations, here we develop a new method based on steady-state abundance data. Our method can infer the network topology and inter-taxa interaction types without assuming any particular population dynamics model. Additionally, when the population dynamics is assumed to follow the classic Generalized Lotka-Volterra model, our method can infer the inter-taxa interaction strengths and intrinsic growth rates. We systematically validate our method using simulated data, and then apply it to four experimental data sets. Our method represents a key step towards reliable modeling of complex, real-world microbial communities, such as the human gut microbiota.

  3. Procedures For Microbial-Ecology Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huff, Timothy L.

    1993-01-01

    Microbial Ecology Laboratory Procedures Manual provides concise and well-defined instructions on routine technical procedures to be followed in microbiological laboratory to ensure safety, analytical control, and validity of results.

  4. Microbial ecology-based engineering of Microbial Electrochemical Technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Christin; Korth, Benjamin; Harnisch, Falk

    2018-01-01

    Microbial ecology is devoted to the understanding of dynamics, activity and interaction of microorganisms in natural and technical ecosystems. Bioelectrochemical systems represent important technical ecosystems, where microbial ecology is of highest importance for their function. However, whereas aspects of, for example, materials and reactor engineering are commonly perceived as highly relevant, the study and engineering of microbial ecology are significantly underrepresented in bioelectrochemical systems. This shortfall may be assigned to a deficit on knowledge and power of these methods as well as the prerequisites for their thorough application. This article discusses not only the importance of microbial ecology for microbial electrochemical technologies but also shows which information can be derived for a knowledge-driven engineering. Instead of providing a comprehensive list of techniques from which it is hard to judge the applicability and value of information for a respective one, this review illustrates the suitability of selected techniques on a case study. Thereby, best practice for different research questions is provided and a set of key questions for experimental design, data acquisition and analysis is suggested. © 2017 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  5. Microbial ecology of phototrophic biofilms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roeselers, G.

    2007-01-01

    Biofilms are layered structures of microbial cells and an extracellular matrix of polymeric substances, associated with surfaces and interfaces. Biofilms trap nutrients for growth of the enclosed microbial community and help prevent detachment of cells from surfaces in flowing systems. Phototrophic

  6. Microbial bebop: creating music from complex dynamics in microbial ecology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Larsen

    Full Text Available In order for society to make effective policy decisions on complex and far-reaching subjects, such as appropriate responses to global climate change, scientists must effectively communicate complex results to the non-scientifically specialized public. However, there are few ways however to transform highly complicated scientific data into formats that are engaging to the general community. Taking inspiration from patterns observed in nature and from some of the principles of jazz bebop improvisation, we have generated Microbial Bebop, a method by which microbial environmental data are transformed into music. Microbial Bebop uses meter, pitch, duration, and harmony to highlight the relationships between multiple data types in complex biological datasets. We use a comprehensive microbial ecology, time course dataset collected at the L4 marine monitoring station in the Western English Channel as an example of microbial ecological data that can be transformed into music. Four compositions were generated (www.bio.anl.gov/MicrobialBebop.htm. from L4 Station data using Microbial Bebop. Each composition, though deriving from the same dataset, is created to highlight different relationships between environmental conditions and microbial community structure. The approach presented here can be applied to a wide variety of complex biological datasets.

  7. Microbial bebop: creating music from complex dynamics in microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, Peter; Gilbert, Jack

    2013-01-01

    In order for society to make effective policy decisions on complex and far-reaching subjects, such as appropriate responses to global climate change, scientists must effectively communicate complex results to the non-scientifically specialized public. However, there are few ways however to transform highly complicated scientific data into formats that are engaging to the general community. Taking inspiration from patterns observed in nature and from some of the principles of jazz bebop improvisation, we have generated Microbial Bebop, a method by which microbial environmental data are transformed into music. Microbial Bebop uses meter, pitch, duration, and harmony to highlight the relationships between multiple data types in complex biological datasets. We use a comprehensive microbial ecology, time course dataset collected at the L4 marine monitoring station in the Western English Channel as an example of microbial ecological data that can be transformed into music. Four compositions were generated (www.bio.anl.gov/MicrobialBebop.htm.) from L4 Station data using Microbial Bebop. Each composition, though deriving from the same dataset, is created to highlight different relationships between environmental conditions and microbial community structure. The approach presented here can be applied to a wide variety of complex biological datasets.

  8. Defining Disturbance for Microbial Ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plante, Craig J

    2017-08-01

    Disturbance can profoundly modify the structure of natural communities. However, microbial ecologists' concept of "disturbance" has often deviated from conventional practice. Definitions (or implicit usage) have frequently included climate change and other forms of chronic environmental stress, which contradict the macrobiologist's notion of disturbance as a discrete event that removes biomass. Physical constraints and disparate biological characteristics were compared to ask whether disturbances fundamentally differ in microbial and macroorganismal communities. A definition of "disturbance" for microbial ecologists is proposed that distinguishes from "stress" and other competing terms, and that is in accord with definitions accepted by plant and animal ecologists.

  9. The information science of microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, Aria S; Konwar, Kishori M; Louca, Stilianos; Hanson, Niels W; Hallam, Steven J

    2016-06-01

    A revolution is unfolding in microbial ecology where petabytes of 'multi-omics' data are produced using next generation sequencing and mass spectrometry platforms. This cornucopia of biological information has enormous potential to reveal the hidden metabolic powers of microbial communities in natural and engineered ecosystems. However, to realize this potential, the development of new technologies and interpretative frameworks grounded in ecological design principles are needed to overcome computational and analytical bottlenecks. Here we explore the relationship between microbial ecology and information science in the era of cloud-based computation. We consider microorganisms as individual information processing units implementing a distributed metabolic algorithm and describe developments in ecoinformatics and ubiquitous computing with the potential to eliminate bottlenecks and empower knowledge creation and translation. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  10. A great leap forward in microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okabe, Satoshi; Oshiki, Mamoru; Kamagata, Yoichi; Yamaguchi, Nobuyasu; Toyofuku, Masanori; Yawata, Yutaka; Tashiro, Yosuke; Nomura, Nobuhiko; Ohta, Hiroyuki; Ohkuma, Moriya; Hiraishi, Akira; Minamisawa, Kiwamu

    2010-01-01

    Ribosomal RNA (rRNA) sequence-based molecular techniques emerged in the late 1980s, which completely changed our general view of microbial life. Coincidentally, the Japanese Society of Microbial Ecology (JSME) was founded, and its official journal "Microbes and Environments (M&E)" was launched, in 1985. Thus, the past 25 years have been an exciting and fruitful period for M&E readers and microbiologists as demonstrated by the numerous excellent papers published in M&E. In this minireview, recent progress made in microbial ecology and related fields is summarized, with a special emphasis on 8 landmark areas; the cultivation of uncultured microbes, in situ methods for the assessment of microorganisms and their activities, biofilms, plant microbiology, chemolithotrophic bacteria in early volcanic environments, symbionts of animals and their ecology, wastewater treatment microbiology, and the biodegradation of hazardous organic compounds.

  11. Guiding bioprocess design by microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volmer, Jan; Schmid, Andreas; Bühler, Bruno

    2015-06-01

    Industrial bioprocess development is driven by profitability and eco-efficiency. It profits from an early stage definition of process and biocatalyst design objectives. Microbial bioprocess environments can be considered as synthetic technical microbial ecosystems. Natural systems follow Darwinian evolution principles aiming at survival and reproduction. Technical systems objectives are eco-efficiency, productivity, and profitable production. Deciphering technical microbial ecology reveals differences and similarities of natural and technical systems objectives, which are discussed in this review in view of biocatalyst and process design and engineering strategies. Strategies for handling opposing objectives of natural and technical systems and for exploiting and engineering natural properties of microorganisms for technical systems are reviewed based on examples. This illustrates the relevance of considering microbial ecology for bioprocess design and the potential for exploitation by synthetic biology strategies. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Microfluidics expanding the frontiers of microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusconi, Roberto; Garren, Melissa; Stocker, Roman

    2014-01-01

    Microfluidics has significantly contributed to the expansion of the frontiers of microbial ecology over the past decade by allowing researchers to observe the behaviors of microbes in highly controlled microenvironments, across scales from a single cell to mixed communities. Spatially and temporally varying distributions of organisms and chemical cues that mimic natural microbial habitats can now be established by exploiting physics at the micrometer scale and by incorporating structures with specific geometries and materials. In this article, we review applications of microfluidics that have resulted in insightful discoveries on fundamental aspects of microbial life, ranging from growth and sensing to cell-cell interactions and population dynamics. We anticipate that this flexible multidisciplinary technology will continue to facilitate discoveries regarding the ecology of microorganisms and help uncover strategies to control microbial processes such as biofilm formation and antibiotic resistance.

  13. Microbial ecology and adaptation in cystic fibrosis airways

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yang, Lei; Jelsbak, Lars; Molin, Søren

    2011-01-01

    Chronic infections in the respiratory tracts of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients are important to investigate, both from medical and from fundamental ecological points of view. Cystic fibrosis respiratory tracts can be described as natural environments harbouring persisting microbial communities...... constitute the selective forces that drive the evolution of the microbes after they migrate from the outer environment to human airways. Pseudomonas aeruginosa adapts to the new environment through genetic changes and exhibits a special lifestyle in chronic CF airways. Understanding the persistent...... colonization of microbial pathogens in CF patients in the context of ecology and evolution will expand our knowledge of the pathogenesis of chronic infections and improve therapeutic strategies....

  14. Marine Microbial Systems Ecology: Microbial Networks in the Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Muijzer, G.; Stal, L.J.; Cretoiu, M.S.

    2016-01-01

    Next-generation sequencing of DNA has revolutionized microbial ecology. Using this technology, it became for the first time possible to analyze hundreds of samples simultaneously and in great detail. 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, metagenomics and metatranscriptomics became available to determine the

  15. Stable isotopes and biomarkers in microbial ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boschker, H.T.S.; Middelburg, J.J.

    2002-01-01

    The use of biomarkers in combination with stable isotope analysis is a new approach in microbial ecology and a number of papers on a variety of subjects have appeared. We will first discuss the techniques for analysing stable isotopes in biomarkers, primarily gas chromatography-combustion-isotope

  16. New directions in coral reef microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garren, Melissa; Azam, Farooq

    2012-04-01

    Microbial processes largely control the health and resilience of coral reef ecosystems, and new technologies have led to an exciting wave of discovery regarding the mechanisms by which microbial communities support the functioning of these incredibly diverse and valuable systems. There are three questions at the forefront of discovery: What mechanisms underlie coral reef health and resilience? How do environmental and anthropogenic pressures affect ecosystem function? What is the ecology of microbial diseases of corals? The goal is to understand the functioning of coral reefs as integrated systems from microbes and molecules to regional and ocean-basin scale ecosystems to enable accurate predictions of resilience and responses to perturbations such as climate change and eutrophication. This review outlines recent discoveries regarding the microbial ecology of different microenvironments within coral ecosystems, and highlights research directions that take advantage of new technologies to build a quantitative and mechanistic understanding of how coral health is connected through microbial processes to its surrounding environment. The time is ripe for natural resource managers and microbial ecologists to work together to create an integrated understanding of coral reef functioning. In the context of long-term survival and conservation of reefs, the need for this work is immediate. © 2011 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  17. Microbial Ecology of a Crewed Rover Traverse in the Arctic: Low Microbial Dispersal and Implications for Planetary Protection on Human Mars Missions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuerger, Andrew C; Lee, Pascal

    2015-06-01

    Between April 2009 and July 2011, the NASA Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) led the Northwest Passage Drive Expedition (NWPDX), a multi-staged long-distance crewed rover traverse along the Northwest Passage in the Arctic. In April 2009, the HMP Okarian rover was driven 496 km over sea ice along the Northwest Passage, from Kugluktuk to Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada. During the traverse, crew members collected samples from within the rover and from undisturbed snow-covered surfaces around the rover at three locations. The rover samples and snow samples were stored at subzero conditions (-20°C to -1°C) until processed for microbial diversity in labs at the NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The objective was to determine the extent of microbial dispersal away from the rover and onto undisturbed snow. Interior surfaces of the rover were found to be associated with a wide range of bacteria (69 unique taxa) and fungi (16 unique taxa). In contrast, snow samples from the upwind, downwind, uptrack, and downtrack sample sites exterior to the rover were negative for both bacteria and fungi except for two colony-forming units (cfus) recovered from one downwind (1 cfu; site A4) and one uptrack (1 cfu; site B6) sample location. The fungus, Aspergillus fumigatus (GenBank JX517279), and closely related bacteria in the genus Brevibacillus were recovered from both snow (B. agri, GenBank JX517278) and interior rover surfaces. However, it is unknown whether the microorganisms were deposited onto snow surfaces at the time of sample collection (i.e., from the clothing or skin of the human operator) or via airborne dispersal from the rover during the 12-18 h layovers at the sites prior to collection. Results support the conclusion that a crewed rover traveling over previously undisturbed terrain may not significantly contaminate the local terrain via airborne dispersal of propagules from the vehicle.

  18. The influence of Staphylococcus aureus on gut microbial ecology in an in vitro continuous culture human colonic model system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sannasiddappa, Thippeswamy H; Costabile, Adele; Gibson, Glenn R; Clarke, Simon R

    2011-01-01

    An anaerobic three-stage continuous culture model of the human colon (gut model), which represent different anatomical areas of the large intestine, was used to study the effect of S. aureus infection of the gut on the resident faecal microbiota. Studies on the development of the microbiota in the three vessels were performed and bacteria identified by culture independent fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Furthermore, short chain fatty acids (SCFA), as principal end products of gut bacterial metabolism, were measured along with a quantitative assessment of the predominant microbiota. During steady state conditions, numbers of S. aureus cells stabilised until they were washed out, but populations of indigenous bacteria were transiently altered; thus S. aureus was able to compromise colonisation resistance by the colonic microbiota. Furthermore, the concentration of butyric acid in the vessel representing the proximal colon was significantly decreased by infection. Thus infection by S. aureus appears to be able to alter the overall structure of the human colonic microbiota and the microbial metabolic profiles. This work provides an initial in vitro model to analyse interactions with pathogens.

  19. [Engineering issues of microbial ecology in space agriculture].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashita, Masamichi; Ishikawa, Yoji; Oshima, Tairo

    2005-03-01

    Closure of the materials recycle loop for water-foods-oxygen is the primary purpose of space agriculture on Mars and Moon. A microbial ecological system takes a part of agriculture to process our metabolic excreta and inedible biomass and convert them to nutrients and soil substrate for cultivating plants. If we extend the purpose of space agriculture to the creation and control of a healthy and pleasant living environment, we should realize that our human body should not be sterilized but exposed to the appropriate microbial environment. We are proposing a use of hyper-thermophilic aerobic composting microbial ecology in space agriculture. Japan has a broad historical and cultural background on this subject. There had been agriculture that drove a closed loop of materials between consuming cities and farming villages in vicinity. Recent environmental problems regarding garbage collection and processing in towns have motivated home electronics companies to innovate "garbage composting" machines with bacterial technology. Based on those matured technology, together with new insights on microbiology and microbial ecology, we have been developing a conceptual design of space agriculture on Moon and Mars. There are several issues to be answered in order to prove effectiveness of the use of microbial systems in space. 1) Can the recycled nutrients, processed by the hyper-thermal aerobic composting microbial ecology, be formed in the physical and chemical state or configuration, with which plants can uptake those nutrients? A possibility of removing any major components of fertilizer from its recycle loop is another item to be evaluated. 2) What are the merits of forming soil microbial ecology around the root system of plants? This might be the most crucial question. Recent researches exhibit various mutually beneficial relationships among soil microbiota and plants, and symbiotic ecology in composting bacteria. It is essential to understand those features, and define

  20. Methods in gut microbial ecology for ruminants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Makkar, H.P.S.; McSweeney, C.S.

    2005-01-01

    This book presents a comprehensive up-to-date account of the methodologies and protocols for conventional and modern molecular techniques that are currently in use for studying the gut microbial ecology of ruminants. Each chapter has been contributed by experts in the field and methods have been presented in a recipe-like format designed for direct practical use in the laboratory and also to provide insight into the most appropriate techniques, their applications and the type of information that could be expected. The techniques and procedures described are also relevant and adaptable to other gastrointestinal ecosystems and the microbiology of anaerobic environments in general. This manual will 'demystify' the methods in molecular microbial ecology for readers who are novice in the field but are excited by the prospects of this technology. It would also be invaluable for the experienced workers striving for giving new dimension to their research - expanding the work in other fields and initiating cross-cutting activities

  1. Energy, ecology and the distribution of microbial life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macalady, Jennifer L; Hamilton, Trinity L; Grettenberger, Christen L; Jones, Daniel S; Tsao, Leah E; Burgos, William D

    2013-07-19

    Mechanisms that govern the coexistence of multiple biological species have been studied intensively by ecologists since the turn of the nineteenth century. Microbial ecologists in the meantime have faced many fundamental challenges, such as the lack of an ecologically coherent species definition, lack of adequate methods for evaluating population sizes and community composition in nature, and enormous taxonomic and functional diversity. The accessibility of powerful, culture-independent molecular microbiology methods offers an opportunity to close the gap between microbial science and the main stream of ecological theory, with the promise of new insights and tools needed to meet the grand challenges humans face as planetary engineers and galactic explorers. We focus specifically on resources related to energy metabolism because of their direct links to elemental cycling in the Earth's history, engineering applications and astrobiology. To what extent does the availability of energy resources structure microbial communities in nature? Our recent work on sulfur- and iron-oxidizing autotrophs suggests that apparently subtle variations in the concentration ratios of external electron donors and acceptors select for different microbial populations. We show that quantitative knowledge of microbial energy niches (population-specific patterns of energy resource use) can be used to predict variations in the abundance of specific taxa in microbial communities. Furthermore, we propose that resource ratio theory applied to micro-organisms will provide a useful framework for identifying how environmental communities are organized in space and time.

  2. Microbial Ecology of a Crewed Rover Traverse in the Arctic: Low Microbial Dispersal and Implications for Planetary Protection on Human Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuerger, Andrew C.; Lee, Pascal

    2015-01-01

    Between April 2009 and July 2011, the NASA Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) led the Northwest Passage Drive Expedition (NWPDX), a multi-staged long-distance crewed rover traverse along the Northwest Passage in the Arctic. In April 2009, the HMP Okarian rover was driven 496 km over sea ice along the Northwest Passage, from Kugluktuk to Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada. During the traverse, crew members collected samples from within the rover and from undisturbed snow-covered surfaces around the rover at three locations. The rover samples and snow samples were stored at subzero conditions (-20C to -1C) until processed for microbial diversity in labs at the NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The objective was to determine the extent of microbial dispersal away from the rover and onto undisturbed snow. Interior surfaces of the rover were found to be associated with a wide range of bacteria (69 unique taxa) and fungi (16 unique taxa). In contrast, snow samples from the upwind, downwind, uptrack, and downtrack sample sites exterior to the rover were negative for both bacteria and fungi except for two colony-forming units (cfus) recovered from one downwind (1 cfu; site A4) and one uptrack (1 cfu; site B6) sample location. The fungus, Aspergillus fumigatus (GenBank JX517279), and closely related bacteria in the genus Brevibacillus were recovered from both snow (B. agri, GenBank JX517278) and interior rover surfaces. However, it is unknown whether the microorganisms were deposited onto snow surfaces at the time of sample collection (i.e., from the clothing or skin of the human operator) or via airborne dispersal from the rover during the 12-18 h layovers at the sites prior to collection. Results support the conclusion that a crewed rover traveling over previously undisturbed terrain may not significantly contaminate the local terrain via airborne dispersal of propagules from the vehicle. Key Words: Planetary protection-Contamination-Habitability-Haughton Crater-Mars. Astrobiology

  3. Our microbial selves: what ecology can teach us

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez, Antonio; Clemente, Jose C; Shade, Ashley; Metcalf, Jessica L; Song, Sejin; Prithiviraj, Bharath; Palmer, Brent E; Knight, Rob

    2011-01-01

    Advances in DNA sequencing have allowed us to characterize microbial communities—including those associated with the human body—at a broader range of spatial and temporal scales than ever before. We can now answer fundamental questions that were previously inaccessible and use well-tested ecological theories to gain insight into changes in the microbiome that are associated with normal development and human disease. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the ecosystems associated with our body follow trends identified in communities at other sites and scales, and thus studies of the microbiome benefit from ecological insight. Here, we assess human microbiome research in the context of ecological principles and models, focusing on diversity, biological drivers of community structure, spatial patterning and temporal dynamics, and suggest key directions for future research that will bring us closer to the goal of building predictive models for personalized medicine. PMID:21720391

  4. Microbial ecology and genomics: A crossroads of opportunity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stahl, David A. [University of Washington; Tiedje, James M. [Michigan State University

    2002-08-30

    Microbes have dominated life on Earth for most of its 4.5 billionyear history. They are the foundation of the biosphere, controlling the biogeochemical cycles and affecting geology, hydrology, and local and global climates. All life is completely dependent upon them. Humans cannot survive without the rich diversity of microbes, but most microbial species can survive without humans. Extraordinary advances in molecular technology have fostered an explosion of information in microbial biology. It is now known that microbial species in culture poorly represent their natural diversity—which dwarfs conventions established for the visible world. This was revealed over the last decade using newer molecular tools to explore environmental diversity and has sparked an explosive growth in microbial ecology and technologies that may profit from the bounty of natural biochemical diversity. Several colloquia and meetings have helped formulate policy recommendations to enable sustained research programs in these areas. One such colloquium organized by the American Academy of Microbiology (“The Microbial World: Foundation of the Biosphere,” 1997) made two key recommendations: (1) develop a more complete inventory of living organisms and the interagency cooperation needed to accomplish this goal, and (2) develop strategies to harvest this remarkable biological diversity for the benefit of science, technology, and society. Complete genome sequence information was identified as an essential part of strategy development, and the recommendation was made to sequence the genome of at least one species of each of the major divisions of microbial life.

  5. Microbial Ecology of Soil Aggregation in Agroecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmockel, K. S.; Bell, S.; Tfailly, M.; Thompson, A.; Callister, S.

    2017-12-01

    Crop selection and soil texture influence the physicochemical attributes of the soil, which structures microbial communities and influences soil C cycling storage. At the molecular scale, microbial metabolites and necromass alter the soil environment, which creates feedbacks that influence ecosystem functions, including soil C accumulation. By integrating lab to field studies we aim to identify the molecules, organisms and metabolic pathways that control carbon cycling and stabilization in bioenergy soils. We investigated the relative influence of plants, microbes, and minerals on soil aggregate ecology at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research experiment. Sites in WI and MI, USA have been in corn and switchgrass cropping systems for a decade. By comparing soil aggregate ecology across sites and cropping systems we are able to test the relative importance of plant, microbe, mineral influences on soil aggregate dynamics. Soil microbial communities (16S) differ in diversity and phylogeny among sites and cropping systems. FT-ICR MS revealed differences in the molecular composition of water-soluble fraction of soil organic matter for cropping systems and soil origin for both relative abundance of assigned formulas and biogeochemical classes of compounds. We found the degree of aggregation, measured by mean weighted diameter of aggregate fractions, is influenced by plant-soil interactions. Similarly, the proportion of soil aggregate fractions varied by both soil and plant factors. Differences in aggregation were reflected in differences in bacterial, but not fungal community composition across aggregate fractions, within each soil. Scanning electron microscopy revealed stark differences in mineral-organic interactions that influence the microbial niche and the accessibility of substrates within the soil. The clay soils show greater surface heterogeneity, enabling interactions with organic fraction of the soil. This is consistent with molecular data that reveal differences

  6. Microbial interactions: ecology in a molecular perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braga, Raíssa Mesquita; Dourado, Manuella Nóbrega; Araújo, Welington Luiz

    2016-12-01

    The microorganism-microorganism or microorganism-host interactions are the key strategy to colonize and establish in a variety of different environments. These interactions involve all ecological aspects, including physiochemical changes, metabolite exchange, metabolite conversion, signaling, chemotaxis and genetic exchange resulting in genotype selection. In addition, the establishment in the environment depends on the species diversity, since high functional redundancy in the microbial community increases the competitive ability of the community, decreasing the possibility of an invader to establish in this environment. Therefore, these associations are the result of a co-evolution process that leads to the adaptation and specialization, allowing the occupation of different niches, by reducing biotic and abiotic stress or exchanging growth factors and signaling. Microbial interactions occur by the transference of molecular and genetic information, and many mechanisms can be involved in this exchange, such as secondary metabolites, siderophores, quorum sensing system, biofilm formation, and cellular transduction signaling, among others. The ultimate unit of interaction is the gene expression of each organism in response to an environmental (biotic or abiotic) stimulus, which is responsible for the production of molecules involved in these interactions. Therefore, in the present review, we focused on some molecular mechanisms involved in the microbial interaction, not only in microbial-host interaction, which has been exploited by other reviews, but also in the molecular strategy used by different microorganisms in the environment that can modulate the establishment and structuration of the microbial community. Copyright © 2016 Sociedade Brasileira de Microbiologia. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

  7. The microbial ecology of wine grape berries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barata, A; Malfeito-Ferreira, M; Loureiro, V

    2012-02-15

    Grapes have a complex microbial ecology including filamentous fungi, yeasts and bacteria with different physiological characteristics and effects upon wine production. Some species are only found in grapes, such as parasitic fungi and environmental bacteria, while others have the ability to survive and grow in wines, constituting the wine microbial consortium. This consortium covers yeast species, lactic acid bacteria and acetic acid bacteria. The proportion of these microorganisms depends on the grape ripening stage and on the availability of nutrients. Grape berries are susceptible to fungal parasites until véraison after which the microbiota of truly intact berries is similar to that of plant leaves, which is dominated by basidiomycetous yeasts (e.g. Cryptococcus spp., Rhodotorula spp. Sporobolomyces spp.) and the yeast-like fungus Aureobasidium pullulans. The cuticle of visually intact berries may bear microfissures and softens with ripening, increasing nutrient availability and explaining the possible dominance by the oxidative or weakly fermentative ascomycetous populations (e.g. Candida spp., Hanseniaspora spp., Metschnikowia spp., Pichia spp.) approaching harvest time. When grape skin is clearly damaged, the availability of high sugar concentrations on the berry surface favours the increase of ascomycetes with higher fermentative activity like Pichia spp. and Zygoascus hellenicus, including dangerous wine spoilage yeasts (e.g. Zygosaccharomyces spp., Torulaspora spp.), and of acetic acid bacteria (e.g. Gluconobacter spp., Acetobacter spp.). The sugar fermenting species Saccharomyces cerevisiae is rarely found on unblemished berries, being favoured by grape damage. Lactic acid bacteria are minor partners of grape microbiota and while being the typical agent of malolactic fermentation, Oenococcus oeni has been seldom isolated from grapes in the vineyard. Environmental ubiquitous bacteria of the genus Enterobacter spp., Enterococcus spp., Bacillus spp

  8. The use of microarrays in microbial ecology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andersen, G.L.; He, Z.; DeSantis, T.Z.; Brodie, E.L.; Zhou, J.

    2009-09-15

    Microarrays have proven to be a useful and high-throughput method to provide targeted DNA sequence information for up to many thousands of specific genetic regions in a single test. A microarray consists of multiple DNA oligonucleotide probes that, under high stringency conditions, hybridize only to specific complementary nucleic acid sequences (targets). A fluorescent signal indicates the presence and, in many cases, the abundance of genetic regions of interest. In this chapter we will look at how microarrays are used in microbial ecology, especially with the recent increase in microbial community DNA sequence data. Of particular interest to microbial ecologists, phylogenetic microarrays are used for the analysis of phylotypes in a community and functional gene arrays are used for the analysis of functional genes, and, by inference, phylotypes in environmental samples. A phylogenetic microarray that has been developed by the Andersen laboratory, the PhyloChip, will be discussed as an example of a microarray that targets the known diversity within the 16S rRNA gene to determine microbial community composition. Using multiple, confirmatory probes to increase the confidence of detection and a mismatch probe for every perfect match probe to minimize the effect of cross-hybridization by non-target regions, the PhyloChip is able to simultaneously identify any of thousands of taxa present in an environmental sample. The PhyloChip is shown to reveal greater diversity within a community than rRNA gene sequencing due to the placement of the entire gene product on the microarray compared with the analysis of up to thousands of individual molecules by traditional sequencing methods. A functional gene array that has been developed by the Zhou laboratory, the GeoChip, will be discussed as an example of a microarray that dynamically identifies functional activities of multiple members within a community. The recent version of GeoChip contains more than 24,000 50mer

  9. What can we learn from the microbial ecological interactions associated with polymicrobial diseases?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antiabong, J F; Boardman, W; Ball, A S

    2014-03-15

    Periodontal diseases in humans and animals are model polymicrobial diseases which are associated with a shift in the microbial community structure and function; there is therefore a need to investigate these diseases from a microbial ecological perspective. This review highlights three important areas of microbial ecological investigation of polymicrobial diseases and the lessons that could be learnt: (1) identification of disease-associated microbes and the implications for choice of anti-infective treatment; (2) the implications associated with vaccine design and development and (3) application of the dynamics of microbial interaction in the discovery of novel anti-infective agents. This review emphasises the need to invigorate microbial ecological approaches to the study of periodontal diseases and other polymicrobial diseases for greater understanding of the ecological interactions between and within the biotic and abiotic factors of the environment. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Microbial ecology to manage processes in environmental biotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rittmann, Bruce E

    2006-06-01

    Microbial ecology and environmental biotechnology are inherently tied to each other. The concepts and tools of microbial ecology are the basis for managing processes in environmental biotechnology; and these processes provide interesting ecosystems to advance the concepts and tools of microbial ecology. Revolutionary advancements in molecular tools to understand the structure and function of microbial communities are bolstering the power of microbial ecology. A push from advances in modern materials along with a pull from a societal need to become more sustainable is enabling environmental biotechnology to create novel processes. How do these two fields work together? Five principles illuminate the way: (i) aim for big benefits; (ii) develop and apply more powerful tools to understand microbial communities; (iii) follow the electrons; (iv) retain slow-growing biomass; and (v) integrate, integrate, integrate.

  11. Microbial ecology of coal mine refuse

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cameron, R. E.; Miller, R. M.

    1977-01-01

    Baseline microbial and ecological studies of samples obtained from two abandoned coal mine refuse sites in the State of Illinois indicate that the unfavorable nature of refuse materials can be a very limiting factor for survival and growth of organisms. Despite the ''foothold'' obtained by some microorganisms, especially acidophilic fungi and some acidotolerant algae, the refuse materials should be amended or ameliorated to raise the pH, provide needed nutrients, especially nitrogen, and provide biodegradable organic matter, both for physical and biological purposes. Finally, the role of microbial populations, responses, and interactions in acid mine wastes must be put into larger perspective. Acid mine drainage amounts to over 4 million tons per year of acidity from active and abandoned mines. Microorganisms appear to be significantly responsible for this problem, but they also can play a beneficial and significant role in the amelioration or alleviation of this detrimental effect as abandoned mines are reclaimed and returned to useful productivity.

  12. Some problems of human ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Davitashvili, M.

    2009-01-01

    The problems of the ecology of human are considered. The notion of ''the ecology of human'' is discussed from the viewpoint of human rights and responsibilities in reference to the environment. The ecological factors affecting the men and the ecosystems as a whole are considered. It is emphasized that the ecological problems should be solved not only globally, but also for concrete ecosystems with consideration for their specific features. (author)

  13. Molecular musings in microbial ecology and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Case, Rebecca J; Boucher, Yan

    2011-11-10

    A few major discoveries have influenced how ecologists and evolutionists study microbes. Here, in the format of an interview, we answer questions that directly relate to how these discoveries are perceived in these two branches of microbiology, and how they have impacted on both scientific thinking and methodology.The first question is "What has been the influence of the 'Universal Tree of Life' based on molecular markers?" For evolutionists, the tree was a tool to understand the past of known (cultured) organisms, mapping the invention of various physiologies on the evolutionary history of microbes. For ecologists the tree was a guide to discover the current diversity of unknown (uncultured) organisms, without much knowledge of their physiology.The second question we ask is "What was the impact of discovering frequent lateral gene transfer among microbes?" In evolutionary microbiology, frequent lateral gene transfer (LGT) made a simple description of relationships between organisms impossible, and for microbial ecologists, functions could not be easily linked to specific genotypes. Both fields initially resisted LGT, but methods or topics of inquiry were eventually changed in one to incorporate LGT in its theoretical models (evolution) and in the other to achieve its goals despite that phenomenon (ecology).The third and last question we ask is "What are the implications of the unexpected extent of diversity?" The variation in the extent of diversity between organisms invalidated the universality of species definitions based on molecular criteria, a major obstacle to the adaptation of models developed for the study of macroscopic eukaryotes to evolutionary microbiology. This issue has not overtly affected microbial ecology, as it had already abandoned species in favor of the more flexible operational taxonomic units. This field is nonetheless moving away from traditional methods to measure diversity, as they do not provide enough resolution to uncover what lies

  14. Dietary ecology of human

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Minagawa, Masao

    1990-01-01

    The dietary life of humans varies with the environment where they live and has been changing with time. It has become possible to examine such changes by using stable carbon and nitrogen isotope composition as a chemical tool. The present report outlines recent developments in the application of this tool and compares the dietary ecologies of various human groups from the viewpoint of isotope geochemistry. The history of the application of this tool to dietary analysis is summarized first, and features of the carbon and nitrogen isotope composition in animals and their relations with the food chain are outlined. The dietary ecology of the current people is then discussed in relation to the isotope composition in food, the isotope composition in hair of the current people, and determination of food habit of specific groups of people from such isotope compositions. For prediction of dietary composition, the report presents a flow chart for an algorism which is based on the Monte Carlo method. It also outlines processes for analyzing food habits of people in the prehistoric age, focusing on distribution of isotope composition in humans over the world. (N.K.)

  15. Metagenomics and Bioinformatics in Microbial Ecology: Current Status and Beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiraoka, Satoshi; Yang, Ching-Chia; Iwasaki, Wataru

    2016-09-29

    Metagenomic approaches are now commonly used in microbial ecology to study microbial communities in more detail, including many strains that cannot be cultivated in the laboratory. Bioinformatic analyses make it possible to mine huge metagenomic datasets and discover general patterns that govern microbial ecosystems. However, the findings of typical metagenomic and bioinformatic analyses still do not completely describe the ecology and evolution of microbes in their environments. Most analyses still depend on straightforward sequence similarity searches against reference databases. We herein review the current state of metagenomics and bioinformatics in microbial ecology and discuss future directions for the field. New techniques will allow us to go beyond routine analyses and broaden our knowledge of microbial ecosystems. We need to enrich reference databases, promote platforms that enable meta- or comprehensive analyses of diverse metagenomic datasets, devise methods that utilize long-read sequence information, and develop more powerful bioinformatic methods to analyze data from diverse perspectives.

  16. Utilization and control of ecological interactions in polymicrobial infections and community-based microbial cell factories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wigneswaran, Vinoth; Amador, Cristina Isabel; Jelsbak, Lotte; Sternberg, Claus; Jelsbak, Lars

    2016-01-01

    Microbial activities are most often shaped by interactions between co-existing microbes within mixed-species communities. Dissection of the molecular mechanisms of species interactions within communities is a central issue in microbial ecology, and our ability to engineer and control microbial communities depends, to a large extent, on our knowledge of these interactions. This review highlights the recent advances regarding molecular characterization of microbe-microbe interactions that modulate community structure, activity, and stability, and aims to illustrate how these findings have helped us reach an engineering-level understanding of microbial communities in relation to both human health and industrial biotechnology.

  17. Marine and estuarine natural microbial biofilms: ecological and biogeochemical dimensions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Roger Anderson

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Marine and estuarine microbial biofilms are ubiquitously distributed worldwide and are increasingly of interest in basic and applied sciences because of their unique structural and functional features that make them remarkably different from the biota in the plankton. This is a review of some current scientific knowledge of naturally occurring microbial marine and estuarine biofilms including prokaryotic and microeukaryotic biota, but excluding research specifically on engineering and applied aspects of biofilms such as biofouling. Because the microbial communities including bacteria and protists are integral to the fundamental ecological and biogeochemical processes that support biofilm communities, particular attention is given to the structural and ecological aspects of microbial biofilm formation, succession, and maturation, as well as the dynamics of the interactions of the microbiota in biofilms. The intent is to highlight current state of scientific knowledge and possible avenues of future productive research, especially focusing on the ecological and biogeochemical dimensions.

  18. Stochastic Community Assembly: Does It Matter in Microbial Ecology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Jizhong; Ning, Daliang

    2017-12-01

    Understanding the mechanisms controlling community diversity, functions, succession, and biogeography is a central, but poorly understood, topic in ecology, particularly in microbial ecology. Although stochastic processes are believed to play nonnegligible roles in shaping community structure, their importance relative to deterministic processes is hotly debated. The importance of ecological stochasticity in shaping microbial community structure is far less appreciated. Some of the main reasons for such heavy debates are the difficulty in defining stochasticity and the diverse methods used for delineating stochasticity. Here, we provide a critical review and synthesis of data from the most recent studies on stochastic community assembly in microbial ecology. We then describe both stochastic and deterministic components embedded in various ecological processes, including selection, dispersal, diversification, and drift. We also describe different approaches for inferring stochasticity from observational diversity patterns and highlight experimental approaches for delineating ecological stochasticity in microbial communities. In addition, we highlight research challenges, gaps, and future directions for microbial community assembly research. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  19. The role of hyperparasitism in microbial pathogen ecology and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parratt, Steven R; Laine, Anna-Liisa

    2016-08-01

    Many micro-organisms employ a parasitic lifestyle and, through their antagonistic interactions with host populations, have major impacts on human, agricultural and natural ecosystems. Most pathogens are likely to host parasites of their own, that is, hyperparasites, but how nested chains of parasites impact on disease dynamics is grossly neglected in the ecological and evolutionary literature. In this minireview we argue that the diversity and dynamics of micro-hyperparasites are an important component of natural host-pathogen systems. We use the current literature from a handful of key systems to show that observed patterns of pathogen virulence and disease dynamics may well be influenced by hyperparasites. Exploring these factors will shed light on many aspects of microbial ecology and disease biology, including resistance-virulence evolution, apparent competition, epidemiology and ecosystem stability. Considering the importance of hyperparasites in natural populations will have applied consequences for the field of biological control and therapeutic science, where hyperparastism is employed as a control mechanism but not necessarily ecologically understood.

  20. Location of Microbial Ecology Evaluation Device in Apollo Command Module

    Science.gov (United States)

    1971-01-01

    The location of the Microbial Ecology Evaluation Device (MEED) installed on the open hatch of the Apollo Command Module is illustrated in this photograph. The MEED, equipment of the Microbial Response in Space Environment experiment, will house a selection of microbial systems. The MEED will be deployed during the extravehicular activity on the transearth coast phase of the Aopllo 16 lunar landing mission. The purpose of the experiment will be to measure the effects of certain space environmental parameters on the microbial test systems.

  1. Proceedings of the 8. International Symposium on Microbial Ecology : microbial biosystems : new frontiers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bell, C.R.; Brylinsky, M.; Johnson-Green, P.

    2000-01-01

    A wide range of disciplines were presented at this conference which reflected the importance of microbial ecology and provided an understanding of the factors that determine the growth and activities of microorganisms. The conference attracted 1444 delegates from 54 countries. The research emerging from the rapidly expanding frontier of microbial ecosystems was presented in 62 oral presentation and 817 poster presentations. The two volumes of these proceedings presented a total of 27 areas in microbial ecology, some of which included terrestrial biosystems, aquatic, estuarine, surface and subsurface microbial ecology. Other topics included bioremediation, microbial ecology in industry and microbial ecology of oil fields. Some of the papers highlighted the research that is underway to determine the feasibility of using microorganisms for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Research has shown that microbial EOR can increase production at lower costs than conventional oil recovery. The use of bacteria has also proven to be a feasible treatment method in the biodegradation of hydrocarbons associated with oil spills. refs., tabs., figs

  2. Improved annotation of antibiotic resistance determinants reveals microbial resistomes cluster by ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Molly K; Forsberg, Kevin J; Dantas, Gautam

    2015-01-01

    Antibiotic resistance is a dire clinical problem with important ecological dimensions. While antibiotic resistance in human pathogens continues to rise at alarming rates, the impact of environmental resistance on human health is still unclear. To investigate the relationship between human-associated and environmental resistomes, we analyzed functional metagenomic selections for resistance against 18 clinically relevant antibiotics from soil and human gut microbiota as well as a set of multidrug-resistant cultured soil isolates. These analyses were enabled by Resfams, a new curated database of protein families and associated highly precise and accurate profile hidden Markov models, confirmed for antibiotic resistance function and organized by ontology. We demonstrate that the antibiotic resistance functions that give rise to the resistance profiles observed in environmental and human-associated microbial communities significantly differ between ecologies. Antibiotic resistance functions that most discriminate between ecologies provide resistance to β-lactams and tetracyclines, two of the most widely used classes of antibiotics in the clinic and agriculture. We also analyzed the antibiotic resistance gene composition of over 6000 sequenced microbial genomes, revealing significant enrichment of resistance functions by both ecology and phylogeny. Together, our results indicate that environmental and human-associated microbial communities harbor distinct resistance genes, suggesting that antibiotic resistance functions are largely constrained by ecology.

  3. Recent advances in dental biofilm: impacts of microbial interactions on the biofilm ecology and pathogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yung-Hua Li

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The human oral cavity is a complex ecosystem harboring hundreds species of microbes that are largely living on the tooth surfaces as dental biofilms. Most microbes in dental biofilms promote oral health by stimulating the immune system or by preventing invasion of pathogens. Species diversity, high cell density and close proximity of cells are typical of life in dental biofilms, where microbes interact with each other and develop complex interactions that can be either competitive or cooperative. Competition between species is a well-recognized ecological force to drive microbial metabolism, species diversity and evolution. However, it was not until recently that microbial cooperative activities are also recognized to play important roles in microbial physiology and ecology. Importantly, these interactions profoundly affect the overall biomass, function, diversity and the pathogenesis in dental biofilms. It is now recognized that every human body contains a personalized oral microbiome that is essential to maintaining the oral health. Remarkably, the indigenous species in dental biofilms often maintain a relatively stable and harmless relationship with the host, despite regular exposure to environmental perturbations and the host defense factors. Such stability or homeostasis results from a dynamic balance of microbial-microbial and microbial-host interactions. Under certain circumstances, however, the homeostasis may breakdown, predisposing a site to diseases. In this review, we describe several examples of microbial interactions and their impacts on the homeostasis and pathogenesis of dental biofilms. We hope to encourage research on microbial interactions in the regulation of the homeostasis in biofilms.

  4. Applications Research of Microbial Ecological Preparation in Sea Cucumber Culture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Jiahui; Wang, Guangyu

    2017-12-01

    At present, micro ecological preparation is widely applied in aquaculture with good effect. The application of micro ecological preparation in sea cucumber culture can effectively improve the economic benefits. The micro ecological preparation can play the role of inhibiting harmful bacteria, purifying water quality and saving culture cost in the process of sea cucumber culture. We should select appropriate bacteria, guarantee stable environment and use with long-term in the applications of microbial ecological preparation in sea cucumber culture to obtain good effects.

  5. Linking microbial and ecosystem ecology using ecological stoichiometry: a synthesis of conceptual and empirical approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, E.K.; Maixner, F.; Franklin, O.; Daims, H.; Richter, A.; Battin, T.

    2011-01-01

    Currently, one of the biggest challenges in microbial and ecosystem ecology is to develop conceptual models that organize the growing body of information on environmental microbiology into a clear mechanistic framework with a direct link to ecosystem processes. Doing so will enable development of testable hypotheses to better direct future research and increase understanding of key constraints on biogeochemical networks. Although the understanding of phenotypic and genotypic diversity of microorganisms in the environment is rapidly accumulating, how controls on microbial physiology ultimately affect biogeochemical fluxes remains poorly understood. We propose that insight into constraints on biogeochemical cycles can be achieved by a more rigorous evaluation of microbial community biomass composition within the context of ecological stoichiometry. Multiple recent studies have pointed to microbial biomass stoichiometry as an important determinant of when microorganisms retain or recycle mineral nutrients. We identify the relevant cellular components that most likely drive changes in microbial biomass stoichiometry by defining a conceptual model rooted in ecological stoichiometry. More importantly, we show how X-ray microanalysis (XRMA), nanoscale secondary ion mass spectroscopy (NanoSIMS), Raman microspectroscopy, and in situ hybridization techniques (for example, FISH) can be applied in concert to allow for direct empirical evaluation of the proposed conceptual framework. This approach links an important piece of the ecological literature, ecological stoichiometry, with the molecular front of the microbial revolution, in an attempt to provide new insight into how microbial physiology could constrain ecosystem processes.

  6. Nutritional Ecology and Human Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raubenheimer, David; Simpson, Stephen J

    2016-07-17

    In contrast to the spectacular advances in the first half of the twentieth century with micronutrient-related diseases, human nutrition science has failed to stem the more recent rise of obesity and associated cardiometabolic disease (OACD). This failure has triggered debate on the problems and limitations of the field and what change is needed to address these. We briefly review the two broad historical phases of human nutrition science and then provide an overview of the main problems that have been implicated in the poor progress of the field with solving OACD. We next introduce the field of nutritional ecology and show how its ecological-evolutionary foundations can enrich human nutrition science by providing the theory to help address its limitations. We end by introducing a modeling approach from nutritional ecology, termed nutritional geometry, and demonstrate how it can help to implement ecological and evolutionary theory in human nutrition to provide new direction and to better understand and manage OACD.

  7. Microbial ecology of hot desert edaphic systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makhalanyane, Thulani P; Valverde, Angel; Gunnigle, Eoin; Frossard, Aline; Ramond, Jean-Baptiste; Cowan, Don A

    2015-03-01

    A significant proportion of the Earth's surface is desert or in the process of desertification. The extreme environmental conditions that characterize these areas result in a surface that is essentially barren, with a limited range of higher plants and animals. Microbial communities are probably the dominant drivers of these systems, mediating key ecosystem processes. In this review, we examine the microbial communities of hot desert terrestrial biotopes (including soils, cryptic and refuge niches and plant-root-associated microbes) and the processes that govern their assembly. We also assess the possible effects of global climate change on hot desert microbial communities and the resulting feedback mechanisms. We conclude by discussing current gaps in our understanding of the microbiology of hot deserts and suggest fruitful avenues for future research. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Ananke: temporal clustering reveals ecological dynamics of microbial communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael W. Hall

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Taxonomic markers such as the 16S ribosomal RNA gene are widely used in microbial community analysis. A common first step in marker-gene analysis is grouping genes into clusters to reduce data sets to a more manageable size and potentially mitigate the effects of sequencing error. Instead of clustering based on sequence identity, marker-gene data sets collected over time can be clustered based on temporal correlation to reveal ecologically meaningful associations. We present Ananke, a free and open-source algorithm and software package that complements existing sequence-identity-based clustering approaches by clustering marker-gene data based on time-series profiles and provides interactive visualization of clusters, including highlighting of internal OTU inconsistencies. Ananke is able to cluster distinct temporal patterns from simulations of multiple ecological patterns, such as periodic seasonal dynamics and organism appearances/disappearances. We apply our algorithm to two longitudinal marker gene data sets: faecal communities from the human gut of an individual sampled over one year, and communities from a freshwater lake sampled over eleven years. Within the gut, the segregation of the bacterial community around a food-poisoning event was immediately clear. In the freshwater lake, we found that high sequence identity between marker genes does not guarantee similar temporal dynamics, and Ananke time-series clusters revealed patterns obscured by clustering based on sequence identity or taxonomy. Ananke is free and open-source software available at https://github.com/beiko-lab/ananke.

  9. Ecology and Human Destiny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haught, John F.

    1999-01-01

    Examines eschatology as the heart of Christian faith, suggesting that an appreciation of an eschatological interpretation of the cosmos enables acceptance of nature's transience and a grounding for an ecological ethic. Maintains that recent scientific developments present a promising, rather than pessimistic, picture of the universe. Holds that…

  10. Homogeneous versus heterogeneous probes for microbial ecological microarrays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bae, Jin-Woo; Park, Yong-Ha

    2006-07-01

    Microbial ecological microarrays have been developed for investigating the composition and functions of microorganism communities in environmental niches. These arrays include microbial identification microarrays, which use oligonucleotides, gene fragments or microbial genomes as probes. In this article, the advantages and disadvantages of each type of probe are reviewed. Oligonucleotide probes are currently useful for probing uncultivated bacteria that are not amenable to gene fragment probing, whereas the functional gene fragments amplified randomly from microbial genomes require phylogenetic and hierarchical categorization before use as microbial identification probes, despite their high resolution for both specificity and sensitivity. Until more bacteria are sequenced and gene fragment probes are thoroughly validated, heterogeneous bacterial genome probes will provide a simple, sensitive and quantitative tool for exploring the ecosystem structure.

  11. Ecological restoration alters microbial communities in mine tailings profiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yang; Jia, Zhongjun; Sun, Qingye; Zhan, Jing; Yang, Yang; Wang, Dan

    2016-04-29

    Ecological restoration of mine tailings have impact on soil physiochemical properties and microbial communities. The surface soil has been a primary concern in the past decades, however it remains poorly understood about the adaptive response of microbial communities along the profile during ecological restoration of the tailings. In this study, microbial communities along a 60-cm profile were investigated in a mine tailing pond during ecological restoration of the bare waste tailings (BW) with two vegetated soils of Imperata cylindrica (IC) and Chrysopogon zizanioides (CZ) plants. Revegetation of both IC and CZ could retard soil degradation of mine tailing by stimulation of soil pH at 0-30 cm soils and altered the bacterial communities at 0-20 cm depths of the mine tailings. Significant differences existed in the relative abundance of the phyla Alphaproteobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Firmicutes and Nitrospira. Slight difference of bacterial communities were found at 30-60 cm depths of mine tailings. Abundance and activity analysis of nifH genes also explained the elevated soil nitrogen contents at the surface 0-20 cm of the vegetated soils. These results suggest that microbial succession occurred primarily at surface tailings and vegetation of pioneering plants might have promoted ecological restoration of mine tailings.

  12. An Inquiry-Based Laboratory Design for Microbial Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tessier, Jack T.; Penniman, Clayton A.

    2006-01-01

    There is a collective need to increase the use of inquiry-based instruction at the college level. This paper provides of an example of how inquiry was successfully used in the laboratory component of an undergraduate course in microbial ecology. Students were offered a collection of field and laboratory methods to choose from, and they developed a…

  13. Ecological restoration alters microbial communities in mine tailings profiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yang; Jia, Zhongjun; Sun, Qingye; Zhan, Jing; Yang, Yang; Wang, Dan

    2016-04-01

    Ecological restoration of mine tailings have impact on soil physiochemical properties and microbial communities. The surface soil has been a primary concern in the past decades, however it remains poorly understood about the adaptive response of microbial communities along the profile during ecological restoration of the tailings. In this study, microbial communities along a 60-cm profile were investigated in a mine tailing pond during ecological restoration of the bare waste tailings (BW) with two vegetated soils of Imperata cylindrica (IC) and Chrysopogon zizanioides (CZ) plants. Revegetation of both IC and CZ could retard soil degradation of mine tailing by stimulation of soil pH at 0-30 cm soils and altered the bacterial communities at 0-20 cm depths of the mine tailings. Significant differences existed in the relative abundance of the phyla Alphaproteobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Firmicutes and Nitrospira. Slight difference of bacterial communities were found at 30-60 cm depths of mine tailings. Abundance and activity analysis of nifH genes also explained the elevated soil nitrogen contents at the surface 0-20 cm of the vegetated soils. These results suggest that microbial succession occurred primarily at surface tailings and vegetation of pioneering plants might have promoted ecological restoration of mine tailings.

  14. The Ecology of Human Mobility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meekan, Mark G; Duarte, Carlos M; Fernández-Gracia, Juan; Thums, Michele; Sequeira, Ana M M; Harcourt, Rob; Eguíluz, Víctor M

    2017-03-01

    Mobile phones and other geolocated devices have produced unprecedented volumes of data on human movement. Analysis of pooled individual human trajectories using big data approaches has revealed a wealth of emergent features that have ecological parallels in animals across a diverse array of phenomena including commuting, epidemics, the spread of innovations and culture, and collective behaviour. Movement ecology, which explores how animals cope with and optimize variability in resources, has the potential to provide a theoretical framework to aid an understanding of human mobility and its impacts on ecosystems. In turn, big data on human movement can be explored in the context of animal movement ecology to provide solutions for urgent conservation problems and management challenges. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. The Ecology of Human Mobility

    KAUST Repository

    Meekan, Mark G.

    2017-02-03

    Mobile phones and other geolocated devices have produced unprecedented volumes of data on human movement. Analysis of pooled individual human trajectories using big data approaches has revealed a wealth of emergent features that have ecological parallels in animals across a diverse array of phenomena including commuting, epidemics, the spread of innovations and culture, and collective behaviour. Movement ecology, which explores how animals cope with and optimize variability in resources, has the potential to provide a theoretical framework to aid an understanding of human mobility and its impacts on ecosystems. In turn, big data on human movement can be explored in the context of animal movement ecology to provide solutions for urgent conservation problems and management challenges.

  16. Central role of the cell in microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zengler, Karsten

    2009-12-01

    Over the last few decades, advances in cultivation-independent methods have significantly contributed to our understanding of microbial diversity and community composition in the environment. At the same time, cultivation-dependent methods have thrived, and the growing number of organisms obtained thereby have allowed for detailed studies of their physiology and genetics. Still, most microorganisms are recalcitrant to cultivation. This review not only conveys current knowledge about different isolation and cultivation strategies but also discusses what implications can be drawn from pure culture work for studies in microbial ecology. Specifically, in the light of single-cell individuality and genome heterogeneity, it becomes important to evaluate population-wide measurements carefully. An overview of various approaches in microbial ecology is given, and the cell as a central unit for understanding processes on a community level is discussed.

  17. Microbial ecology of artisanal italian cheese: Molecular microbial characterization by culture-independent method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Colombo, E.; Scarpellini, M.; Franzatti, L.; Dioguardi, L.

    2009-01-01

    Present study will treat the next topics: ecology of the natural and man made environments and functional diversity of bacteria. The microbial communities in artisanal goat cheeses produced in mountain pastures (typical farms) in Piemonte mountain (North of Italy) change a lot during precessing and ripening time. Moreover cheese microbial ecosystems are different in each small dairy because adventitious microflora can come from the environment and contamination the milk before the cheese making process and the product during manufacture and ripening. (Author)

  18. Microbial ecology of artisanal italian cheese: Molecular microbial characterization by culture-independent method

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Colombo, E.; Scarpellini, M.; Franzatti, L.; Dioguardi, L.

    2009-07-01

    Present study will treat the next topics: ecology of the natural and man made environments and functional diversity of bacteria. The microbial communities in artisanal goat cheeses produced in mountain pastures (typical farms) in Piemonte mountain (North of Italy) change a lot during precessing and ripening time. Moreover cheese microbial ecosystems are different in each small dairy because adventitious microflora can come from the environment and contamination the milk before the cheese making process and the product during manufacture and ripening. (Author)

  19. Microbial ecology of denitrification in biological wastewater treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Huijie; Chandran, Kartik; Stensel, David

    2014-11-01

    Globally, denitrification is commonly employed in biological nitrogen removal processes to enhance water quality. However, substantial knowledge gaps remain concerning the overall community structure, population dynamics and metabolism of different organic carbon sources. This systematic review provides a summary of current findings pertaining to the microbial ecology of denitrification in biological wastewater treatment processes. DNA fingerprinting-based analysis has revealed a high level of microbial diversity in denitrification reactors and highlighted the impacts of carbon sources in determining overall denitrifying community composition. Stable isotope probing, fluorescence in situ hybridization, microarrays and meta-omics further link community structure with function by identifying the functional populations and their gene regulatory patterns at the transcriptional and translational levels. This review stresses the need to integrate microbial ecology information into conventional denitrification design and operation at full-scale. Some emerging questions, from physiological mechanisms to practical solutions, for example, eliminating nitrous oxide emissions and supplementing more sustainable carbon sources than methanol, are also discussed. A combination of high-throughput approaches is next in line for thorough assessment of wastewater denitrifying community structure and function. Though denitrification is used as an example here, this synergy between microbial ecology and process engineering is applicable to other biological wastewater treatment processes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Next-generation approaches to the microbial ecology of food fermentations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas A. Bokulich1,2,3 & David A. Mills1,2,3*

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Food fermentations have enhanced human health since the dawnof time and remain a prevalent means of food processing andpreservation. Due to their cultural and nutritional importance,many of these foods have been studied in detail using moleculartools, leading to enhancements in quality and safety. Furthermore,recent advances in high-throughput sequencing technologyare revolutionizing the study of food microbial ecology,deepening insight into complex fermentation systems. Thisreview provides insight into novel applications of selectmolecular techniques, particularly next-generation sequencingtechnology, for analysis of microbial communities in fermentedfoods. We present a guideline for integrated molecular analysis offood microbial ecology and a starting point for implementingnext-generation analysis of food systems.

  1. Microbial ecology laboratory procedures manual NASA/MSFC

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huff, Timothy L.

    1990-01-01

    An essential part of the efficient operation of any microbiology laboratory involved in sample analysis is a standard procedures manual. The purpose of this manual is to provide concise and well defined instructions on routine technical procedures involving sample analysis and methods for monitoring and maintaining quality control within the laboratory. Of equal importance is the safe operation of the laboratory. This manual outlines detailed procedures to be followed in the microbial ecology laboratory to assure safety, analytical control, and validity of results.

  2. Application of multivariate statistical techniques in microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paliy, O; Shankar, V

    2016-03-01

    Recent advances in high-throughput methods of molecular analyses have led to an explosion of studies generating large-scale ecological data sets. In particular, noticeable effect has been attained in the field of microbial ecology, where new experimental approaches provided in-depth assessments of the composition, functions and dynamic changes of complex microbial communities. Because even a single high-throughput experiment produces large amount of data, powerful statistical techniques of multivariate analysis are well suited to analyse and interpret these data sets. Many different multivariate techniques are available, and often it is not clear which method should be applied to a particular data set. In this review, we describe and compare the most widely used multivariate statistical techniques including exploratory, interpretive and discriminatory procedures. We consider several important limitations and assumptions of these methods, and we present examples of how these approaches have been utilized in recent studies to provide insight into the ecology of the microbial world. Finally, we offer suggestions for the selection of appropriate methods based on the research question and data set structure. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. The biofilm ecology of microbial biofouling, biocide resistance and corrosion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    White, D.C. [Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States). Center for Environmental Biotechnology]|[Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (United States). Environmental Science Div.; Kirkegaard, R.D.; Palmer, R.J. Jr.; Flemming, C.A.; Chen, G.; Leung, K.T.; Phiefer, C.B. [Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States). Center for Environmental Biotechnology; Arrage, A.A. [Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States). Center for Environmental Biotechnology]|[Microbial Insights, Inc., Rockford, TN (United States)

    1997-06-01

    In biotechnological or bioremediation processes it is often the aim to promote biofilm formation, and maintain active, high density biomass. In other situations, biofouling can seriously restrict effective heat transport, membrane processes, and potentate macrofouling with loss of transportation efficiency. In biotechnological or bioremediation processes it is often the aim to promote biofilm formation, and maintain active, high density biomass. In other situations, biofouling can seriously restrict effective heat transport, membrane processes, and potentate macrofouling with loss of transportation efficiency. Heterogeneous distribution of microbes and/or their metabolic activity can promote microbially influenced corrosion (MIC) which is a multibillion dollar problem. Consequently, it is important that biofilm microbial ecology be understood so it can be manipulated rationally. It is usually simple to select organisms that form biofilms by flowing a considerably dilute media over a substratum, and propagating the organisms that attach. To examine the biofilm most expeditiously, the biomass accumulation, desquamation, and metabolic activities need to be monitored on-line and non-destructively. This on-line monitoring becomes even more valuable if the activities can be locally mapped in time and space within the biofilm. Herein the authors describe quantitative measures of microbial biofouling, the ecology of pathogens in drinking water distributions systems, and localization of microbial biofilms and activities with localized MIC.

  4. Challenges in microbial ecology: Building predictive understanding of community function and dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Widder, Stefanie; Allen, Rosalind J.; Pfeiffer, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    The importance of microbial communities (MCs) cannot be overstated. MCs underpin the biogeochemical cycles of the earth's soil, oceans and the atmosphere, and perform ecosystem functions that impact plants, animals and humans. Yet our ability to predict and manage the function of these highly...... complex, dynamically changing communities is limited. Building predictive models that link MC composition to function is a key emerging challenge in microbial ecology. Here, we argue that addressing this challenge requires close coordination of experimental data collection and method development...... is needed to achieve significant progress in our understanding of MC dynamics and function, and we make specific practical suggestions as to how this could be achieved....

  5. Dynamic Assessment of Microbial Ecology (DAME): A web app for interactive analysis and visualization of microbial sequencing data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dynamic Assessment of Microbial Ecology (DAME) is a shiny-based web application for interactive analysis and visualization of microbial sequencing data. DAME provides researchers not familiar with R programming the ability to access the most current R functions utilized for ecology and gene sequenci...

  6. Estimating and mapping ecological processes influencing microbial community assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stegen, James C; Lin, Xueju; Fredrickson, Jim K; Konopka, Allan E

    2015-01-01

    Ecological community assembly is governed by a combination of (i) selection resulting from among-taxa differences in performance; (ii) dispersal resulting from organismal movement; and (iii) ecological drift resulting from stochastic changes in population sizes. The relative importance and nature of these processes can vary across environments. Selection can be homogeneous or variable, and while dispersal is a rate, we conceptualize extreme dispersal rates as two categories; dispersal limitation results from limited exchange of organisms among communities, and homogenizing dispersal results from high levels of organism exchange. To estimate the influence and spatial variation of each process we extend a recently developed statistical framework, use a simulation model to evaluate the accuracy of the extended framework, and use the framework to examine subsurface microbial communities over two geologic formations. For each subsurface community we estimate the degree to which it is influenced by homogeneous selection, variable selection, dispersal limitation, and homogenizing dispersal. Our analyses revealed that the relative influences of these ecological processes vary substantially across communities even within a geologic formation. We further identify environmental and spatial features associated with each ecological process, which allowed mapping of spatial variation in ecological-process-influences. The resulting maps provide a new lens through which ecological systems can be understood; in the subsurface system investigated here they revealed that the influence of variable selection was associated with the rate at which redox conditions change with subsurface depth.

  7. Estimating and Mapping Ecological Processes Influencing Microbial Community Assembly

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James C Stegen

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Ecological community assembly is governed by a combination of (i selection resulting from among-taxa differences in performance; (ii dispersal resulting from organismal movement; and (iii ecological drift resulting from stochastic changes in population sizes. The relative importance and nature of these processes can vary across environments. Selection can be homogeneous or variable, and while dispersal is a rate, we conceptualize extreme dispersal rates as two categories; dispersal limitation results from limited exchange of organisms among communities, and homogenizing dispersal results from high levels of organism exchange. To estimate the influence and spatial variation of each process we extend a recently developed statistical framework, use a simulation model to evaluate the accuracy of the extended framework, and use the framework to examine subsurface microbial communities over two geologic formations. For each subsurface community we estimate the degree to which it is influenced by homogeneous selection, variable selection, dispersal limitation, and homogenizing dispersal. Our analyses revealed that the relative influences of these ecological processes vary substantially across communities even within a geologic formation. We further identify environmental and spatial features associated with each ecological process, which allowed mapping of spatial variation in ecological-process-influences. The resulting maps provide a new lens through which ecological systems can be understood; in the subsurface system investigated here they revealed that the influence of variable selection was associated with the rate at which redox conditions change with subsurface depth.

  8. Ecological approaches to human nutrition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeClerck, Fabrice A J; Fanzo, Jessica; Palm, Cheryl; Remans, Roseline

    2011-03-01

    Malnutrition affects a large number of people throughout the developing world. Approaches to reducing malnutrition rarely focus on ecology and agriculture to simultaneously improve human nutrition and environmental sustainability. However, evidence suggests that interdisciplinary approaches that combine the knowledge bases of these disciplines can serve as a central strategy in alleviating hidden hunger for the world's poorest. To describe the role that ecological knowledge plays in alleviating hidden hunger, considering human nutrition as an overlooked ecosystem service. We review existing literature and propose a framework that expands on earlier work on econutrition. We provide novel evidence from case studies conducted by the authors in western Kenya and propose a framework for interdisciplinary collaboration to alleviate hidden hunger, increase agricultural productivity, and improve environmental sustainability. Our review supports the concept that an integrated approach will impact human nutrition. We provide evidence that increased functional agrobiodiversity can alleviate anemia, and interventions that contribute to environmental sustainability can have both direct and indirect effects on human health and nutritional well-being. Integrated and interdisciplinary approaches are critical to reaching development goals. Ecologists must begin to consider not only how their field can contribute to biodiversity conservation, but also, the relationship between biodiversity and provisioning of nontraditional ecosystem services such as human health. Likewise, nutritionists and agronomists must recognize that many of the solutions to increasing human wellbeing and health can best be achieved by focusing on a healthy environment and the conservation of ecosystem services.

  9. Synthetic Microbial Ecology: Engineering Habitats for Modular Consortia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben Said, Sami; Or, Dani

    2017-01-01

    The metabolic diversity present in microbial communities enables cooperation toward accomplishing more complex tasks than possible by a single organism. Members of a consortium communicate by exchanging metabolites or signals that allow them to coordinate their activity through division of labor. In contrast with monocultures, evidence suggests that microbial consortia self-organize to form spatial patterns, such as observed in biofilms or in soil aggregates, that enable them to respond to gradient, to improve resource interception and to exchange metabolites more effectively. Current biotechnological applications of microorganisms remain rudimentary, often relying on genetically engineered monocultures (e.g., pharmaceuticals) or mixed-cultures of partially known composition (e.g., wastewater treatment), yet the vast potential of "microbial ecological power" observed in most natural environments, remains largely underused. In line with the Unified Microbiome Initiative (UMI) which aims to "discover and advance tools to understand and harness the capabilities of Earth's microbial ecosystems," we propose in this concept paper to capitalize on ecological insights into the spatial and modular design of interlinked microbial consortia that would overcome limitations of natural systems and attempt to optimize the functionality of the members and the performance of the engineered consortium. The topology of the spatial connections linking the various members and the regulated fluxes of media between those modules, while representing a major engineering challenge, would allow the microbial species to interact. The modularity of such spatially linked microbial consortia (SLMC) could facilitate the design of scalable bioprocesses that can be incorporated as parts of a larger biochemical network. By reducing the need for a compatible growth environment for all species simultaneously, SLMC will dramatically expand the range of possible combinations of microorganisms and their

  10. Microbial Interactions and the Ecology and Evolution of Hawaiian Drosophilidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy eO'Connor

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Adaptive radiations are characterized by an increased rate of speciation and expanded range of habitats and ecological niches exploited by those species. The Hawaiian Drosophilidae is a classic adaptive radiation; a single ancestral species colonized Hawaii approximately 25 million years ago and gave rise to two monophyletic lineages, the Hawaiian Drosophila and the genus Scaptomyza. The Hawaiian Drosophila are largely saprophagous and rely on approximately 40 endemic plant families and their associated microbes to complete development. Scaptomyza are even more diverse in host breadth. While many species of Scaptomyza utilize decomposing plant substrates, some species have evolved to become herbivores, parasites on spider egg masses, and exploit microbes on living plant tissue. Understanding the origin of the ecological diversity encompassed by these nearly 700 described species has been a challenge. The central role of microbes in drosophilid ecology suggests bacterial and fungal associates may have played a role in the diversification of the Hawaiian Drosophilidae. Here we synthesize recent ecological and microbial community data from the Hawaiian Drosophilidae to examine the forces that may have led to this adaptive radiation. We propose that the evolutionary success of the Hawaiian Drosophilidae is due to a combination of factors, including adaptation to novel ecological niches facilitated by microbes.

  11. Linkage of microbial ecology to phenotype: correlation of rumen microbial ecology to cattle's feed efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Le Luo; Nkrumah, Joshua D; Basarab, John A; Moore, Stephen S

    2008-11-01

    Linkage of rumen microbial structure to host phenotypical traits may enhance the understanding of host-microbial interactions in livestock species. This study used culture-independent PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) to investigate the microbial profiles in the rumen of cattle differing in feed efficiency. The analysis of detectable bacterial PCR-DGGE profiles showed that the profiles generated from efficient steers clustered together and were clearly separated from those obtained from inefficient steers, indicating that specific bacterial groups may only inhabit in efficient steers. In addition, the bacterial profiles were more likely clustered within a certain breed, suggesting that host genetics may play an important role in rumen microbial structure. The correlations between the concentrations of volatile fatty acids and feed efficiency traits were also observed. Significantly higher concentrations of butyrate (P < 0.001) and valerate (P = 0.006) were detected in the efficient steers. Our results revealed potential associations between the detectable rumen microbiota and its fermentation parameters with the feed efficiency of cattle.

  12. Aerobic Granular Sludge: Effect of Salt and Insights into Microbial Ecology

    KAUST Repository

    Wang, Zhongwei

    2017-01-01

    Like other artificial microbial ecosystems (e.g. CAS plant and anaerobic digester), a firm understanding of the microbial ecology of AGS system is essential for process design and optimization. The second part

  13. Ecological Environment in Terms of Human Behavior

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Xiaogang; Zhou, Dehu; Lin, Hui

    2013-01-01

    In terms of human behavior, company and government policy, it is proposed that the ecological behavior of human being is the basis of influence on the ecological environment construction in Poyang Lake and measures to ensure the sustainable development of ecological environment in Poyang Lake.

  14. Microbial ecology of the Agaricus bisporus mushroom cropping process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGee, Conor F

    2018-02-01

    Agaricus bisporus is the most widely cultivated mushroom species in the world. Cultivation is commenced by inoculating beds of semi-pasteurised composted organic substrate with a pure spawn of A. bisporus. The A. bisporus mycelium subsequently colonises the composted substrate by degrading the organic material to release nutrients. A layer of peat, often called "casing soil", is laid upon the surface of the composted substrate to induce the development of the mushroom crop and maintain compost environmental conditions. Extensive research has been conducted investigating the biochemistry and genetics of A. bisporus throughout the cultivation process; however, little is currently known about the wider microbial ecology that co-inhabits the composted substrate and casing layers. The compost and casing microbial communities are known to play important roles in the mushroom production process. Microbial species present in the compost and casing are known for (1) being an important source of nitrogen for the A. bisporus mycelium, (2) releasing sugar residues through the degradation of the wheat straw in the composted substrate, (3) playing a critical role in inducing development of the A. bisporus fruiting bodies and (4) acting as pathogens by parasitising the mushroom mycelium/crop. Despite a long history of research into the mushroom cropping process, an extensive review of the microbial communities present in the compost and casing has not as of yet been undertaken. The aim of this review is to provide a comprehensive summary of the literature investigating the compost and casing microbial communities throughout cultivation of the A. bisporus mushroom crop.

  15. Revisiting life strategy concepts in environmental microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Adrian; Di Lonardo, D Paolo; Bodelier, Paul L E

    2017-03-01

    Microorganisms are physiologically diverse, possessing disparate genomic features and mechanisms for adaptation (functional traits), which reflect on their associated life strategies and determine at least to some extent their prevalence and distribution in the environment. Unlike animals and plants, there is an unprecedented diversity and intractable metabolic versatility among bacteria, making classification or grouping these microorganisms based on their functional traits as has been done in animal and plant ecology challenging. Nevertheless, based on representative pure cultures, microbial traits distinguishing different life strategies had been proposed, and had been the focus of previous reviews. In the environment, however, the vast majority of naturally occurring microorganisms have yet to be isolated, restricting the association of life strategies to broad phylogenetic groups and/or physiological characteristics. Here, we reviewed the literature to determine how microbial life strategy concepts (i.e. copio- and oligotrophic strategists, and competitor-stress tolerator-ruderals framework) are applied in complex microbial communities. Because of the scarcity of direct empirical evidence elucidating the associated life strategies in complex communities, we rely heavily on observational studies determining the response of microorganisms to (a)biotic cues (e.g. resource availability) to infer microbial life strategies. Although our focus is on the life strategies of bacteria, parallels were drawn from the fungal community. Our literature search showed inconsistency in the community response of proposed copiotrophic- and oligotrophic-associated microorganisms (phyla level) to changing environmental conditions. This suggests that tracking microorganisms at finer phylogenetic and taxonomic resolution (e.g. family level or lower) may be more effective to capture changes in community response and/or that edaphic factors exert a stronger effect in community response

  16. Mess management in microbial ecology: Rhetorical processes of disciplinary integration

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCracken, Christopher W.

    As interdisciplinary work becomes more common in the sciences, research into the rhetorical processes mediating disciplinary integration becomes more vital. This dissertation, which takes as its subject the integration of microbiology and ecology, combines a postplural approach to rhetoric of science research with Victor Turner's "social drama" analysis and a third-generation activity theory methodological framework to identify conceptual and practical conflicts in interdisciplinary work and describe how, through visual and verbal communication, scientists negotiate these conflicts. First, to understand the conflicting disciplinary principles that might impede integration, the author conducts a Turnerian analysis of a disciplinary conflict that took place in the 1960s and 70s, during which American ecologists and biologists debated whether they should participate in the International Biological Program (IBP). Participation in the IBP ultimately contributed to the emergence of ecology as a discipline distinct from biology, and Turnerian social drama analysis of the debate surrounding participation lays bare the conflicting principles separating biology and ecology. Second, to answer the question of how these conflicting principles are negotiated in practice, the author reports on a yearlong qualitative study of scientists working in a microbial ecology laboratory. Focusing specifically on two case studies from this fieldwork that illustrate the key concept of textually mediated disciplinary integration, the author's analysis demonstrates how scientific objects emerge in differently situated practices, and how these objects manage to cohere despite their multiplicity through textually mediated rhetorical processes of calibration and alignment.

  17. Microbial ecology in the age of genomics and metagenomics: concepts, tools, and recent advances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Jianping

    2006-06-01

    Microbial ecology examines the diversity and activity of micro-organisms in Earth's biosphere. In the last 20 years, the application of genomics tools have revolutionized microbial ecological studies and drastically expanded our view on the previously underappreciated microbial world. This review first introduces the basic concepts in microbial ecology and the main genomics methods that have been used to examine natural microbial populations and communities. In the ensuing three specific sections, the applications of the genomics in microbial ecological research are highlighted. The first describes the widespread application of multilocus sequence typing and representational difference analysis in studying genetic variation within microbial species. Such investigations have identified that migration, horizontal gene transfer and recombination are common in natural microbial populations and that microbial strains can be highly variable in genome size and gene content. The second section highlights and summarizes the use of four specific genomics methods (phylogenetic analysis of ribosomal RNA, DNA-DNA re-association kinetics, metagenomics, and micro-arrays) in analysing the diversity and potential activity of microbial populations and communities from a variety of terrestrial and aquatic environments. Such analyses have identified many unexpected phylogenetic lineages in viruses, bacteria, archaea, and microbial eukaryotes. Functional analyses of environmental DNA also revealed highly prevalent, but previously unknown, metabolic processes in natural microbial communities. In the third section, the ecological implications of sequenced microbial genomes are briefly discussed. Comparative analyses of prokaryotic genomic sequences suggest the importance of ecology in determining microbial genome size and gene content. The significant variability in genome size and gene content among strains and species of prokaryotes indicate the highly fluid nature of prokaryotic

  18. A theoretical reassessment of microbial maintenance and implications for microbial ecology modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Gangsheng; Post, Wilfred M

    2012-09-01

    We attempted to reconcile three microbial maintenance models (Herbert, Pirt, and Compromise) through a theoretical reassessment. We provided a rigorous proof that the true growth yield coefficient (Y(G)) is the ratio of the specific maintenance rate (a in Herbert) to the maintenance coefficient (m in Pirt). Other findings from this study include: (1) the Compromise model is identical to the Herbert for computing microbial growth and substrate consumption, but it expresses the dependence of maintenance on both microbial biomass and substrate; (2) the maximum specific growth rate in the Herbert (μ(max,H)) is higher than those in the other two models (μ(max,P) and μ(max,C)), and the difference is the physiological maintenance factor (m(q) = a); and (3) the overall maintenance coefficient (m(T)) is more sensitive to m(q) than to the specific growth rate (μ(G)) and Y(G). Our critical reassessment of microbial maintenance provides a new approach for quantifying some important components in soil microbial ecology models. © This article is a US government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  19. Metagenomic analysis of an ecological wastewater treatment plant's microbial communities and their potential to metabolize pharmaceuticals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balcom, Ian N; Driscoll, Heather; Vincent, James; Leduc, Meagan

    2016-01-01

    Pharmaceuticals and other micropollutants have been detected in drinking water, groundwater, surface water, and soil around the world. Even in locations where wastewater treatment is required, they can be found in drinking water wells, municipal water supplies, and agricultural soils. It is clear conventional wastewater treatment technologies are not meeting the challenge of the mounting pressures on global freshwater supplies. Cost-effective ecological wastewater treatment technologies have been developed in response. To determine whether the removal of micropollutants in ecological wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) is promoted by the plant-microbe interactions, as has been reported for other recalcitrant xenobiotics, biofilm microbial communities growing on the surfaces of plant roots were profiled by whole metagenome sequencing and compared to the microbial communities residing in the wastewater. In this study, the concentrations of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) were quantified in each treatment tank of the ecological WWTP treating human wastewater at a highway rest stop and visitor center in Vermont. The concentrations of detected PPCPs were substantially greater than values reported for conventional WWTPs likely due to onsite recirculation of wastewater. The greatest reductions in PPCPs concentrations were observed in the anoxic treatment tank where Bacilli dominated the biofilm community. Benzoate degradation was the most abundant xenobiotic metabolic category identified throughout the system. Collectively, the microbial communities residing in the wastewater were taxonomically and metabolically more diverse than the immersed plant root biofilm. However, greater heterogeneity and higher relative abundances of xenobiotic metabolism genes was observed for the root biofilm.

  20. Board-invited review: Rumen microbiology: leading the way in microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, D O; Nagaraja, T G; Wright, A D G; Callaway, T R

    2013-01-01

    Robert Hungate, considered the father of rumen microbiology, was the first to initiate a systematic exploration of the microbial ecosystem of the rumen, but he was not alone. The techniques he developed to isolate and identify cellulose-digesting bacteria from the rumen have had a major impact not only in delineating the complex ecosystem of the rumen but also in clinical microbiology and in the exploration of a number of other anaerobic ecosystems, including the human hindgut. Rumen microbiology has pioneered our understanding of much of microbial ecology and has broadened our knowledge of ecology in general, as well as improved the ability to feed ruminants more efficiently. The discovery of anaerobic fungi as a component of the ruminal flora disproved the central dogma in microbiology that all fungi are aerobic organisms. Further novel interactions between bacterial species such as nutrient cross feeding and interspecies H2 transfer were first described in ruminal microorganisms. The complexity and diversity present in the rumen make it an ideal testing ground for microbial theories (e.g., the effects of nutrient limitation and excess) and techniques (such as 16S rRNA), which have rewarded the investigators that have used this easily accessed ecosystem to understand larger truths. Our understanding of characteristics of the ruminal microbial population has opened new avenues of microbial ecology, such as the existence of hyperammonia-producing bacteria and how they can be used to improve N efficiency in ruminants. In this review, we examine some of the contributions to science that were first made in the rumen, which have not been recognized in a broader sense.

  1. Microbial ecology of mountain glacier ecosystems: biodiversity, ecological connections and implications of a warming climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hotaling, Scott; Hood, Eran; Hamilton, Trinity L

    2017-08-01

    Glacier ecosystems are teeming with life on, beneath, and to a lesser degree, within their icy masses. This conclusion largely stems from polar research, with less attention paid to mountain glaciers that overlap environmentally and ecologically with their polar counterparts in some ways, but diverge in others. One difference lies in the susceptibility of mountain glaciers to the near-term threat of climate change, as they tend to be much smaller in both area and volume. Moreover, mountain glaciers are typically steeper, more dependent upon basal sliding for movement, and experience higher seasonal precipitation. Here, we provide a modern synthesis of the microbial ecology of mountain glacier ecosystems, and particularly those at low- to mid-latitudes. We focus on five ecological zones: the supraglacial surface, englacial interior, subglacial bedrock-ice interface, proglacial streams and glacier forefields. For each, we discuss the role of microbiota in biogeochemical cycling and outline ecological and hydrological connections among zones, underscoring the interconnected nature of these ecosystems. Collectively, we highlight the need to: better document the biodiversity and functional roles of mountain glacier microbiota; describe the ecological implications of rapid glacial retreat under climate change and resolve the relative contributions of ecological zones to broader ecosystem function. © 2017 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Utilization and control of ecological interactions in polymicrobial infections and community-based microbial cell factories

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wigneswaran, Vinoth; Amador Hierro, Cristina Isabel; Jelsbak, Lotte

    2016-01-01

    Microbial activities are most often shaped by interactions between co-existing microbes within mixed-species communities. Dissection of the molecular mechanisms of species interactions within communities is a central issue in microbial ecology, and our ability to engineer and control microbial co...

  3. The ecological law and ecological human rights: to the question on necessity of formation

    OpenAIRE

    Khvorostov A. J.

    2012-01-01

    Necessity of the ecological law is determined by presence of ecological crisis and formed at formation of ecological function of the state. Ecological human rights and the citizen are natural human rights, however should be legally fixed and guaranteed by the state. The further functioning of a society is impossible without observance of norms of the ecological law and ecological human rights.

  4. Microbial co-occurrence relationships in the human microbiome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karoline Faust

    Full Text Available The healthy microbiota show remarkable variability within and among individuals. In addition to external exposures, ecological relationships (both oppositional and symbiotic between microbial inhabitants are important contributors to this variation. It is thus of interest to assess what relationships might exist among microbes and determine their underlying reasons. The initial Human Microbiome Project (HMP cohort, comprising 239 individuals and 18 different microbial habitats, provides an unprecedented resource to detect, catalog, and analyze such relationships. Here, we applied an ensemble method based on multiple similarity measures in combination with generalized boosted linear models (GBLMs to taxonomic marker (16S rRNA gene profiles of this cohort, resulting in a global network of 3,005 significant co-occurrence and co-exclusion relationships between 197 clades occurring throughout the human microbiome. This network revealed strong niche specialization, with most microbial associations occurring within body sites and a number of accompanying inter-body site relationships. Microbial communities within the oropharynx grouped into three distinct habitats, which themselves showed no direct influence on the composition of the gut microbiota. Conversely, niches such as the vagina demonstrated little to no decomposition into region-specific interactions. Diverse mechanisms underlay individual interactions, with some such as the co-exclusion of Porphyromonaceae family members and Streptococcus in the subgingival plaque supported by known biochemical dependencies. These differences varied among broad phylogenetic groups as well, with the Bacilli and Fusobacteria, for example, both enriched for exclusion of taxa from other clades. Comparing phylogenetic versus functional similarities among bacteria, we show that dominant commensal taxa (such as Prevotellaceae and Bacteroides in the gut often compete, while potential pathogens (e.g. Treponema and

  5. Microbial Co-occurrence Relationships in the Human Microbiome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izard, Jacques; Segata, Nicola; Gevers, Dirk

    2012-01-01

    The healthy microbiota show remarkable variability within and among individuals. In addition to external exposures, ecological relationships (both oppositional and symbiotic) between microbial inhabitants are important contributors to this variation. It is thus of interest to assess what relationships might exist among microbes and determine their underlying reasons. The initial Human Microbiome Project (HMP) cohort, comprising 239 individuals and 18 different microbial habitats, provides an unprecedented resource to detect, catalog, and analyze such relationships. Here, we applied an ensemble method based on multiple similarity measures in combination with generalized boosted linear models (GBLMs) to taxonomic marker (16S rRNA gene) profiles of this cohort, resulting in a global network of 3,005 significant co-occurrence and co-exclusion relationships between 197 clades occurring throughout the human microbiome. This network revealed strong niche specialization, with most microbial associations occurring within body sites and a number of accompanying inter-body site relationships. Microbial communities within the oropharynx grouped into three distinct habitats, which themselves showed no direct influence on the composition of the gut microbiota. Conversely, niches such as the vagina demonstrated little to no decomposition into region-specific interactions. Diverse mechanisms underlay individual interactions, with some such as the co-exclusion of Porphyromonaceae family members and Streptococcus in the subgingival plaque supported by known biochemical dependencies. These differences varied among broad phylogenetic groups as well, with the Bacilli and Fusobacteria, for example, both enriched for exclusion of taxa from other clades. Comparing phylogenetic versus functional similarities among bacteria, we show that dominant commensal taxa (such as Prevotellaceae and Bacteroides in the gut) often compete, while potential pathogens (e.g. Treponema and Prevotella in the

  6. Human Ecology: Acid Rain and Public Policy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bybee, Rodger W.

    1983-01-01

    A connection between science and society can be seen in the human and ecological dimensions of one contemporary problem: acid rain. Introduces a human ecological theme and relationships between acid rain and public policy, considering scientific understanding and public awareness, scientific research and public policy, and national politics and…

  7. Marine microbial ecology in a molecular world: what does the future hold?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A. Caron

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Advances in genetic and immunological approaches during the last few decades have transformed medicine and biomedical research. The human genome and the genomes of numerous model organisms are now fully sequenced. Initial exploitation of this wealth of genetic information has begun to revolutionize research on these species, and the applications derived from it. Progress in understanding the ecology of microorganisms (including marine taxa has followed closely on the heels of these advances, owing to the tremendous benefit afforded by major technological advances in biomedicine. Through the application of these novel approaches and new technologies, marine microbial ecology has moved from a minor footnote within marine biology and biological oceanography during the 1950s and ‘60s to the focus of much of our present interest in the ocean. During the intervening half-century we have learned a great deal regarding the overall abundances, distributions and activities of microorganisms in the sea. Recognition of the extraordinary diversity of marine microbes, the predominant role that they play in global biogeochemical processes, and the potential for natural or engineered microbial products to benefit humankind, has placed marine microbes in the spotlight of both scientific and popular attention. Our fascination with these minute denizens of the ocean is not likely to wane anytime soon. Recent studies have indicated that we still know relatively little about the breadth of microbial diversity in marine ecosystems. In addition, many (most? of the predominant marine microbial forms in nature have not yet been brought into laboratory culture. Thus, our knowledge is still rudimentary with respect to the spectra of biochemical, physiological and behavioral abilities of these species, and the study of marine microbes will remain a major focus of investigations in marine science well into the foreseeable future. As a large cadre of researchers moves

  8. The Ecology of Human Mobility

    KAUST Repository

    Meekan, Mark G.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Ferná ndez-Gracia, Juan; Thums, Michele; Sequeira, Ana M.M.; Harcourt, Rob; Eguí luz, Ví ctor M.

    2017-01-01

    parallels in animals across a diverse array of phenomena including commuting, epidemics, the spread of innovations and culture, and collective behaviour. Movement ecology, which explores how animals cope with and optimize variability in resources, has

  9. Urban microbial ecology of a freshwater estuary of Lake Michigan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Jenny C; Newton, Ryan J; Dila, Deborah K; McLellan, Sandra L

    Freshwater estuaries throughout the Great Lakes region receive stormwater runoff and riverine inputs from heavily urbanized population centers. While human and animal feces contained in this runoff are often the focus of source tracking investigations, non-fecal bacterial loads from soil, aerosols, urban infrastructure, and other sources are also transported to estuaries and lakes. We quantified and characterized this non-fecal urban microbial component using bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences from sewage, stormwater, rivers, harbor/estuary, and the lake surrounding Milwaukee, WI, USA. Bacterial communities from each of these environments had a distinctive composition, but some community members were shared among environments. We used a statistical biomarker discovery tool to identify the components of the microbial community that were most strongly associated with stormwater and sewage to describe an "urban microbial signature," and measured the presence and relative abundance of these organisms in the rivers, estuary, and lake. This urban signature increased in magnitude in the estuary and harbor with increasing rainfall levels, and was more apparent in lake samples with closest proximity to the Milwaukee estuary. The dominant bacterial taxa in the urban signature were Acinetobacter, Aeromonas , and Pseudomonas , which are organisms associated with pipe infrastructure and soil and not typically found in pelagic freshwater environments. These taxa were highly abundant in stormwater and sewage, but sewage also contained a high abundance of Arcobacter and Trichococcus that appeared in lower abundance in stormwater outfalls and in trace amounts in aquatic environments. Urban signature organisms comprised 1.7% of estuary and harbor communities under baseflow conditions, 3.5% after rain, and >10% after a combined sewer overflow. With predicted increases in urbanization across the Great Lakes, further alteration of freshwater communities is likely to occur with potential

  10. Urban microbial ecology of a freshwater estuary of Lake Michigan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jenny C. Fisher

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Freshwater estuaries throughout the Great Lakes region receive stormwater runoff and riverine inputs from heavily urbanized population centers. While human and animal feces contained in this runoff are often the focus of source tracking investigations, non-fecal bacterial loads from soil, aerosols, urban infrastructure, and other sources are also transported to estuaries and lakes. We quantified and characterized this non-fecal urban microbial component using bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences from sewage, stormwater, rivers, harbor/estuary, and the lake surrounding Milwaukee, WI, USA. Bacterial communities from each of these environments had a distinctive composition, but some community members were shared among environments. We used a statistical biomarker discovery tool to identify the components of the microbial community that were most strongly associated with stormwater and sewage to describe an “urban microbial signature,” and measured the presence and relative abundance of these organisms in the rivers, estuary, and lake. This urban signature increased in magnitude in the estuary and harbor with increasing rainfall levels, and was more apparent in lake samples with closest proximity to the Milwaukee estuary. The dominant bacterial taxa in the urban signature were Acinetobacter, Aeromonas, and Pseudomonas, which are organisms associated with pipe infrastructure and soil and not typically found in pelagic freshwater environments. These taxa were highly abundant in stormwater and sewage, but sewage also contained a high abundance of Arcobacter and Trichococcus that appeared in lower abundance in stormwater outfalls and in trace amounts in aquatic environments. Urban signature organisms comprised 1.7% of estuary and harbor communities under baseflow conditions, 3.5% after rain, and >10% after a combined sewer overflow. With predicted increases in urbanization across the Great Lakes, further alteration of freshwater communities is

  11. Urban microbial ecology of a freshwater estuary of Lake Michigan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Jenny C.; Newton, Ryan J.; Dila, Deborah K.

    2015-01-01

    Freshwater estuaries throughout the Great Lakes region receive stormwater runoff and riverine inputs from heavily urbanized population centers. While human and animal feces contained in this runoff are often the focus of source tracking investigations, non-fecal bacterial loads from soil, aerosols, urban infrastructure, and other sources are also transported to estuaries and lakes. We quantified and characterized this non-fecal urban microbial component using bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences from sewage, stormwater, rivers, harbor/estuary, and the lake surrounding Milwaukee, WI, USA. Bacterial communities from each of these environments had a distinctive composition, but some community members were shared among environments. We used a statistical biomarker discovery tool to identify the components of the microbial community that were most strongly associated with stormwater and sewage to describe an “urban microbial signature,” and measured the presence and relative abundance of these organisms in the rivers, estuary, and lake. This urban signature increased in magnitude in the estuary and harbor with increasing rainfall levels, and was more apparent in lake samples with closest proximity to the Milwaukee estuary. The dominant bacterial taxa in the urban signature were Acinetobacter, Aeromonas, and Pseudomonas, which are organisms associated with pipe infrastructure and soil and not typically found in pelagic freshwater environments. These taxa were highly abundant in stormwater and sewage, but sewage also contained a high abundance of Arcobacter and Trichococcus that appeared in lower abundance in stormwater outfalls and in trace amounts in aquatic environments. Urban signature organisms comprised 1.7% of estuary and harbor communities under baseflow conditions, 3.5% after rain, and >10% after a combined sewer overflow. With predicted increases in urbanization across the Great Lakes, further alteration of freshwater communities is likely to occur with

  12. Microbial ecology of acid strip mine lakes in southern Indiana

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gyure, R.A.

    1986-01-01

    In this study, the author examined the limnology and microbial ecology of two acid strip mine lakes in the Greene-Sullivan State Forest near Dugger, Indiana. Reservoir 29 is a larger lake (225 ha) with water column pH of 2.7 and sediment pH of 3.8. Lake B, a smaller (20 ha) lake to the south of Reservoir 29, also has an acidic water column (pH 3.4) but more neutral sediments (pH 6.2). Both have very high sulfate concentrations: 20-30 mM in the water column and as high as 100 mM in the hypolimnion of Lake B. Low allochthonous carbon and nutrient input characterize these lakes as oligotrophic, although algal biomass is higher than would be expected for this trophic status. In both lakes, algal populations are not diverse, with a few species of single-celled Chlorophyta and euglenoids dominating. Algal biomass is concentrated in a thin 10 cm layer at the hypolimnion/metalimnion interface, although light intensity at this depth is low and severely limits productivity. Bacterial activity based on 14 C-glucose incorporation is highest in the hypolimnion of both lakes, and sulfate-reduction is a dominant process in the sediments. Rates of sulfate-reduction compare with those in other freshwater environments, but are not as high as rates measured in high sulfate systems like saltmarsh and marine sediments

  13. Microbial ecology of deep-sea hypersaline anoxic basins

    KAUST Repository

    Merlino, Giuseppe

    2018-05-09

    Deep hypersaline anoxic basins (DHABs) are unique water bodies occurring within fractures at the bottom of the sea, where the dissolution of anciently buried evaporites created dense anoxic brines that are separated by a chemocline/pycnocline from the overlying oxygenated deep-seawater column. DHABs have been described in the Gulf of Mexico, the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea and the Red Sea. They are characterized by prolonged historical separation of the brines from the upper water column due to lack of mixing and by extreme conditions of salinity, anoxia, and relatively high hydrostatic pressure and temperatures. Due to these combined selection factors, unique microbial assemblages thrive in these polyextreme ecosystems. The topological localization of the different taxa in the brine-seawater transition zone coupled with the metabolic interactions and niche adaptations determine the metabolic functioning and biogeochemistry of DHABs. In particular, inherent metabolic strategies accompanied by genetic adaptations have provided insights on how prokaryotic communities can adapt to salt-saturated condition. Here, we review the current knowledge on the diversity, genomics, metabolisms and ecology of prokaryotes in DHABs.

  14. Changes in mouse gastrointestinal microbial ecology with ingestion of kale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uyeno, Y; Katayama, S; Nakamura, S

    2014-09-01

    Kale, a cultivar of Brassica oleracea, has attracted a great deal of attention because of its health-promoting effects, which are thought to be exerted through modulation of the intestinal microbiota. The present study was performed to investigate the effects of kale ingestion on the gastrointestinal microbial ecology of mice. 21 male C57BL/6J mice were divided into three groups and housed in a specific pathogen-free facility. The animals were fed either a control diet or experimental diets supplemented with different commercial kale products for 12 weeks. Contents of the caecum and colon of the mice were processed for the determination of active bacterial populations by a bacterial rRNA-based quantification method and short-chain fatty acids by HPLC. rRNAs of Bacteroides-Prevotella, the Clostridium coccoides-Eubacterium rectale group, and Clostridium leptum subgroup constituted the major fraction of microbiota regardless of the composition of the diet. The ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes was higher in the colon samples of one of the kale diet groups than in the control. The colonic butyrate level was also higher with the kale-supplemented diet. Overall, the ingestion of kale tended to either increase or decrease the activity of specific bacterial groups in the mouse gastrointestinal tract, however, the effect might vary depending on the nutritional composition.

  15. Microbial ecology-based methods to characterize the bacterial communities of non-model insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prosdocimi, Erica M; Mapelli, Francesca; Gonella, Elena; Borin, Sara; Crotti, Elena

    2015-12-01

    Among the animals of the Kingdom Animalia, insects are unparalleled for their widespread diffusion, diversity and number of occupied ecological niches. In recent years they have raised researcher interest not only because of their importance as human and agricultural pests, disease vectors and as useful breeding species (e.g. honeybee and silkworm), but also because of their suitability as animal models. It is now fully recognized that microorganisms form symbiotic relationships with insects, influencing their survival, fitness, development, mating habits and the immune system and other aspects of the biology and ecology of the insect host. Thus, any research aimed at deepening the knowledge of any given insect species (perhaps species of applied interest or species emerging as novel pests or vectors) must consider the characterization of the associated microbiome. The present review critically examines the microbiology and molecular ecology techniques that can be applied to the taxonomical and functional analysis of the microbiome of non-model insects. Our goal is to provide an overview of current approaches and methods addressing the ecology and functions of microorganisms and microbiomes associated with insects. Our focus is on operational details, aiming to provide a concise guide to currently available advanced techniques, in an effort to extend insect microbiome research beyond simple descriptions of microbial communities. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Microorganisms with a taste of Vanilla; Microbial ecology of traditional Indonesian vanilla curing.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roling, W.F.M.; Kerler, J.; Braster, M.; Apriyantono, A.; Stam, H.; van Verseveld, H.W.

    2001-01-01

    The microbial ecology of traditional postharvesting processing of vanilla beans (curing) was examined using a polyphasic approach consisting of conventional cultivation, substrate utilization-based and molecular identification of isolates, and cultivation-independent community profiling by 16S

  17. Deciphering the microbial ecology in bio- gas reactors for optimizing the anaerobic digestion process

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhu, Xinyu

    of the basic microbial metabolism and ecology, methanogenic microbial communities were enriched in a lab-scale continuous stirred-tank reactor (CSTR) fed with synthetic feedstocks. In the experiment, the substrates used were stepwise simplified (i.e. polysaccharide, monosaccharide, short chain fatty acids...

  18. Microbial interactions involving sulfur bacteria : implications for the ecology and evolution of bacterial communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Overmann, J; van Gemerden, H

    2000-01-01

    A major goal of microbial ecology is the identification and characterization of those microorganisms which govern transformations in natural ecosystems. This review summarizes our present knowledge of microbial interactions in the natural sulfur cycle. Central to the discussion is the recent

  19. Methodological approaches for studying the microbial ecology of drinking water distribution systems

    OpenAIRE

    Douterelo, Isabel; Boxall, Joby B.; Deines, Peter; Sekar, Raju; Fish, Katherine E.; Biggs, Catherine A.

    2014-01-01

    The study of the microbial ecology of drinking water distribution systems (DWDS) has traditionally been based on culturing organisms from bulk water samples. The development and application of molecular methods has supplied new tools for examining the microbial diversity and activity of environmental samples, yielding new insights into the microbial community and its diversity within these engineered ecosystems. In this review, the currently available methods and emerging approaches for chara...

  20. Utilization and control of ecological interactions in polymicrobial infections and community-based microbial cell factories [version 1; referees: 3 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vinoth Wigneswaran

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Microbial activities are most often shaped by interactions between co-existing microbes within mixed-species communities. Dissection of the molecular mechanisms of species interactions within communities is a central issue in microbial ecology, and our ability to engineer and control microbial communities depends, to a large extent, on our knowledge of these interactions. This review highlights the recent advances regarding molecular characterization of microbe-microbe interactions that modulate community structure, activity, and stability, and aims to illustrate how these findings have helped us reach an engineering-level understanding of microbial communities in relation to both human health and industrial biotechnology.

  1. Microbial ecology and starter culture technology in coffee processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinícius de Melo Pereira, Gilberto; Soccol, Vanete Thomaz; Brar, Satinder Kaur; Neto, Ensei; Soccol, Carlos Ricardo

    2017-09-02

    Coffee has been for decades the most commercialized food product and most widely consumed beverage in the world, with over 600 billion cups served per year. Before coffee cherries can be traded and processed into a final industrial product, they have to undergo postharvest processing on farms, which have a direct impact on the cost and quality of a coffee. Three different methods can be used for transforming the coffee cherries into beans, known as wet, dry, and semi-dry methods. In all these processing methods, a spontaneous fermentation is carried out in order to eliminate any mucilage still stuck to the beans and helps improve beverage flavor by microbial metabolites. The microorganisms responsible for the fermentation (e.g., yeasts and lactic acid bacteria) can play a number of roles, such as degradation of mucilage (pectinolytic activity), inhibition of mycotoxin-producing fungi growth, and production of flavor-active components. The use of starter cultures (mainly yeast strains) has emerged in recent years as a promising alternative to control the fermentation process and to promote quality development of coffee product. However, scarce information is still available about the effects of controlled starter cultures in coffee fermentation performance and bean quality, making it impossible to use this technology in actual field conditions. A broader knowledge about the ecology, biochemistry, and molecular biology could facilitate the understanding and application of starter cultures for coffee fermentation process. This review provides a comprehensive coverage of these issues, while pointing out new directions for exploiting starter cultures in coffee processing.

  2. [Effects of biochar on microbial ecology in agriculture soil: a review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Yan-Li; Liu, Jie; Wang, Ying-Ying

    2013-11-01

    Biochar, as a new type of soil amendment, has been obtained considerable attention in the research field of environmental sciences worldwide. The studies on the effects of biochar in improving soil physical and chemical properties started quite earlier, and already covered the field of soil microbial ecology. However, most of the studies considered the soil physical and chemical properties and the microbial ecology separately, with less consideration of their interactions. This paper summarized and analyzed the interrelationships between the changes of soil physical and chemical properties and of soil microbial community after the addition of biochar. Biochar can not only improve soil pH value, strengthen soil water-holding capacity, increase soil organic matter content, but also affect soil microbial community structure, and alter the abundance of soil bacteria and fungi. After the addition of biochar, the soil environment and soil microorganisms are interacted each other, and promote the improvement of soil microbial ecological system together. This review was to provide a novel perspective for the in-depth studies of the effects of biochar on soil microbial ecology, and to promote the researches on the beneficial effects of biochar to the environment from ecological aspect. The methods to improve the effectiveness of biochar application were discussed, and the potential applications of biochar in soil bioremediation were further analyzed.

  3. A review of gastrointestinal microbiology with special emphasis on molecular microbial ecology approaches

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mackie, R.I.; Cann, I.K.O.

    2005-01-01

    All animals, including humans, are adapted to life in a microbial world. Large populations of micro-organisms inhabit the gastrointestinal tract of all animals and form a closely integrated ecological unit with the host. This complex, mixed, microbial culture can be considered the most metabolically adaptable and rapidly renewable organ of the body, which plays a vital role in the normal nutritional, physiological, immunological and protective functions of the host animal. Bacteria have traditionally been classified mainly on the basis of phenotypic properties. Despite the vast amount of knowledge generated for ruminal and other intestinal ecosystems using traditional techniques, the basic requisites for ecological studies, namely, enumeration and identification of all community members, have limitations. The two major problems faced by microbial ecologists are bias introduced by culture-based enumeration and characterization techniques, and the lack of a phylogenetically-based classification scheme. Modem molecular ecology techniques based on sequence comparisons of nucleic acids (DNA or RNA) can be used to provide molecular characterization while at the same time providing a classification scheme that predicts natural evolutionary relationships. These molecular methods provide results that are independent of growth conditions and media used. Also, using these techniques, bacteria can be classified and identified before they can be grown in pure culture. These nucleic acid-based techniques will enable gut microbiologists to answer the most difficult question in microbial ecology: namely, describing the exact role or function a specific bacterium plays in its natural environment and its quantitative contribution to the whole. However, rather than replacing the classical culture-based system, the new molecular-based techniques can be used in combination with the classical approach to improve cultivation, speciation and evaluation of diversity. The study of microbial

  4. Bacteriology of humans : an ecological perspective

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wilson, Michael, 1947

    2008-01-01

    ..., Staphylococcus aureus, etc. What is now a-changing is that interest is shifting towards the vast majority of our microbial partners that do not cause disease and, indeed, are essential to our well being. The indigenous microbiota of healthy humans is now the subject of intense scrutiny, and its enormous diversity and the crucial roles that it pl...

  5. Microbial Ecology and Evolution in the Acid Mine Drainage Model System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Li-Nan; Kuang, Jia-Liang; Shu, Wen-Sheng

    2016-07-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) is a unique ecological niche for acid- and toxic-metals-adapted microorganisms. These low-complexity systems offer a special opportunity for the ecological and evolutionary analyses of natural microbial assemblages. The last decade has witnessed an unprecedented interest in the study of AMD communities using 16S rRNA high-throughput sequencing and community genomic and postgenomic methodologies, significantly advancing our understanding of microbial diversity, community function, and evolution in acidic environments. This review describes new data on AMD microbial ecology and evolution, especially dynamics of microbial diversity, community functions, and population genomes, and further identifies gaps in our current knowledge that future research, with integrated applications of meta-omics technologies, will fill. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. The microbial diversity, distribution, and ecology of permafrost in China: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Weigang; Zhang, Qi; Tian, Tian; Cheng, Guodong; An, Lizhe; Feng, Huyuan

    2015-07-01

    Permafrost in China mainly located in high-altitude areas. It represents a unique and suitable ecological niche that can be colonized by abundant microbes. Permafrost microbial community varies across geographically separated locations in China, and some lineages are novel and possible endemic. Besides, Chinese permafrost is a reservoir of functional microbial groups involved in key biogeochemical cycling processes. In future, more work is necessary to determine if these phylogenetic groups detected by DNA-based methods are part of the viable microbial community, and their functional roles and how they potentially respond to climate change. This review summaries recent studies describing microbial biodiversity found in permafrost and associated environments in China, and provides a framework for better understanding the microbial ecology of permafrost.

  7. Microbial ecology of methanogenic crude oil biodegradation; from microbial consortia to heavy oil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Head, Ian M.; Maguire, Michael J.; Sherry, Angela; Grant, Russell; Gray, Neil D.; Aitken, Carolyn M.; Martin Jones, D.; Oldenburg, Thomas B.P.; Larter, Stephen R. [Petroleum Research Group, Geosciences, University of Calgary (Canada)

    2011-07-01

    This paper presents the microbial ecology of methanogenic crude oil biodegradation. Biodegraded petroleum reservoirs are one of the most dramatic indications of the deep biosphere. It is estimated that heavy oil and oil sands will account for a considerable amount of energy production in the future. Carbon, a major resource for deep subsurface microorganisms, and energy are contained in large quantities in petroleum reservoirs. The aerobic to anaerobic paradigm shift is explained. A key process for in-situ oil biodegradation in petroleum reservoirs is methanogenesis. New paradigms for in-reservoir crude oil biodegradation are discussed. Variations in anaerobic degradation of crude oil hydrocarbons are also discussed. A graph shows the different patterns of crude oil biodegradation under sulfate-reducing and methanogenic conditions. Alternative anaerobic alkane activation mechanisms are also shown. From the study, it can be concluded that methanogenic crude oil degradation is of global importance and led to the establishment of the world's enormous heavy oil deposits.

  8. Ecological Factors in Human Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, William E

    2017-05-01

    Urie Bronfenbrenner (1992) helped developmental psychologists comprehend and define "context" as a rich, thick multidimensional construct. His ecological systems theory consists of five layers, and within each layer are developmental processes unique to each layer. The four articles in this section limit the exploration of context to the three innermost systems: the individual plus micro- and macrolayers. Rather than examine both the physical features and processes, the articles tend to focus solely on processes associated with a niche. Processes explored include social identity development, social network dynamics, peer influences, and school-based friendship patterns. The works tend to extend the generalization of extant theory to the developmental experience of various minority group experiences. © 2017 The Authors. Child Development © 2017 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

  9. The high energy multicharged particle exposure of the microbial ecology evaluation device on board the Apollo 16 spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benton, E. V.; Henke, R. P.

    1973-01-01

    The high energy multicharged cosmic-ray-particle exposure of the Microbial Ecology Evaluation Device package on board the Apollo 16 spacecraft was monitored using cellulose nitrate, Lexan polycarbonate, nuclear emulsion, and silver chloride crystal nuclear-track detectors. The results of the analysis of these detectors include the measured particle fluences, the linear energy transfer spectra, and the integral atomic number spectrum of stopping particle density. The linear energy transfer spectrum is used to compute the fractional cell loss in human kidney (T1) cells caused by heavy particles. Because the Microbial Ecology Evaluation Device was better shielded, the high-energy multicharged particle exposure was less than that measured on the crew passive dosimeters.

  10. A guide to statistical analysis in microbial ecology: a community-focused, living review of multivariate data analyses

    OpenAIRE

    Buttigieg, Pier Luigi; Ramette, Alban Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    The application of multivariate statistical analyses has become a consistent feature in microbial ecology. However, many microbial ecologists are still in the process of developing a deep understanding of these methods and appreciating their limitations. As a consequence, staying abreast of progress and debate in this arena poses an additional challenge to many microbial ecologists. To address these issues, we present the GUide to STatistical Analysis in Microbial Ecology (GUSTA ME): a dynami...

  11. Radiation: microbial evolution, ecology, and relevance to mars missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, L. J.; Cockell, C. S.

    1999-01-01

    Ultraviolet (UV) radiation has been an important environmental parameter during the evolution of life on Earth, both in its role as a mutagen and as a selective agent. This was probably especially true during the time from 3.8 to 2.5 billion years ago, when atmospheric ozone levels were less than 1% of present levels. Early Mars may not have had an "ozone shield" either, and it never developed a significant one. Even though Mars is farther away from the Sun than the Earth, a substantial surficial UV flux is present on Mars today. But organisms respond to dose rate, and on Mars, like on Earth, organisms would be exposed to diurnal variations in UV flux. Here we present data on the effect of diurnal patterns of UV flux on microbial ecosystems in nature, with an emphasis on photosynthesis and DNA synthesis effects. These results indicate that diurnal patterns of metabolism occur in nature with a dip in photosynthesis and DNA synthesis in the afternoon, in part regulated by UV flux. Thus, diurnal patterns must be studied in order to understand the effect of UV radiation in nature. The results of this work are significant to the success of human missions to Mars for several reasons. For example, human missions must include photosynthetic organisms for food production and likely oxygen production. An evolutionary approach suggests which organisms might be best suited for high UV fluxes. The diurnal aspect of these studies is critical. Terraforming is a potential goal of Mars exploration, and it will require studies of the effect of Martian UV fluxes, including their diurnal changes, on terrestrial organisms. Such studies may suggest that diurnal changes in UV only require mitigation at some times of day or year.

  12. Microbial ecology of Thailand tsunami and non-tsunami affected terrestrials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somboonna, Naraporn; Wilantho, Alisa; Jankaew, Kruawun; Assawamakin, Anunchai; Sangsrakru, Duangjai; Tangphatsornruang, Sithichoke; Tongsima, Sissades

    2014-01-01

    The effects of tsunamis on microbial ecologies have been ill-defined, especially in Phang Nga province, Thailand. This ecosystem was catastrophically impacted by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami as well as the 600 year-old tsunami in Phra Thong island, Phang Nga province. No study has been conducted to elucidate their effects on microbial ecology. This study represents the first to elucidate their effects on microbial ecology. We utilized metagenomics with 16S and 18S rDNA-barcoded pyrosequencing to obtain prokaryotic and eukaryotic profiles for this terrestrial site, tsunami affected (S1), as well as a parallel unaffected terrestrial site, non-tsunami affected (S2). S1 demonstrated unique microbial community patterns than S2. The dendrogram constructed using the prokaryotic profiles supported the unique S1 microbial communities. S1 contained more proportions of archaea and bacteria domains, specifically species belonging to Bacteroidetes became more frequent, in replacing of the other typical floras like Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria and Basidiomycota. Pathogenic microbes, including Acinetobacter haemolyticus, Flavobacterium spp. and Photobacterium spp., were also found frequently in S1. Furthermore, different metabolic potentials highlighted this microbial community change could impact the functional ecology of the site. Moreover, the habitat prediction based on percent of species indicators for marine, brackish, freshwater and terrestrial niches pointed the S1 to largely comprise marine habitat indicating-species.

  13. Analyses of the microbial diversity across the human microbiome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelvin Li

    Full Text Available Analysis of human body microbial diversity is fundamental to understanding community structure, biology and ecology. The National Institutes of Health Human Microbiome Project (HMP has provided an unprecedented opportunity to examine microbial diversity within and across body habitats and individuals through pyrosequencing-based profiling of 16 S rRNA gene sequences (16 S from habits of the oral, skin, distal gut, and vaginal body regions from over 200 healthy individuals enabling the application of statistical techniques. In this study, two approaches were applied to elucidate the nature and extent of human microbiome diversity. First, bootstrap and parametric curve fitting techniques were evaluated to estimate the maximum number of unique taxa, S(max, and taxa discovery rate for habitats across individuals. Next, our results demonstrated that the variation of diversity within low abundant taxa across habitats and individuals was not sufficiently quantified with standard ecological diversity indices. This impact from low abundant taxa motivated us to introduce a novel rank-based diversity measure, the Tail statistic, ("τ", based on the standard deviation of the rank abundance curve if made symmetric by reflection around the most abundant taxon. Due to τ's greater sensitivity to low abundant taxa, its application to diversity estimation of taxonomic units using taxonomic dependent and independent methods revealed a greater range of values recovered between individuals versus body habitats, and different patterns of diversity within habitats. The greatest range of τ values within and across individuals was found in stool, which also exhibited the most undiscovered taxa. Oral and skin habitats revealed variable diversity patterns, while vaginal habitats were consistently the least diverse. Collectively, these results demonstrate the importance, and motivate the introduction, of several visualization and analysis methods tuned specifically for

  14. Microbial ecology of deep-sea hypersaline anoxic basins

    KAUST Repository

    Merlino, Giuseppe; Barozzi, Alan; Michoud, Gregoire; Ngugi, David; Daffonchio, Daniele

    2018-01-01

    of mixing and by extreme conditions of salinity, anoxia, and relatively high hydrostatic pressure and temperatures. Due to these combined selection factors, unique microbial assemblages thrive in these polyextreme ecosystems. The topological localization

  15. Microbial ecology of a crude oil contaminated aquifer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bekins, B.A.; Cozzarelli, I.M.; Warren, E.; Godsy, E.M.

    2002-01-01

    Detailed microbial analyses of a glacial outwash aquifer contaminated by crude oil provide insights into the pattern of microbial succession from iron reducing to methanogenic in the anaerobic portion of the contaminant plume. We analysed sediments from this area for populations of aerobes, iron reducers, fermenters and methanogens, using the most probable number method. On the basis of the microbial data the anaerobic area can be divided into distinct physiological zones dominated by either iron-reducers or a consortium of fermenters and methanogens. Chemistry and permeability data show that methanogenic conditions develop first in areas of high hydrocarbon flux. Thus, we find methanogens both in high permeability horizons and also where separate-phase crude oil is present in either the saturated or unsaturated zone. Microbial numbers peak at the top of the separate-phase oil suggesting that growth is most rapid in locations with access to both hydrocarbons and nutrients infiltrating from the surface.

  16. Molecular microbial ecology of lignocellulose mobilisation as a ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The community structure of complex microbial consortia which develop in lignocellulose packed passive treatment systems for acid mine drainage remediation were investigated. An understanding of interactions between these populations is important in determining mechanisms by which such systems operate.

  17. Multivariate analyses in soil microbial ecology : a new paradigm

    OpenAIRE

    Thioulouse, J.; Prin, Y.; Duponnois, Robin

    2012-01-01

    Mycorrhizal symbiosis is a key component of a sustainable soil-plant system, governing the cycles of major plant nutrients and vegetation cover. The mycorrhizosphere includes plants roots, the mycorrhizal fungi, and a complex microbial compartment. A large number of methods have been used to characterize the genetic and functional diversity of these soil microbial communities. We present here a review of the multivariate data analysis methods that have been used in 16 research articles publis...

  18. Genome-based microbial ecology of anammox granules in a full-scale wastewater treatment system

    OpenAIRE

    Speth, D.R.; Zandt, M.H. in 't; Guerrero Cruz, S.; Dutilh, B.E.; Jetten, M.S.M.

    2016-01-01

    Partial-nitritation anammox (PNA) is a novel wastewater treatment procedure for energy-efficient ammonium removal. Here we use genome-resolved metagenomics to build a genome-based ecological model of the microbial community in a full-scale PNA reactor. Sludge from the bioreactor examined here is used to seed reactors in wastewater treatment plants around the world; however, the role of most of its microbial community in ammonium removal remains unknown. Our analysis yielded 23 near-complete d...

  19. Microbial ecology and biogeochemistry of continental Antarctic soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Don A Cowan

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The Antarctica Dry Valleys are regarded as the coldest hyperarid desert system on Earth. While a wide variety of environmental stressors including very low minimum temperatures, frequent freeze-thaw cycles and low water availability impose severe limitations to life, suitable niches for abundant microbial colonization exist. Antarctic desert soils contain much higher levels of microbial diversity than previously thought. Edaphic niches, including cryptic and refuge habitats, microbial mats and permafrost soils all harbour microbial communities which drive key biogeochemical cycling processes. For example, lithobionts (hypoliths and endoliths possess a genetic capacity for nitrogen and carbon cycling, polymer degradation and other system processes. Nitrogen fixation rates of hypoliths, as assessed through acetylene reduction assays, suggest that these communities are a significant input source for nitrogen into these oligotrophic soils. Here we review aspects of microbial diversity in Antarctic soils with an emphasis on functionality and capacity. We assess current knowledge regarding adaptations to Antarctic soil environments and highlight the current threats to Antarctic desert soil communities.

  20. Microbial ecology and biogeochemistry of continental Antarctic soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowan, Don A; Makhalanyane, Thulani P; Dennis, Paul G; Hopkins, David W

    2014-01-01

    The Antarctica Dry Valleys are regarded as the coldest hyperarid desert system on Earth. While a wide variety of environmental stressors including very low minimum temperatures, frequent freeze-thaw cycles and low water availability impose severe limitations to life, suitable niches for abundant microbial colonization exist. Antarctic desert soils contain much higher levels of microbial diversity than previously thought. Edaphic niches, including cryptic and refuge habitats, microbial mats and permafrost soils all harbor microbial communities which drive key biogeochemical cycling processes. For example, lithobionts (hypoliths and endoliths) possess a genetic capacity for nitrogen and carbon cycling, polymer degradation, and other system processes. Nitrogen fixation rates of hypoliths, as assessed through acetylene reduction assays, suggest that these communities are a significant input source for nitrogen into these oligotrophic soils. Here we review aspects of microbial diversity in Antarctic soils with an emphasis on functionality and capacity. We assess current knowledge regarding adaptations to Antarctic soil environments and highlight the current threats to Antarctic desert soil communities.

  1. Interior Design Education within a Human Ecological Framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaup, Migette L.; Anderson, Barbara G.; Honey, Peggy

    2007-01-01

    An education based in human ecology can greatly benefit interior designers as they work to understand and improve the human condition. Design programs housed in colleges focusing on human ecology can improve the interior design profession by taking advantage of their home base and emphasizing the human ecological framework in the design curricula.…

  2. Microbial ecology of deep-water mid-Atlantic canyons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellogg, Christina A.

    2011-01-01

    The research described in this fact sheet will be conducted from 2012 to 2014 as part of the U.S. Geological Survey's DISCOVRE (DIversity, Systematics, and COnnectivity of Vulnerable Reef Ecosystems) Program. This integrated, multidisciplinary effort will be investigating a variety of topics related to unique and fragile deep-sea ecosystems from the microscopic level to the ecosystem level. One goal is to improve understanding, at the microbiological scale, of the benthic communities (including corals) that reside in and around mid-Atlantic canyon habitats and their associated environments. Specific objectives include identifying and characterizing the microbial associates of deep-sea corals, characterizing the microbial biofilms on hard substrates to better determine their role in engineering the ecosystem, and adding a microbial dimension to benthic community structure and function assessments by characterizing micro-eukaryotes, bacteria, and archaea in deep-sea sediments.

  3. Influence of microbial community diversity and function on pollutant removal in ecological wastewater treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Yaohui; Huo, Yang; Liao, Kailingli; Qu, Jiuhui

    2017-10-01

    Traditional wastewater treatments based on activated sludge often encounter the problems of bulking and foaming, as well as malodor. To solve these problems, new treatment technologies have emerged in recent decades, including the ecological wastewater treatment process, which introduces selected local plants into the treatment system. With a focus on the underlying mechanisms of the ecological treatment process, we explored the microbial community biomass, composition, and function in the treatment system to understand the microbial growth in this system and its role in pollutant removal. Flow cytometry analysis revealed that ecological treatment significantly decreased influent bacterial quantity, with around 80% removal. 16S rRNA gene sequencing showed that the ecological treatment also altered the bacterial community structure of the wastewater, leading to a significant change in Comamonadaceae in the effluent. In the internal ecological system, because most of microbes aggregate in the plant rhizosphere and the sludge under plant roots, we selected two plant species (Nerium oleander and Arundo donax) to study the characteristics of rhizosphere and sludge microbes. Metagenomic results showed that the microbial community composition and function differed between the two species, and the microbial communities of A. donax were more sensitive to seasonal effects. Combined with their greater biomass and abundance of metabolic genes, microbes associated with N. oleander showed a greater contribution to pollutant removal. Further, the biodegradation pathways of some micropollutants, e.g., atrazine, were estimated.

  4. Gastrointestinal microbial ecology and its health benefits in Dogs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K.B. Kore

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Gastrointestinal microbial balance is the most important prerequisite for normal functions of digestive system, physiological and immunological homeostasis in dogs as well as in other animals. It helps in prevention of pathogenic colonization, provides energy through SCFA by nutrient breakdown, and improves mineral-vitamin supply to host, augment host immune status. Hence, it is imperative to explore the potential means to improve the gastrointestinal microbial diversity which in turns boost up dog health. [Vet. World 2010; 3(3.000: 140-141

  5. Microbial ecology of artisanal Italian Cheese: environment and working conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dioguardi, L.; Colombo, E.; Franzetti, L.

    2009-01-01

    In agro-food sector the structural features of working environments and consequently their hygienic conditions are of primary importance for a safe and quality food production and to ensure comfortable and ergonomic working conditions. In particular, as regards high-mountain dairy production, the environment is important because it can affect the development of typical microbial ecosystem. (Author)

  6. Microbial ecology of halo-alkaliphilic sulfur bacteria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Foti, M.J.

    2007-01-01

    The research of this thesis focussed on the investigation of the microbial diversity in soda lakes, giving a special attention to the micro-organisms involved in the sulphur cycle. The present PhD was part of a bigger project aiming to develop a biological process for the removal of hydrogen

  7. Microbial ecology of artisanal Italian Cheese: environment and working conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dioguardi, L.; Colombo, E.; Franzetti, L.

    2009-07-01

    In agro-food sector the structural features of working environments and consequently their hygienic conditions are of primary importance for a safe and quality food production and to ensure comfortable and ergonomic working conditions. In particular, as regards high-mountain dairy production, the environment is important because it can affect the development of typical microbial ecosystem. (Author)

  8. Insights from quantitative metaproteomics and protein-stable isotope probing into microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Bergen, Martin; Jehmlich, Nico; Taubert, Martin; Vogt, Carsten; Bastida, Felipe; Herbst, Florian-Alexander; Schmidt, Frank; Richnow, Hans-Hermann; Seifert, Jana

    2013-10-01

    The recent development of metaproteomics has enabled the direct identification and quantification of expressed proteins from microbial communities in situ, without the need for microbial enrichment. This became possible by (1) significant increases in quality and quantity of metagenome data and by improvements of (2) accuracy and (3) sensitivity of modern mass spectrometers (MS). The identification of physiologically relevant enzymes can help to understand the role of specific species within a community or an ecological niche. Beside identification, relative and absolute quantitation is also crucial. We will review label-free and label-based methods of quantitation in MS-based proteome analysis and the contribution of quantitative proteome data to microbial ecology. Additionally, approaches of protein-based stable isotope probing (protein-SIP) for deciphering community structures are reviewed. Information on the species-specific metabolic activity can be obtained when substrates or nutrients are labeled with stable isotopes in a protein-SIP approach. The stable isotopes ((13)C, (15)N, (36)S) are incorporated into proteins and the rate of incorporation can be used for assessing the metabolic activity of the corresponding species. We will focus on the relevance of the metabolic and phylogenetic information retrieved with protein-SIP studies and for detecting and quantifying the carbon flux within microbial consortia. Furthermore, the combination of protein-SIP with established tools in microbial ecology such as other stable isotope probing techniques are discussed.

  9. Empowering Learning through Natural, Human, and Building Ecologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobet, Robert J.

    This article asserts that it is critical to understand the connections between human ecology and building ecology to create humane environments that show inspiration and creativity and that also serve diverse needs. It calls for efforts to: (1) construct an environmental education approach that fuses the three ecologies (natural, human, and…

  10. An Open-Ended Investigative Microbial Ecology Laboratory for Introductory Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones-Held, Susan; Paoletti, Robert; Glick, David; Held, Michael E.

    2010-01-01

    In this article we describe a multi-week investigative laboratory in microbial ecology/diversity and nitrogen cycling that we have used in our introductory biology course. This module encourages active student involvement in experimental design, using the scientific literature and quantitative analysis of large data sets. Students analyze soil…

  11. Description of the microbial ecology evaluation device, flight equipment, and ground transporter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chassay, C. E.; Taylor, G. R.

    1973-01-01

    Exposure of test systems in space required the fabrication of specialized hardware termed a Microbial Ecology Evaluation Device that had individual test chambers and a complex optical filter system. The characteristics of this device and the manner in which it was deployed in space are described.

  12. Genome-based microbial ecology of anammox granules in a full-scale wastewater treatment system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Speth, D.R.; Zandt, M.H. in 't; Guerrero Cruz, S.; Dutilh, B.E.; Jetten, M.S.M.

    2016-01-01

    Partial-nitritation anammox (PNA) is a novel wastewater treatment procedure for energy-efficient ammonium removal. Here we use genome-resolved metagenomics to build a genome-based ecological model of the microbial community in a full-scale PNA reactor. Sludge from the bioreactor examined here is

  13. Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria: A model for molecular microbial ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kowalchuk, G.A.; Stephen, J.R.

    2001-01-01

    The eutrophication of many ecosystems in recent decades has led to an increased interest in the ecology of nitrogen transformation. Chemolitho-autotrophic ammonia-oxidizing bacteria are responsible for the rate-limiting step of nitrification in a wide variety of environments, making them important

  14. Microbial ecology and nematode control in natural ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Costa, S.R.; Van der Putten, W.H.; Kerry, B.R.

    2011-01-01

    Plant-parasitic nematodes have traditionally been studied in agricultural systems, where they can be pests of importance on a wide range of crops. Nevertheless, nematode ecology in natural ecosystems is receiving increasing interest because of the role of nematodes in soil food webs, nutrient

  15. Long-term oil contamination alters the molecular ecological networks of soil microbial functional genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuting eLiang

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available With knowledge on microbial composition and diversity, investigation of within-community interactions is a further step to elucidate microbial ecological functions, such as the biodegradation of hazardous contaminants. In this work, microbial functional molecular ecological networks were studied in both contaminated and uncontaminated soils to determine the possible influences of oil contamination on microbial interactions and potential functions. Soil samples were obtained from an oil-exploring site located in South China, and the microbial functional genes were analyzed with GeoChip, a high-throughput functional microarray. By building random networks based on null model, we demonstrated that overall network structures and properties were significantly different between contaminated and uncontaminated soils (P < 0.001. Network connectivity, module numbers, and modularity were all reduced with contamination. Moreover, the topological roles of the genes (module hub and connectors were altered with oil contamination. Subnetworks of genes involved in alkane and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon degradation were also constructed. Negative co-occurrence patterns prevailed among functional genes, thereby indicating probable competition relationships. The potential keystone genes, defined as either hubs or genes with highest connectivities in the network, were further identified. The network constructed in this study predicted the potential effects of anthropogenic contamination on microbial community co-occurrence interactions.

  16. Something from (almost) nothing: the impact of multiple displacement amplification on microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binga, Erik K; Lasken, Roger S; Neufeld, Josh D

    2008-03-01

    Microbial ecology is a field that applies molecular techniques to analyze genes and communities associated with a plethora of unique environments on this planet. In the past, low biomass and the predominance of a few abundant community members have impeded the application of techniques such as PCR, microarray analysis and metagenomics to complex microbial populations. In the absence of suitable cultivation methods, it was not possible to obtain DNA samples from individual microorganisms. Recently, a method called multiple displacement amplification (MDA) has been used to circumvent these limitations by amplifying DNA from microbial communities in low-biomass environments, individual cells from uncultivated microbial species and active organisms obtained through stable isotope probing incubations. This review describes the development and applications of MDA, discusses its strengths and limitations and highlights the impact of MDA on the field of microbial ecology. Whole genome amplification via MDA has increased access to the genomic DNA of uncultivated microorganisms and low-biomass environments and represents a 'power tool' in the molecular toolbox of microbial ecologists.

  17. Can Microbial Ecology and Mycorrhizal Functioning Inform Climate Change Models?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hofmockel, Kirsten; Hobbie, Erik

    2017-07-31

    Our funded research focused on soil organic matter dynamics and plant-microbe interactions by examining the role of belowground processes and mechanisms across scales, including decomposition of organic molecules, microbial interactions, and plant-microbe interactions associated with a changing climate. Research foci included mycorrhizal mediated priming of soil carbon turnover, organic N use and depolymerization by free-living microbes and mycorrhizal fungi, and the use of isotopes as additional constraints for improved modeling of belowground processes. This work complemented the DOE’s mandate to understand both the consequences of atmospheric and climatic change for key ecosystems and the feedbacks on C cycling.

  18. Calibration and analysis of genome-based models for microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louca, Stilianos; Doebeli, Michael

    2015-10-16

    Microbial ecosystem modeling is complicated by the large number of unknown parameters and the lack of appropriate calibration tools. Here we present a novel computational framework for modeling microbial ecosystems, which combines genome-based model construction with statistical analysis and calibration to experimental data. Using this framework, we examined the dynamics of a community of Escherichia coli strains that emerged in laboratory evolution experiments, during which an ancestral strain diversified into two coexisting ecotypes. We constructed a microbial community model comprising the ancestral and the evolved strains, which we calibrated using separate monoculture experiments. Simulations reproduced the successional dynamics in the evolution experiments, and pathway activation patterns observed in microarray transcript profiles. Our approach yielded detailed insights into the metabolic processes that drove bacterial diversification, involving acetate cross-feeding and competition for organic carbon and oxygen. Our framework provides a missing link towards a data-driven mechanistic microbial ecology.

  19. Genome-based microbial ecology of anammox granules in a full-scale wastewater treatment system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speth, Daan R; In 't Zandt, Michiel H; Guerrero-Cruz, Simon; Dutilh, Bas E; Jetten, Mike S M

    2016-03-31

    Partial-nitritation anammox (PNA) is a novel wastewater treatment procedure for energy-efficient ammonium removal. Here we use genome-resolved metagenomics to build a genome-based ecological model of the microbial community in a full-scale PNA reactor. Sludge from the bioreactor examined here is used to seed reactors in wastewater treatment plants around the world; however, the role of most of its microbial community in ammonium removal remains unknown. Our analysis yielded 23 near-complete draft genomes that together represent the majority of the microbial community. We assign these genomes to distinct anaerobic and aerobic microbial communities. In the aerobic community, nitrifying organisms and heterotrophs predominate. In the anaerobic community, widespread potential for partial denitrification suggests a nitrite loop increases treatment efficiency. Of our genomes, 19 have no previously cultivated or sequenced close relatives and six belong to bacterial phyla without any cultivated members, including the most complete Omnitrophica (formerly OP3) genome to date.

  20. Dynamic assessment of microbial ecology (DAME): a web app for interactive analysis and visualization of microbial sequencing data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piccolo, Brian D; Wankhade, Umesh D; Chintapalli, Sree V; Bhattacharyya, Sudeepa; Chunqiao, Luo; Shankar, Kartik

    2018-03-15

    Dynamic assessment of microbial ecology (DAME) is a Shiny-based web application for interactive analysis and visualization of microbial sequencing data. DAME provides researchers not familiar with R programming the ability to access the most current R functions utilized for ecology and gene sequencing data analyses. Currently, DAME supports group comparisons of several ecological estimates of α-diversity and β-diversity, along with differential abundance analysis of individual taxa. Using the Shiny framework, the user has complete control of all aspects of the data analysis, including sample/experimental group selection and filtering, estimate selection, statistical methods and visualization parameters. Furthermore, graphical and tabular outputs are supported by R packages using D3.js and are fully interactive. DAME was implemented in R but can be modified by Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and JavaScript. It is freely available on the web at https://acnc-shinyapps.shinyapps.io/DAME/. Local installation and source code are available through Github (https://github.com/bdpiccolo/ACNC-DAME). Any system with R can launch DAME locally provided the shiny package is installed. bdpiccolo@uams.edu.

  1. The pig gut microbial diversity: Understanding the pig gut microbial ecology through the next generation high throughput sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hyeun Bum; Isaacson, Richard E

    2015-06-12

    The importance of the gut microbiota of animals is widely acknowledged because of its pivotal roles in the health and well being of animals. The genetic diversity of the gut microbiota contributes to the overall development and metabolic needs of the animal, and provides the host with many beneficial functions including production of volatile fatty acids, re-cycling of bile salts, production of vitamin K, cellulose digestion, and development of immune system. Thus the intestinal microbiota of animals has been the subject of study for many decades. Although most of the older studies have used culture dependent methods, the recent advent of high throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA genes has facilitated in depth studies exploring microbial populations and their dynamics in the animal gut. These culture independent DNA based studies generate large amounts of data and as a result contribute to a more detailed understanding of the microbiota dynamics in the gut and the ecology of the microbial populations. Of equal importance, is being able to identify and quantify microbes that are difficult to grow or that have not been grown in the laboratory. Interpreting the data obtained from this type of study requires using basic principles of microbial diversity to understand importance of the composition of microbial populations. In this review, we summarize the literature on culture independent studies of the pig gut microbiota with an emphasis on its succession and alterations caused by diverse factors. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Human Gut Microbiota: Toward an Ecology of Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susannah Selber-Hnatiw

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Composed of trillions of individual microbes, the human gut microbiota has adapted to the uniquely diverse environments found in the human intestine. Quickly responding to the variances in the ingested food, the microbiota interacts with the host via reciprocal biochemical signaling to coordinate the exchange of nutrients and proper immune function. Host and microbiota function as a unit which guards its balance against invasion by potential pathogens and which undergoes natural selection. Disturbance of the microbiota composition, or dysbiosis, is often associated with human disease, indicating that, while there seems to be no unique optimal composition of the gut microbiota, a balanced community is crucial for human health. Emerging knowledge of the ecology of the microbiota-host synergy will have an impact on how we implement antibiotic treatment in therapeutics and prophylaxis and how we will consider alternative strategies of global remodeling of the microbiota such as fecal transplants. Here we examine the microbiota-human host relationship from the perspective of the microbial community dynamics.

  3. Human Gut Microbiota: Toward an Ecology of Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selber-Hnatiw, Susannah; Rukundo, Belise; Ahmadi, Masoumeh; Akoubi, Hayfa; Al-Bizri, Hend; Aliu, Adelekan F.; Ambeaghen, Tanyi U.; Avetisyan, Lilit; Bahar, Irmak; Baird, Alexandra; Begum, Fatema; Ben Soussan, Hélène; Blondeau-Éthier, Virginie; Bordaries, Roxane; Bramwell, Helene; Briggs, Alicia; Bui, Richard; Carnevale, Matthew; Chancharoen, Marisa; Chevassus, Talia; Choi, Jin H.; Coulombe, Karyne; Couvrette, Florence; D'Abreau, Samantha; Davies, Meghan; Desbiens, Marie-Pier; Di Maulo, Tamara; Di Paolo, Sean-Anthony; Do Ponte, Sabrina; dos Santos Ribeiro, Priscyla; Dubuc-Kanary, Laure-Anne; Duncan, Paola K.; Dupuis, Frédérique; El-Nounou, Sara; Eyangos, Christina N.; Ferguson, Natasha K.; Flores-Chinchilla, Nancy R.; Fotakis, Tanya; Gado Oumarou H D, Mariam; Georgiev, Metodi; Ghiassy, Seyedehnazanin; Glibetic, Natalija; Grégoire Bouchard, Julien; Hassan, Tazkia; Huseen, Iman; Ibuna Quilatan, Marlon-Francis; Iozzo, Tania; Islam, Safina; Jaunky, Dilan B.; Jeyasegaram, Aniththa; Johnston, Marc-André; Kahler, Matthew R.; Kaler, Kiranpreet; Kamani, Cedric; Karimian Rad, Hessam; Konidis, Elisavet; Konieczny, Filip; Kurianowicz, Sandra; Lamothe, Philippe; Legros, Karina; Leroux, Sebastien; Li, Jun; Lozano Rodriguez, Monica E.; Luponio-Yoffe, Sean; Maalouf, Yara; Mantha, Jessica; McCormick, Melissa; Mondragon, Pamela; Narayana, Thivaedee; Neretin, Elizaveta; Nguyen, Thi T. T.; Niu, Ian; Nkemazem, Romeo B.; O'Donovan, Martin; Oueis, Matthew; Paquette, Stevens; Patel, Nehal; Pecsi, Emily; Peters, Jackie; Pettorelli, Annie; Poirier, Cassandra; Pompa, Victoria R.; Rajen, Harshvardhan; Ralph, Reginald-Olivier; Rosales-Vasquez, Josué; Rubinshtein, Daria; Sakr, Surya; Sebai, Mohammad S.; Serravalle, Lisa; Sidibe, Fily; Sinnathurai, Ahnjana; Soho, Dominique; Sundarakrishnan, Adithi; Svistkova, Veronika; Ugbeye, Tsolaye E.; Vasconcelos, Megan S.; Vincelli, Michael; Voitovich, Olga; Vrabel, Pamela; Wang, Lu; Wasfi, Maryse; Zha, Cong Y.; Gamberi, Chiara

    2017-01-01

    Composed of trillions of individual microbes, the human gut microbiota has adapted to the uniquely diverse environments found in the human intestine. Quickly responding to the variances in the ingested food, the microbiota interacts with the host via reciprocal biochemical signaling to coordinate the exchange of nutrients and proper immune function. Host and microbiota function as a unit which guards its balance against invasion by potential pathogens and which undergoes natural selection. Disturbance of the microbiota composition, or dysbiosis, is often associated with human disease, indicating that, while there seems to be no unique optimal composition of the gut microbiota, a balanced community is crucial for human health. Emerging knowledge of the ecology of the microbiota-host synergy will have an impact on how we implement antibiotic treatment in therapeutics and prophylaxis and how we will consider alternative strategies of global remodeling of the microbiota such as fecal transplants. Here we examine the microbiota-human host relationship from the perspective of the microbial community dynamics. PMID:28769880

  4. Biogeography and ecology of the rare and abundant microbial lineages in deep-sea hydrothermal vents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Rika E; Sogin, Mitchell L; Baross, John A

    2015-01-01

    Environmental gradients generate countless ecological niches in deep-sea hydrothermal vent systems, which foster diverse microbial communities. The majority of distinct microbial lineages in these communities occur in very low abundance. However, the ecological role and distribution of rare and abundant lineages, particularly in deep, hot subsurface environments, remain unclear. Here, we use 16S rRNA tag sequencing to describe biogeographic patterning and microbial community structure of both rare and abundant archaea and bacteria in hydrothermal vent systems. We show that while rare archaeal lineages and almost all bacterial lineages displayed geographically restricted community structuring patterns, the abundant lineages of archaeal communities displayed a much more cosmopolitan distribution. Finally, analysis of one high-volume, high-temperature fluid sample representative of the deep hot biosphere described a unique microbial community that differed from microbial populations in diffuse flow fluid or sulfide samples, yet the rare thermophilic archaeal groups showed similarities to those that occur in sulfides. These results suggest that while most archaeal and bacterial lineages in vents are rare and display a highly regional distribution, a small percentage of lineages, particularly within the archaeal domain, are successful at widespread dispersal and colonization. © FEMS 2014. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Microbial ecology of fermentative hydrogen producing bioprocesses: useful insights for driving the ecosystem function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrol, Lea; Marone, Antonella; Tapia-Venegas, Estela; Steyer, Jean-Philippe; Ruiz-Filippi, Gonzalo; Trably, Eric

    2017-03-01

    One of the most important biotechnological challenges is to develop environment friendly technologies to produce new sources of energy. Microbial production of biohydrogen through dark fermentation, by conversion of residual biomass, is an attractive solution for short-term development of bioH2 producing processes. Efficient biohydrogen production relies on complex mixed communities working in tight interaction. Species composition and functional traits are of crucial importance to maintain the ecosystem service. The analysis of microbial community revealed a wide phylogenetic diversity that contributes in different-and still mostly unclear-ways to hydrogen production. Bridging this gap of knowledge between microbial ecology features and ecosystem functionality is essential to optimize the bioprocess and develop strategies toward a maximization of the efficiency and stability of substrate conversion. The aim of this review is to provide a comprehensive overview of the most up-to-date biodata available and discuss the main microbial community features of biohydrogen engineered ecosystems, with a special emphasis on the crucial role of interactions and the relationships between species composition and ecosystem service. The elucidation of intricate relationships between community structure and ecosystem function would make possible to drive ecosystems toward an improved functionality on the basis of microbial ecology principles. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Microbial Ecology of Anaerobic Digesters: The Key Players of Anaerobiosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali Shah, Fayyaz; Mahmood, Qaisar; Maroof Shah, Mohammad; Pervez, Arshid; Ahmad Asad, Saeed

    2014-01-01

    Anaerobic digestion is the method of wastes treatment aimed at a reduction of their hazardous effects on the biosphere. The mutualistic behavior of various anaerobic microorganisms results in the decomposition of complex organic substances into simple, chemically stabilized compounds, mainly methane and CO2. The conversions of complex organic compounds to CH4 and CO2 are possible due to the cooperation of four different groups of microorganisms, that is, fermentative, syntrophic, acetogenic, and methanogenic bacteria. Microbes adopt various pathways to evade from the unfavorable conditions in the anaerobic digester like competition between sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) and methane forming bacteria for the same substrate. Methanosarcina are able to use both acetoclastic and hydrogenotrophic pathways for methane production. This review highlights the cellulosic microorganisms, structure of cellulose, inoculum to substrate ratio, and source of inoculum and its effect on methanogenesis. The molecular techniques such as DGGE (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis) utilized for dynamic changes in microbial communities and FISH (fluorescent in situ hybridization) that deal with taxonomy and interaction and distribution of tropic groups used are also discussed. PMID:24701142

  7. Microbial ecology of anaerobic digesters: the key players of anaerobiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali Shah, Fayyaz; Mahmood, Qaisar; Maroof Shah, Mohammad; Pervez, Arshid; Ahmad Asad, Saeed

    2014-01-01

    Anaerobic digestion is the method of wastes treatment aimed at a reduction of their hazardous effects on the biosphere. The mutualistic behavior of various anaerobic microorganisms results in the decomposition of complex organic substances into simple, chemically stabilized compounds, mainly methane and CO2. The conversions of complex organic compounds to CH4 and CO2 are possible due to the cooperation of four different groups of microorganisms, that is, fermentative, syntrophic, acetogenic, and methanogenic bacteria. Microbes adopt various pathways to evade from the unfavorable conditions in the anaerobic digester like competition between sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) and methane forming bacteria for the same substrate. Methanosarcina are able to use both acetoclastic and hydrogenotrophic pathways for methane production. This review highlights the cellulosic microorganisms, structure of cellulose, inoculum to substrate ratio, and source of inoculum and its effect on methanogenesis. The molecular techniques such as DGGE (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis) utilized for dynamic changes in microbial communities and FISH (fluorescent in situ hybridization) that deal with taxonomy and interaction and distribution of tropic groups used are also discussed.

  8. The Ecology of Microbial Communities Associated with Macrocystis pyrifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michelou, Vanessa K; Caporaso, J Gregory; Knight, Rob; Palumbi, Stephen R

    2013-01-01

    Kelp forests are characterized by high biodiversity and productivity, and the cycling of kelp-produced carbon is a vital process in this ecosystem. Although bacteria are assumed to play a major role in kelp forest carbon cycling, knowledge of the composition and diversity of these bacterial communities is lacking. Bacterial communities on the surface of Macrocystis pyrifera and adjacent seawater were sampled at the Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey Bay, CA, and further studied using 454-tag pyrosequencing of 16S RNA genes. Our results suggest that M. pyrifera-dominated kelp forests harbor distinct microbial communities that vary temporally. The distribution of sequence tags assigned to Gammaproteobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria and Bacteriodetes differed between the surface of the kelp and the surrounding water. Several abundant Rhodobacteraceae, uncultivated Gammaproteobacteria and Bacteriodetes-associated tags displayed considerable temporal variation, often with similar trends in the seawater and the surface of the kelp. Bacterial community structure and membership correlated with the kelp surface serving as host, and varied over time. Several kelp-specific taxa were highly similar to other bacteria known to either prevent the colonization of eukaryotic larvae or exhibit antibacterial activities. Some of these kelp-specific bacterial associations might play an important role for M. pyrifera. This study provides the first assessment of the diversity and phylogenetic profile of the bacterial communities associated with M. pyrifera.

  9. Methodological approaches for studying the microbial ecology of drinking water distribution systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douterelo, Isabel; Boxall, Joby B; Deines, Peter; Sekar, Raju; Fish, Katherine E; Biggs, Catherine A

    2014-11-15

    The study of the microbial ecology of drinking water distribution systems (DWDS) has traditionally been based on culturing organisms from bulk water samples. The development and application of molecular methods has supplied new tools for examining the microbial diversity and activity of environmental samples, yielding new insights into the microbial community and its diversity within these engineered ecosystems. In this review, the currently available methods and emerging approaches for characterising microbial communities, including both planktonic and biofilm ways of life, are critically evaluated. The study of biofilms is considered particularly important as it plays a critical role in the processes and interactions occurring at the pipe wall and bulk water interface. The advantages, limitations and usefulness of methods that can be used to detect and assess microbial abundance, community composition and function are discussed in a DWDS context. This review will assist hydraulic engineers and microbial ecologists in choosing the most appropriate tools to assess drinking water microbiology and related aspects. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  10. Comparing microarrays and next-generation sequencing technologies for microbial ecology research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roh, Seong Woon; Abell, Guy C J; Kim, Kyoung-Ho; Nam, Young-Do; Bae, Jin-Woo

    2010-06-01

    Recent advances in molecular biology have resulted in the application of DNA microarrays and next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies to the field of microbial ecology. This review aims to examine the strengths and weaknesses of each of the methodologies, including depth and ease of analysis, throughput and cost-effectiveness. It also intends to highlight the optimal application of each of the individual technologies toward the study of a particular environment and identify potential synergies between the two main technologies, whereby both sample number and coverage can be maximized. We suggest that the efficient use of microarray and NGS technologies will allow researchers to advance the field of microbial ecology, and importantly, improve our understanding of the role of microorganisms in their various environments.

  11. Marine microbial ecology: Reminiscence of the status and some suggestions for the way forward

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    LokaBharathi, P.A.

    communities are central to all processes . From traditional cultivation based experiments to today's molecular analyses based on metagenomics, major strides have been made. Molecular ecology made significant impact by revealing the true scope... environmental parameters are recorded together with diversity data, it would be possible to assess the impact of space, time, on microbial communities and quantify interactions among factors. The integration of laboratory-developed microbiological sensors...

  12. Termite hindguts and the ecology of microbial communities in the sequencing age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tai, Vera; Keeling, Patrick J

    2013-01-01

    Advances in high-throughput nucleic acid sequencing have improved our understanding of microbial communities in a number of ways. Deeper sequence coverage provides the means to assess diversity at the resolution necessary to recover ecological and biogeographic patterns, and at the same time single-cell genomics provides detailed information about the interactions between members of a microbial community. Given the vastness and complexity of microbial ecosystems, such analyses remain challenging for most environments, so greater insight can also be drawn from analysing less dynamic ecosystems. Here, we outline the advantages of one such environment, the wood-digesting hindgut communities of termites and cockroaches, and how it is a model to examine and compare both protist and bacterial communities. Beyond the analysis of diversity, our understanding of protist community ecology will depend on using statistically sound sampling regimes at biologically relevant scales, transitioning from discovery-based to experimental ecology, incorporating single-cell microbiology and other data sources, and continued development of analytical tools. © 2013 The Author(s) Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology © 2013 International Society of Protistologists.

  13. Advantages and limitations of quantitative PCR (Q-PCR)-based approaches in microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Cindy J; Osborn, A Mark

    2009-01-01

    Quantitative PCR (Q-PCR or real-time PCR) approaches are now widely applied in microbial ecology to quantify the abundance and expression of taxonomic and functional gene markers within the environment. Q-PCR-based analyses combine 'traditional' end-point detection PCR with fluorescent detection technologies to record the accumulation of amplicons in 'real time' during each cycle of the PCR amplification. By detection of amplicons during the early exponential phase of the PCR, this enables the quantification of gene (or transcript) numbers when these are proportional to the starting template concentration. When Q-PCR is coupled with a preceding reverse transcription reaction, it can be used to quantify gene expression (RT-Q-PCR). This review firstly addresses the theoretical and practical implementation of Q-PCR and RT-Q-PCR protocols in microbial ecology, highlighting key experimental considerations. Secondly, we review the applications of (RT)-Q-PCR analyses in environmental microbiology and evaluate the contribution and advances gained from such approaches. Finally, we conclude by offering future perspectives on the application of (RT)-Q-PCR in furthering understanding in microbial ecology, in particular, when coupled with other molecular approaches and more traditional investigations of environmental systems.

  14. Applications of the rep-PCR DNA fingerprinting technique to study microbial diversity, ecology and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishii, Satoshi; Sadowsky, Michael J

    2009-04-01

    A large number of repetitive DNA sequences are found in multiple sites in the genomes of numerous bacteria, archaea and eukarya. While the functions of many of these repetitive sequence elements are unknown, they have proven to be useful as the basis of several powerful tools for use in molecular diagnostics, medical microbiology, epidemiological analyses and environmental microbiology. The repetitive sequence-based PCR or rep-PCR DNA fingerprint technique uses primers targeting several of these repetitive elements and PCR to generate unique DNA profiles or 'fingerprints' of individual microbial strains. Although this technique has been extensively used to examine diversity among variety of prokaryotic microorganisms, rep-PCR DNA fingerprinting can also be applied to microbial ecology and microbial evolution studies since it has the power to distinguish microbes at the strain or isolate level. Recent advancement in rep-PCR methodology has resulted in increased accuracy, reproducibility and throughput. In this minireview, we summarize recent improvements in rep-PCR DNA fingerprinting methodology, and discuss its applications to address fundamentally important questions in microbial ecology and evolution.

  15. The life sulfuric: microbial ecology of sulfur cycling in marine sediments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wasmund, Kenneth; Mußmann, Marc; Loy, Alexander

    2017-08-01

    Almost the entire seafloor is covered with sediments that can be more than 10 000 m thick and represent a vast microbial ecosystem that is a major component of Earth's element and energy cycles. Notably, a significant proportion of microbial life in marine sediments can exploit energy conserved during transformations of sulfur compounds among different redox states. Sulfur cycling, which is primarily driven by sulfate reduction, is tightly interwoven with other important element cycles (carbon, nitrogen, iron, manganese) and therefore has profound implications for both cellular- and ecosystem-level processes. Sulfur-transforming microorganisms have evolved diverse genetic, metabolic, and in some cases, peculiar phenotypic features to fill an array of ecological niches in marine sediments. Here, we review recent and selected findings on the microbial guilds that are involved in the transformation of different sulfur compounds in marine sediments and emphasise how these are interlinked and have a major influence on ecology and biogeochemistry in the seafloor. Extraordinary discoveries have increased our knowledge on microbial sulfur cycling, mainly in sulfate-rich surface sediments, yet many questions remain regarding how sulfur redox processes may sustain the deep-subsurface biosphere and the impact of organic sulfur compounds on the marine sulfur cycle. © 2017 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Effects of Microbial and Heavy Metal Contaminants on Environmental/Ecological Health and Revitalization of Coastal Ecosystems in Delaware Bay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gulnihal Ozbay

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The presence of heavy metals, excess nutrients, and microbial contaminants in aquatic systems of coastal Delaware has become a public concern as human population increases and land development continues. Delaware's coastal lagoons have been subjected to problems commonly shared by other coastal Mid-Atlantic states: turbidity, sedimentation, eutrophication, periodic hypoxic/anoxic conditions, toxic substances, and high bacterial levels. The cumulative impact of pollutants from run-off and point sources has degraded water quality, reduced the diversity and abundance of various fish species, invertebrates, and submerged aquatic vegetation. The effects are especially pronounced within the manmade dead end canal systems. In this article, we present selected case studies conducted in the Delaware Inland Bays. Due to the ecological services provided by bivalves, our studies in Delaware Inland Bays are geared toward oysters with special focus on the microbial loads followed by the water quality assessments of the bay. The relationships between oysters (Crassostrea virginica, microbial loads and nutrient levels in the water were investigated. The heavy metal levels monitored further away from the waste water treatment plant in the inland bays are marginally higher than the recommended EPA limits. Also, our studies confirmed that aerobic bacteria and Vibrionaceae levels are salinity dependent. Total bacteria in oysters increased when nitrate and total suspended solids increased in the waters. Studies such as these are important because every year millions of Americans consume raw oysters. Data collected over the last 10 years from our studies may be used to build a predictive index of conditions that are favorable for the proliferation of human pathogenic bacteria. Results from this study will benefit the local community by helping them understand the importance of oyster aquaculture and safe consumption of oysters while making them appreciate their

  17. Microbial genome-wide association studies: lessons from human GWAS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Power, Robert A; Parkhill, Julian; de Oliveira, Tulio

    2017-01-01

    The reduced costs of sequencing have led to whole-genome sequences for a large number of microorganisms, enabling the application of microbial genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Given the successes of human GWAS in understanding disease aetiology and identifying potential drug targets, microbial GWAS are likely to further advance our understanding of infectious diseases. These advances include insights into pressing global health problems, such as antibiotic resistance and disease transmission. In this Review, we outline the methodologies of GWAS, the current state of the field of microbial GWAS, and how lessons from human GWAS can direct the future of the field.

  18. [Towards understanding human ecology in nursing practice: a concept analysis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huynh, Truc; Alderson, Marie

    2010-06-01

    Human ecology is an umbrella concept encompassing several social, physical, and cultural elements existing in the individual's external environment. The pragmatic utility method was used to analyze the "human ecology" concept in order to ascertain the conceptual fit with nursing epistemology and to promote its use by nurses in clinical practice. Relevant articles for the review were retrieved from the MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and CSA databases using the terms "human ecology," "environment," "nursing," and "ecology." Data analysis revealed that human ecology is perceived as a theoretical perspective designating a complex, multilayered, and multidimensional system, one that comprises individuals and their reciprocal interactions with their global environments and the subsequent impact of these interactions upon their health. Human ecology preconditions include the individuals, their environments, and their transactions. Attributes of this concept encompass the characteristics of an open system (e.g., interdependence, reciprocal).

  19. Aerobic Granular Sludge: Effect of Salt and Insights into Microbial Ecology

    KAUST Repository

    Wang, Zhongwei

    2017-12-01

    Aerobic granular sludge (AGS) technology is a next-generation technology for the biological treatment of wastewater. The advantages of AGS in terms of small footprint, low operation and capital cost and high effluent quality makes it a strong candidate for replacing conventional biological wastewater treatment based on activated sludge (CAS) process, and potentially become the standard for biological wastewater treatment in the future. Saline wastewater is generated from many industrial processes as well as from the use of sea water as a secondary quality water for non-potable use such as toilet flushing to mitigate shortage of fresh water in some coastal cities. Salt is known to inhibit biological wastewater treatment processes in terms of organic and nutrient removal. In the first part of my dissertation, I conducted three lab-scale experiments to 1) evaluate the effect of salt on granulation and nutrient removal in AGS (330 days); 2) develop engineering strategies to mitigate the adverse effect of salt on nutrient removal of AGS (164 days); and 3) compare the effect of salt on the stoichiometry and kinetics of different phosphate accumulating organisms (PAO) clades (PAOI and PAOII) and to determine the effect of potassium and sodium ions on the activities of different PAO clades (225 days). Like other artificial microbial ecosystems (e.g. CAS plant and anaerobic digester), a firm understanding of the microbial ecology of AGS system is essential for process design and optimization. The second part of my dissertation reported the first microbial ecology study of a full-scale AGS plant with the aim of addressing the role of regional (i.e. immigration) versus local factors in shaping the microbial community assembly of different-sized microbial aggregates in AGS. The microbial communities in a full-scale AGS plant in Garmerwolde, The Netherlands, was characterized periodically over 180 days using Illumina sequencing of 16S ribosomal RNA amplicons of the V3-V4

  20. Contemporary molecular tools in microbial ecology and their application to advancing biotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rashid, Mamoon; Stingl, Ulrich

    2015-12-01

    Novel methods in microbial ecology are revolutionizing our understanding of the structure and function of microbes in the environment, but concomitant advances in applications of these tools to biotechnology are mostly lagging behind. After more than a century of efforts to improve microbial culturing techniques, about 70-80% of microbial diversity - recently called the "microbial dark matter" - remains uncultured. In early attempts to identify and sample these so far uncultured taxonomic lineages, methods that amplify and sequence ribosomal RNA genes were extensively used. Recent developments in cell separation techniques, DNA amplification, and high-throughput DNA sequencing platforms have now made the discovery of genes/genomes of uncultured microorganisms from different environments possible through the use of metagenomic techniques and single-cell genomics. When used synergistically, these metagenomic and single-cell techniques create a powerful tool to study microbial diversity. These genomics techniques have already been successfully exploited to identify sources for i) novel enzymes or natural products for biotechnology applications, ii) novel genes from extremophiles, and iii) whole genomes or operons from uncultured microbes. More can be done to utilize these tools more efficiently in biotechnology. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Unraveling microbial ecology of industrial-scale Kombucha fermentations by metabarcoding and culture-based methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coton, Monika; Pawtowski, Audrey; Taminiau, Bernard; Burgaud, Gaëtan; Deniel, Franck; Coulloumme-Labarthe, Laurent; Fall, Abdoulaye; Daube, Georges; Coton, Emmanuel

    2017-05-01

    Kombucha, historically an Asian tea-based fermented drink, has recently become trendy in Western countries. Producers claim it bears health-enhancing properties that may come from the tea or metabolites produced by its microbiome. Despite its long history of production, microbial richness and dynamics have not been fully unraveled, especially at an industrial scale. Moreover, the impact of tea type (green or black) on microbial ecology was not studied. Here, we compared microbial communities from industrial-scale black and green tea fermentations, still traditionally carried out by a microbial biofilm, using culture-dependent and metabarcoding approaches. Dominant bacterial species belonged to Acetobacteraceae and to a lesser extent Lactobacteriaceae, while the main identified yeasts corresponded to Dekkera, Hanseniaspora and Zygosaccharomyces during all fermentations. Species richness decreased over the 8-day fermentation. Among acetic acid bacteria, Gluconacetobacter europaeus, Gluconobacter oxydans, G. saccharivorans and Acetobacter peroxydans emerged as dominant species. The main lactic acid bacteria, Oenococcus oeni, was strongly associated with green tea fermentations. Tea type did not influence yeast community, with Dekkera bruxellensis, D. anomala, Zygosaccharomyces bailii and Hanseniaspora valbyensis as most dominant. This study unraveled a distinctive core microbial community which is essential for fermentation control and could lead to Kombucha quality standardization. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. Microorganisms with a Taste for Vanilla: Microbial Ecology of Traditional Indonesian Vanilla Curing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Röling, Wilfred F. M.; Kerler, Josef; Braster, Martin; Apriyantono, Anton; Stam, Hein; van Verseveld, Henk W.

    2001-01-01

    The microbial ecology of traditional postharvesting processing of vanilla beans (curing) was examined using a polyphasic approach consisting of conventional cultivation, substrate utilization-based and molecular identification of isolates, and cultivation-independent community profiling by 16S ribosomal DNA based PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. At two different locations, a batch of curing beans was monitored. In both batches a major shift in microbial communities occurred after short-term scalding of the beans in hot water. Fungi and yeast disappeared, although regrowth of fungi occurred in one batch during a period in which process conditions were temporarily not optimal. Conventional plating showed that microbial communities consisting of thermophilic and thermotolerant bacilli (mainly closely related to Bacillus subtilis, B. licheniformis,, and B. smithii) developed under the high temperatures (up to 65°C) that were maintained for over a week after scalding. Only small changes in the communities of culturable bacteria occurred after this period. Molecular analysis revealed that a proportion of the microbial communities could not be cultured on conventional agar medium, especially during the high-temperature period. Large differences between both batches were observed in the numbers of microorganisms, in species composition, and in the enzymatic abilities of isolated bacteria. These large differences indicate that the effects of microbial activities on the development of vanilla flavor could be different for each batch of cured vanilla beans. PMID:11319073

  3. Ecological and soil hydraulic implications of microbial responses to stress - A modeling analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brangarí, Albert C.; Fernàndez-Garcia, Daniel; Sanchez-Vila, Xavier; Manzoni, Stefano

    2018-06-01

    A better understanding of microbial dynamics in porous media may lead to improvements in the design and management of a number of technological applications, ranging from the degradation of contaminants to the optimization of agricultural systems. To this aim, there is a recognized need for predicting the proliferation of soil microbial biomass (often organized in biofilms) under different environments and stresses. We present a general multi-compartment model to account for physiological responses that have been extensively reported in the literature. The model is used as an explorative tool to elucidate the ecological and soil hydraulic consequences of microbial responses, including the production of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), the induction of cells into dormancy, and the allocation and reuse of resources between biofilm compartments. The mechanistic model is equipped with indicators allowing the microorganisms to monitor environmental and biological factors and react according to the current stress pressures. The feedbacks of biofilm accumulation on the soil water retention are also described. Model runs simulating different degrees of substrate and water shortage show that adaptive responses to the intensity and type of stress provide a clear benefit to microbial colonies. Results also demonstrate that the model may effectively predict qualitative patterns in microbial dynamics supported by empirical evidence, thereby improving our understanding of the effects of pore-scale physiological mechanisms on the soil macroscale phenomena.

  4. Contemporary molecular tools in microbial ecology and their application to advancing biotechnology

    KAUST Repository

    Rashid, Mamoon; Stingl, Ulrich

    2015-01-01

    Novel methods in microbial ecology are revolutionizing our understanding of the structure and function of microbes in the environment, but concomitant advances in applications of these tools to biotechnology are mostly lagging behind. After more than a century of efforts to improve microbial culturing techniques, about 70–80% of microbial diversity – recently called the “microbial dark matter” – remains uncultured. In early attempts to identify and sample these so far uncultured taxonomic lineages, methods that amplify and sequence ribosomal RNA genes were extensively used. Recent developments in cell separation techniques, DNA amplification, and high-throughput DNA sequencing platforms have now made the discovery of genes/genomes of uncultured microorganisms from different environments possible through the use of metagenomic techniques and single-cell genomics. When used synergistically, these metagenomic and single-cell techniques create a powerful tool to study microbial diversity. These genomics techniques have already been successfully exploited to identify sources for i) novel enzymes or natural products for biotechnology applications, ii) novel genes from extremophiles, and iii) whole genomes or operons from uncultured microbes. More can be done to utilize these tools more efficiently in biotechnology.

  5. Contemporary molecular tools in microbial ecology and their application to advancing biotechnology

    KAUST Repository

    Rashid, Mamoon

    2015-09-25

    Novel methods in microbial ecology are revolutionizing our understanding of the structure and function of microbes in the environment, but concomitant advances in applications of these tools to biotechnology are mostly lagging behind. After more than a century of efforts to improve microbial culturing techniques, about 70–80% of microbial diversity – recently called the “microbial dark matter” – remains uncultured. In early attempts to identify and sample these so far uncultured taxonomic lineages, methods that amplify and sequence ribosomal RNA genes were extensively used. Recent developments in cell separation techniques, DNA amplification, and high-throughput DNA sequencing platforms have now made the discovery of genes/genomes of uncultured microorganisms from different environments possible through the use of metagenomic techniques and single-cell genomics. When used synergistically, these metagenomic and single-cell techniques create a powerful tool to study microbial diversity. These genomics techniques have already been successfully exploited to identify sources for i) novel enzymes or natural products for biotechnology applications, ii) novel genes from extremophiles, and iii) whole genomes or operons from uncultured microbes. More can be done to utilize these tools more efficiently in biotechnology.

  6. Problems of microbial ecology in man space mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lizko, N. N.

    The state of microflora should be considered as one of the important links in chain of the specific functional disorders involving the spaceflight factors effects. At the same time, there occurs an astablishment of nonspecific disbiotic response of the human microflora in the space flights of various duration characterized by a decrease up to a reduction of the "defence" group of microorganisms; by an appearence of unusual microorganisms in various biotypes, by accummulatoin of the potential of pathogenic species of automicroflora with their succeeding colonization and longterm persistence. In experimental animal models to simulate dysbacteriosis and with the use of SPF-rats and primates flow aboard Cosmos biosatellites, the significance of indigenous microflora for preserving microecological homeostasis. Theoretically based and experimentally proven need for increasing the colonization resistence is cofirmed dy the practical use of the measures to stabilize microflora of the cosmonauts during space flights.

  7. A Western diet ecological module identified from the 'humanized' mouse microbiota predicts diet in adults and formula feeding in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siddharth, Jay; Holway, Nicholas; Parkinson, Scott J

    2013-01-01

    The interplay between diet and the microbiota has been implicated in the growing frequency of chronic diseases associated with the Western lifestyle. However, the complexity and variability of microbial ecology in humans and preclinical models has hampered identification of the molecular mechanisms underlying the association of the microbiota in this context. We sought to address two key questions. Can the microbial ecology of preclinical models predict human populations? And can we identify underlying principles that surpass the plasticity of microbial ecology in humans? To do this, we focused our study on diet; perhaps the most influential factor determining the composition of the gut microbiota. Beginning with a study in 'humanized' mice we identified an interactive module of 9 genera allied with Western diet intake. This module was applied to a controlled dietary study in humans. The abundance of the Western ecological module correctly predicted the dietary intake of 19/21 top and 21/21 of the bottom quartile samples inclusive of all 5 Western and 'low-fat' diet subjects, respectively. In 98 volunteers the abundance of the Western module correlated appropriately with dietary intake of saturated fatty acids, fat-soluble vitamins and fiber. Furthermore, it correlated with the geographical location and dietary habits of healthy adults from the Western, developing and third world. The module was also coupled to dietary intake in children (and piglets) correlating with formula (vs breast) feeding and associated with a precipitous development of the ecological module in young children. Our study provides a conceptual platform to translate microbial ecology from preclinical models to humans and identifies an ecological network module underlying the association of the gut microbiota with Western dietary habits.

  8. A Western diet ecological module identified from the 'humanized' mouse microbiota predicts diet in adults and formula feeding in children.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jay Siddharth

    Full Text Available The interplay between diet and the microbiota has been implicated in the growing frequency of chronic diseases associated with the Western lifestyle. However, the complexity and variability of microbial ecology in humans and preclinical models has hampered identification of the molecular mechanisms underlying the association of the microbiota in this context. We sought to address two key questions. Can the microbial ecology of preclinical models predict human populations? And can we identify underlying principles that surpass the plasticity of microbial ecology in humans? To do this, we focused our study on diet; perhaps the most influential factor determining the composition of the gut microbiota. Beginning with a study in 'humanized' mice we identified an interactive module of 9 genera allied with Western diet intake. This module was applied to a controlled dietary study in humans. The abundance of the Western ecological module correctly predicted the dietary intake of 19/21 top and 21/21 of the bottom quartile samples inclusive of all 5 Western and 'low-fat' diet subjects, respectively. In 98 volunteers the abundance of the Western module correlated appropriately with dietary intake of saturated fatty acids, fat-soluble vitamins and fiber. Furthermore, it correlated with the geographical location and dietary habits of healthy adults from the Western, developing and third world. The module was also coupled to dietary intake in children (and piglets correlating with formula (vs breast feeding and associated with a precipitous development of the ecological module in young children. Our study provides a conceptual platform to translate microbial ecology from preclinical models to humans and identifies an ecological network module underlying the association of the gut microbiota with Western dietary habits.

  9. Silage review: Using molecular approaches to define the microbial ecology of silage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAllister, T A; Dunière, L; Drouin, P; Xu, S; Wang, Y; Munns, K; Zaheer, R

    2018-05-01

    can also lead to biases in the interpretation of sequence data. Bioinformatic analyses are reliant on the integrity and presence of sequence data within established databases and can be subject to low taxonomic resolution. Despite these limitations, advancements in molecular biology are poised to revolutionize our current understanding of the microbial ecology of silage. Published by FASS Inc. and Elsevier Inc. on behalf of the American Dairy Science Association®. All rights reserved.

  10. Influences of Coupled Hydrologic and Microbial Processes on River Corridor Biogeochemistry and Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheibe, T. D.; Song, H. S.; Stegen, J.; Graham, E.; Bao, J.; Goldman, A.; Zhou, T.; Crump, A.; Hou, Z.; Hammond, G. E.; Chen, X.; Huang, M.; Zhang, X.; Nelson, W. C.; Garayburu-Caruso, V. A.

    2017-12-01

    The exchange of water between rivers and surrounding subsurface environments (hydrologic exchange flows or HEFs) is a vital aspect of river ecology and watershed function. HEFs play a key role in water quality, nutrient cycling, and ecosystem health, and they modulate water temperatures and enhance exchange of terrestrial and aquatic nutrients, which lead to elevated biogeochemical activity. However, these coupled hydrologic and microbiological processes are not well understood, particularly in the context of large managed river systems with highly variable discharge, and are poorly represented in system-scale quantitative models. Using the 75 km Hanford Reach of the Columbia River as the research domain, we apply high-resolution flow simulations supported by field observations to understand how variable river discharge interacts with hydromorphic and hydrogeologic structures to generate HEFs and distributions of subsurface residence times. We combine this understanding of hydrologic processes with microbiological activity measurements and reactive transport models to elucidate the holistic impacts of variable discharge on river corridor (surface and subsurface) ecosystems. In particular, our project seeks to develop and test new conceptual and numerical models that explicitly incorporate i) the character (chemical speciation and thermodynamics) of natural organic matter as it varies along flow paths and through mixing of groundwater and surface water, and ii) the history-dependent response of microbial communities to varying time scales of inundation associated with fluctuations in river discharge. The results of these high-resolution mechanistic models are guiding formulation and parameterization of reduced-order models applicable at reach to watershed scales. New understanding of coupled hydrology and microbiology in the river corridor will play a key role in reduction of uncertainties associated with major Earth system biogeochemical fluxes, improving

  11. Ecological distribution and population physiology defined by proteomics in a natural microbial community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Ryan S.; Denef, Vincent J.; Kalnejais, Linda H.; Suttle, K. Blake; Thomas, Brian C.; Wilmes, Paul; Smith, Richard L.; Nordstrom, D. Kirk; McCleskey, R. Blaine; Shah, Menesh B.; VerBekmoes, Nathan C.; Hettich, Robert L.; Banfield, Jillian F.

    2010-01-01

    An important challenge in microbial ecology is developing methods that simultaneously examine the physiology of organisms at the molecular level and their ecosystem level interactions in complex natural systems. We integrated extensive proteomic, geochemical, and biological information from 28 microbial communities collected from an acid mine drainage environment and representing a range of biofilm development stages and geochemical conditions to evaluate how the physiologies of the dominant and less abundant organisms change along environmental gradients. The initial colonist dominates across all environments, but its proteome changes between two stable states as communities diversify, implying that interspecies interactions affect this organism's metabolism. Its overall physiology is robust to abiotic environmental factors, but strong correlations exist between these factors and certain subsets of proteins, possibly accounting for its wide environmental distribution. Lower abundance populations are patchier in their distribution, and proteomic data indicate that their environmental niches may be constrained by specific sets of abiotic environmental factors. This research establishes an effective strategy to investigate ecological relationships between microbial physiology and the environment for whole communities in situ.

  12. Tales from the tomb: the microbial ecology of exposed rock surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brewer, Tess E; Fierer, Noah

    2018-03-01

    Although a broad diversity of eukaryotic and bacterial taxa reside on rock surfaces where they can influence the weathering of rocks and minerals, these communities and their contributions to mineral weathering remain poorly resolved. To build a more comprehensive understanding of the diversity, ecology and potential functional attributes of microbial communities living on rock, we sampled 149 tombstones across three continents and analysed their bacterial and eukaryotic communities via marker gene and shotgun metagenomic sequencing. We found that geographic location and climate were important factors structuring the composition of these communities. Moreover, the tombstone-associated microbial communities varied as a function of rock type, with granite and limestone tombstones from the same cemeteries harbouring taxonomically distinct microbial communities. The granite and limestone-associated communities also had distinct functional attributes, with granite-associated bacteria having more genes linked to acid tolerance and chemotaxis, while bacteria on limestone were more likely to be lichen associated and have genes involved in photosynthesis and radiation resistance. Together these results indicate that rock-dwelling microbes exhibit adaptations to survive the stresses of the rock surface, differ based on location, climate and rock type, and seem pre-disposed to different ecological strategies (symbiotic versus free-living lifestyles) depending on the rock type. © 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Planetary Biology and Microbial Ecology: Molecular Ecology and the Global Nitrogen cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nealson, Molly Stone (Editor); Nealson, Kenneth H. (Editor)

    1993-01-01

    This report summarizes the results of the Planetary Biology and Molecular Ecology's summer 1991 program, which was held at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The purpose of the interdisciplinary PBME program is to integrate, via lectures and laboratory work, the contributions of university and NASA scientists and student interns. The goals of the 1991 program were to examine several aspects of the biogeochemistry of the nitrogen cycle and to teach the application of modern methods of molecular genetics to field studies of organisms. Descriptions of the laboratory projects and protocols and abstracts and references of the lectures are presented.

  14. Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ternjej, Ivancica; Mihaljevic, Zlatko

    2017-10-01

    Ecology is a science that studies the mutual interactions between organisms and their environment. The fundamental subject of interest in ecology is the individual. Topics of interest to ecologists include the diversity, distribution and number of particular organisms, as well as cooperation and competition between organisms, both within and among ecosystems. Today, ecology is a multidisciplinary science. This is particularly true when the subject of interest is the ecosystem or biosphere, which requires the knowledge and input of biologists, chemists, physicists, geologists, geographists, climatologists, hydrologists and many other experts. Ecology is applied in a science of restoration, repairing disturbed sites through human intervention, in natural resource management, and in environmental impact assessments.

  15. Explicating Practicum Program Theory: A Case Example in Human Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandler, Kathryn M. M.; Williamson, Deanna L.

    2013-01-01

    This study explicated the theory underpinning the Human Ecology Practicum Program offered in the Department of Human Ecology at the University of Alberta. The program has operated for 40 years but never been formally evaluated. Using a document analysis, focus group and individual interviews, and a stakeholder working group, we explored…

  16. Rivers are social–ecological systems: Time to integrate human dimensions into riverscape ecology and management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunham, Jason B.; Angermeier, Paul L.; Crausbay, Shelley D.; Cravens, Amanda; Gosnell, Hannah; McEvoy, Jamie; Moritz, Max A.; Raheem, Nejem; Sanford, Todd

    2018-01-01

    Incorporation of concepts from landscape ecology into understanding and managing riverine ecosystems has become widely known as riverscape ecology. Riverscape ecology emphasizes interactions among processes at different scales and their consequences for valued ecosystem components, such as riverine fishes. Past studies have focused strongly on understanding the ecological processes in riverscapes and how human actions modify those processes. It is increasingly clear, however, that an understanding of the drivers behind actions that lead to human modification also merit consideration, especially regarding how those drivers influence management efficacy. These indirect drivers of riverscape outcomes can be understood in the context of a diverse array of social processes, which we collectively refer to as human dimensions. Like ecological phenomena, social processes also exhibit complex interactions across spatiotemporal scales. Greater emphasis on feedbacks between social and ecological processes will lead scientists and managers to more completely understand riverscapes as complex, dynamic, interacting social–ecological systems. Emerging applications in riverscapes, as well as studies of other ecosystems, provide examples that can lead to stronger integration of social and ecological science. We argue that conservation successes within riverscapes may not come from better ecological science, improved ecosystem service analyses, or even economic incentives if the fundamental drivers of human behaviors are not understood and addressed in conservation planning and implementation.

  17. 'TIME': A Web Application for Obtaining Insights into Microbial Ecology Using Longitudinal Microbiome Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baksi, Krishanu D; Kuntal, Bhusan K; Mande, Sharmila S

    2018-01-01

    Realization of the importance of microbiome studies, coupled with the decreasing sequencing cost, has led to the exponential growth of microbiome data. A number of these microbiome studies have focused on understanding changes in the microbial community over time. Such longitudinal microbiome studies have the potential to offer unique insights pertaining to the microbial social networks as well as their responses to perturbations. In this communication, we introduce a web based framework called 'TIME' (Temporal Insights into Microbial Ecology'), developed specifically to obtain meaningful insights from microbiome time series data. The TIME web-server is designed to accept a wide range of popular formats as input with options to preprocess and filter the data. Multiple samples, defined by a series of longitudinal time points along with their metadata information, can be compared in order to interactively visualize the temporal variations. In addition to standard microbiome data analytics, the web server implements popular time series analysis methods like Dynamic time warping, Granger causality and Dickey Fuller test to generate interactive layouts for facilitating easy biological inferences. Apart from this, a new metric for comparing metagenomic time series data has been introduced to effectively visualize the similarities/differences in the trends of the resident microbial groups. Augmenting the visualizations with the stationarity information pertaining to the microbial groups is utilized to predict the microbial competition as well as community structure. Additionally, the 'causality graph analysis' module incorporated in TIME allows predicting taxa that might have a higher influence on community structure in different conditions. TIME also allows users to easily identify potential taxonomic markers from a longitudinal microbiome analysis. We illustrate the utility of the web-server features on a few published time series microbiome data and demonstrate the

  18. Functional and Structural Succession of Soil Microbial Communities below Decomposing Human Cadavers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cobaugh, Kelly L.; Schaeffer, Sean M.; DeBruyn, Jennifer M.

    2015-01-01

    The ecological succession of microbes during cadaver decomposition has garnered interest in both basic and applied research contexts (e.g. community assembly and dynamics; forensic indicator of time since death). Yet current understanding of microbial ecology during decomposition is almost entirely based on plant litter. We know very little about microbes recycling carcass-derived organic matter despite the unique decomposition processes. Our objective was to quantify the taxonomic and functional succession of microbial populations in soils below decomposing cadavers, testing the hypotheses that a) periods of increased activity during decomposition are associated with particular taxa; and b) human-associated taxa are introduced to soils, but do not persist outside their host. We collected soils from beneath four cadavers throughout decomposition, and analyzed soil chemistry, microbial activity and bacterial community structure. As expected, decomposition resulted in pulses of soil C and nutrients (particularly ammonia) and stimulated microbial activity. There was no change in total bacterial abundances, however we observed distinct changes in both function and community composition. During active decay (7 - 12 days postmortem), respiration and biomass production rates were high: the community was dominated by Proteobacteria (increased from 15.0 to 26.1% relative abundance) and Firmicutes (increased from 1.0 to 29.0%), with reduced Acidobacteria abundances (decreased from 30.4 to 9.8%). Once decay rates slowed (10 - 23 d postmortem), respiration was elevated, but biomass production rates dropped dramatically; this community with low growth efficiency was dominated by Firmicutes (increased to 50.9%) and other anaerobic taxa. Human-associated bacteria, including the obligately anaerobic Bacteroides, were detected at high concentrations in soil throughout decomposition, up to 198 d postmortem. Our results revealed the pattern of functional and compositional succession

  19. Formation of higher plant component microbial community in closed ecological system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tirranen, L. S.

    2001-07-01

    Closed ecological systems (CES) place at the disposal of a researcher unique possibilities to study the role of microbial communities in individual components and of the entire system. The microbial community of the higher plant component has been found to form depending on specific conditions of the closed ecosystem: length of time the solution is reused, introduction of intrasystem waste water into the nutrient medium, effect of other component of the system, and system closure in terms of gas exchange. The higher plant component formed its own microbial complex different from that formed prior to closure. The microbial complex of vegetable polyculture is more diverse and stable than the monoculture of wheat. The composition of the components' microflora changed, species diversity decreased, individual species of bacteria and fungi whose numbers were not so great before the closure prevailed. Special attention should be paid to phytopathogenic and conditionally pathogenic species of microorganisms potentially hazardous to man or plants and the least controlled in CES. This situation can endanger creation of CES and make conjectural existence of preplanned components, man, specifically, and consequently, of CES as it is.

  20. PhyloChip™ microarray comparison of sampling methods used for coral microbial ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellogg, Christina A.; Piceno, Yvette M.; Tom, Lauren M.; DeSantis, Todd Z.; Zawada, David G.; Andersen, Gary L.

    2012-01-01

    Interest in coral microbial ecology has been increasing steadily over the last decade, yet standardized methods of sample collection still have not been defined. Two methods were compared for their ability to sample coral-associated microbial communities: tissue punches and foam swabs, the latter being less invasive and preferred by reef managers. Four colonies of star coral, Montastraea annularis, were sampled in the Dry Tortugas National Park (two healthy and two with white plague disease). The PhyloChip™ G3 microarray was used to assess microbial community structure of amplified 16S rRNA gene sequences. Samples clustered based on methodology rather than coral colony. Punch samples from healthy and diseased corals were distinct. All swab samples clustered closely together with the seawater control and did not group according to the health state of the corals. Although more microbial taxa were detected by the swab method, there is a much larger overlap between the water control and swab samples than punch samples, suggesting some of the additional diversity is due to contamination from water absorbed by the swab. While swabs are useful for noninvasive studies of the coral surface mucus layer, these results show that they are not optimal for studies of coral disease.

  1. Influences of organic carbon speciation on hyporheic corridor biogeochemistry and microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stegen, James C; Johnson, Tim; Fredrickson, James K; Wilkins, Michael J; Konopka, Allan E; Nelson, William C; Arntzen, Evan V; Chrisler, William B; Chu, Rosalie K; Fansler, Sarah J; Graham, Emily B; Kennedy, David W; Resch, Charles T; Tfaily, Malak; Zachara, John

    2018-02-08

    The hyporheic corridor (HC) encompasses the river-groundwater continuum, where the mixing of groundwater (GW) with river water (RW) in the HC can stimulate biogeochemical activity. Here we propose a novel thermodynamic mechanism underlying this phenomenon and reveal broader impacts on dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and microbial ecology. We show that thermodynamically favorable DOC accumulates in GW despite lower DOC concentration, and that RW contains thermodynamically less-favorable DOC, but at higher concentrations. This indicates that GW DOC is protected from microbial oxidation by low total energy within the DOC pool, whereas RW DOC is protected by lower thermodynamic favorability of carbon species. We propose that GW-RW mixing overcomes these protections and stimulates respiration. Mixing models coupled with geophysical and molecular analyses further reveal tipping points in spatiotemporal dynamics of DOC and indicate important hydrology-biochemistry-microbial feedbacks. Previously unrecognized thermodynamic mechanisms regulated by GW-RW mixing may therefore strongly influence biogeochemical and microbial dynamics in riverine ecosystems.

  2. Improved annotation of antibiotic resistance determinants reveals microbial resistomes cluster by ecology

    OpenAIRE

    Gibson, Molly K; Forsberg, Kevin J; Dantas, Gautam

    2014-01-01

    Antibiotic resistance is a dire clinical problem with important ecological dimensions. While antibiotic resistance in human pathogens continues to rise at alarming rates, the impact of environmental resistance on human health is still unclear. To investigate the relationship between human-associated and environmental resistomes, we analyzed functional metagenomic selections for resistance against 18 clinically relevant antibiotics from soil and human gut microbiota as well as a set of multidr...

  3. Microbial Ecology of Four Coral Atolls in the Northern Line Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smriga, Steven; Edwards, Robert A.; Angly, Florent; Wegley, Linda; Hatay, Mark; Hall, Dana; Brown, Elysa; Haynes, Matthew; Krause, Lutz; Sala, Enric; Sandin, Stuart A.; Thurber, Rebecca Vega; Willis, Bette L.; Azam, Farooq; Knowlton, Nancy; Rohwer, Forest

    2008-01-01

    Microbes are key players in both healthy and degraded coral reefs. A combination of metagenomics, microscopy, culturing, and water chemistry were used to characterize microbial communities on four coral atolls in the Northern Line Islands, central Pacific. Kingman, a small uninhabited atoll which lies most northerly in the chain, had microbial and water chemistry characteristic of an open ocean ecosystem. On this atoll the microbial community was equally divided between autotrophs (mostly Prochlorococcus spp.) and heterotrophs. In contrast, Kiritimati, a large and populated (∼5500 people) atoll, which is most southerly in the chain, had microbial and water chemistry characteristic of a near-shore environment. On Kiritimati, there were 10 times more microbial cells and virus-like particles in the water column and these microbes were dominated by heterotrophs, including a large percentage of potential pathogens. Culturable Vibrios were common only on Kiritimati. The benthic community on Kiritimati had the highest prevalence of coral disease and lowest coral cover. The middle atolls, Palmyra and Tabuaeran, had intermediate densities of microbes and viruses and higher percentages of autotrophic microbes than either Kingman or Kiritimati. The differences in microbial communities across atolls could reflect variation in 1) oceaonographic and/or hydrographic conditions or 2) human impacts associated with land-use and fishing. The fact that historically Kingman and Kiritimati did not differ strongly in their fish or benthic communities (both had large numbers of sharks and high coral cover) suggest an anthropogenic component in the differences in the microbial communities. Kingman is one of the world's most pristine coral reefs, and this dataset should serve as a baseline for future studies of coral reef microbes. Obtaining the microbial data set, from atolls is particularly important given the association of microbes in the ongoing degradation of coral reef ecosystems

  4. Microbial ecology of four coral atolls in the Northern Line Islands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth A Dinsdale

    Full Text Available Microbes are key players in both healthy and degraded coral reefs. A combination of metagenomics, microscopy, culturing, and water chemistry were used to characterize microbial communities on four coral atolls in the Northern Line Islands, central Pacific. Kingman, a small uninhabited atoll which lies most northerly in the chain, had microbial and water chemistry characteristic of an open ocean ecosystem. On this atoll the microbial community was equally divided between autotrophs (mostly Prochlorococcus spp. and heterotrophs. In contrast, Kiritimati, a large and populated ( approximately 5500 people atoll, which is most southerly in the chain, had microbial and water chemistry characteristic of a near-shore environment. On Kiritimati, there were 10 times more microbial cells and virus-like particles in the water column and these microbes were dominated by heterotrophs, including a large percentage of potential pathogens. Culturable Vibrios were common only on Kiritimati. The benthic community on Kiritimati had the highest prevalence of coral disease and lowest coral cover. The middle atolls, Palmyra and Tabuaeran, had intermediate densities of microbes and viruses and higher percentages of autotrophic microbes than either Kingman or Kiritimati. The differences in microbial communities across atolls could reflect variation in 1 oceaonographic and/or hydrographic conditions or 2 human impacts associated with land-use and fishing. The fact that historically Kingman and Kiritimati did not differ strongly in their fish or benthic communities (both had large numbers of sharks and high coral cover suggest an anthropogenic component in the differences in the microbial communities. Kingman is one of the world's most pristine coral reefs, and this dataset should serve as a baseline for future studies of coral reef microbes. Obtaining the microbial data set, from atolls is particularly important given the association of microbes in the ongoing degradation

  5. Microbial ecology of two hot springs of Sikkim: Predominate population and geochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Najar, Ishfaq Nabi; Sherpa, Mingma Thundu; Das, Sayak; Das, Saurav; Thakur, Nagendra

    2018-10-01

    Northeastern regions of India are known for their floral and faunal biodiversity. Especially the state of Sikkim lies in the eastern Himalayan ecological hotspot region. The state harbors many sulfur rich hot springs which have therapeutic and spiritual values. However, these hot springs are yet to be explored for their microbial ecology. The development of neo generation techniques such as metagenomics has provided an opportunity for inclusive study of microbial community of different environment. The present study describes the microbial diversity in two hot springs of Sikkim that is Polok and Borong with the assist of culture dependent and culture independent approaches. The culture independent techniques used in this study were next generation sequencing (NGS) and Phospholipid Fatty Acid Analysis (PLFA). Having relatively distinct geochemistry both the hot springs are thermophilic environments with the temperature range of 50-77 °C and pH range of 5-8. Metagenomic data revealed the dominance of bacteria over archaea. The most abundant phyla were Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes although other phyla were also present such as Acidobacteria, Nitrospirae, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Parcubacteria and Spirochaetes. The PLFA studies have shown the abundance of Gram Positive bacteria followed by Gram negative bacteria. The culture dependent technique was correlative with PLFA studies. Most abundant bacteria as isolated and identified were Gram-positive genus Geobacillus and Anoxybacillus. The genus Geobacillus has been reported for the first time in North-Eastern states of India. The Geobacillus species obtained from the concerned hot springs were Geobacillus toebii, Geobacillus lituanicus, Geobacillus Kaustophillus and the Anoxybacillus species includes Anoxybacillus gonensis and Anoxybacillus Caldiproteolyticus. The distribution of major genera and their statistical correlation analyses with the geochemistry of the springs predicted that the temperature, p

  6. Chemical ecology of interactions between human skin microbiota and mosquitoes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verhulst, N.O.; Takken, W.; Dicke, M.; Schraa, G.; Smallegange, R.C.

    2010-01-01

    Microbiota on the human skin plays a major role in body odour production. The human microbial and chemical signature displays a qualitative and quantitative correlation. Genes may influence the chemical signature by shaping the composition of the microbiota. Recent studies on human skin microbiota,

  7. Suppressive composts: microbial ecology links between abiotic environments and healthy plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadar, Yitzhak; Papadopoulou, Kalliope K

    2012-01-01

    Suppressive compost provides an environment in which plant disease development is reduced, even in the presence of a pathogen and a susceptible host. Despite the numerous positive reports, its practical application is still limited. The main reason for this is the lack of reliable prediction and quality control tools for evaluation of the level and specificity of the suppression effect. Plant disease suppression is the direct result of the activity of consortia of antagonistic microorganisms that naturally recolonize the compost during the cooling phase of the process. Thus, it is imperative to increase the level of understanding of compost microbial ecology and population dynamics. This may lead to the development of an ecological theory for complex ecosystems as well as favor the establishment of hypothesis-driven studies.

  8. A guide to statistical analysis in microbial ecology: a community-focused, living review of multivariate data analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buttigieg, Pier Luigi; Ramette, Alban

    2014-12-01

    The application of multivariate statistical analyses has become a consistent feature in microbial ecology. However, many microbial ecologists are still in the process of developing a deep understanding of these methods and appreciating their limitations. As a consequence, staying abreast of progress and debate in this arena poses an additional challenge to many microbial ecologists. To address these issues, we present the GUide to STatistical Analysis in Microbial Ecology (GUSTA ME): a dynamic, web-based resource providing accessible descriptions of numerous multivariate techniques relevant to microbial ecologists. A combination of interactive elements allows users to discover and navigate between methods relevant to their needs and examine how they have been used by others in the field. We have designed GUSTA ME to become a community-led and -curated service, which we hope will provide a common reference and forum to discuss and disseminate analytical techniques relevant to the microbial ecology community. © 2014 The Authors. FEMS Microbiology Ecology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Federation of European Microbiological Societies.

  9. The influence of e-waste recycling on the molecular ecological network of soil microbial communities in Pakistan and China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Longfei; Cheng, Zhineng; Zhang, Dayi; Song, Mengke; Wang, Yujie; Luo, Chunling; Yin, Hua; Li, Jun; Zhang, Gan

    2017-12-01

    Primitive electronic waste (e-waste) recycling releases large amounts of organic pollutants and heavy metals into the environment. As crucial moderators of geochemical cycling processes and pollutant remediation, soil microbes may be affected by these contaminants. We collected soil samples heavily contaminated by e-waste recycling in China and Pakistan, and analyzed the indigenous microbial communities. The results of this work revealed that the microbial community composition and diversity, at both whole and core community levels, were affected significantly by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and heavy metals (e.g., Cu, Zn, and Pb). The geographical distance showed limited impacts on microbial communities compared with geochemical factors. The constructed ecological network of soil microbial communities illustrated microbial co-occurrence, competition and antagonism across soils, revealing the response of microbes to soil properties and pollutants. Two of the three main modules constructed with core operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were sensitive to nutrition (total organic carbon and total nitrogen) and pollutants. Five key OTUs assigned to Acidobacteria, Proteobacteria, and Nitrospirae in ecological network were identified. This is the first study to report the effects of e-waste pollutants on soil microbial network, providing a deeper understanding of the ecological influence of crude e-waste recycling activities on soil ecological functions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Genome-resolved metagenomics reveals that sulfur metabolism dominates the microbial ecology of rising hydrothermal plumes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anantharaman, K.; Breier, J. A., Jr.; Jain, S.; Reed, D. C.; Dick, G.

    2015-12-01

    Deep-sea hydrothermal plumes occur when hot fluids from hydrothermal vents replete with chemically reduced elements and compounds like sulfide, methane, hydrogen, ammonia, iron and manganese mix with cold, oxic seawater. Chemosynthetic microbes use these reduced chemicals to power primary production and are pervasive throughout the deep sea, even at sites far removed from hydrothermal vents. Although neutrally-buoyant hydrothermal plumes have been well-studied, rising hydrothermal plumes have received little attention even though they represent an important interface in the deep-sea where microbial metabolism and particle formation processes control the transformation of important elements and impact global biogeochemical cycles. In this study, we used genome-resolved metagenomic analyses and thermodynamic-bioenergetic modeling to study the microbial ecology of rising hydrothermal plumes at five different hydrothermal vents spanning a range of geochemical gradients at the Eastern Lau Spreading Center (ELSC) in the Western Pacific Ocean. Our analyses show that differences in the geochemistry of hydrothermal vents do not manifest in microbial diversity and community composition, both of which display only minor variance across ELSC hydrothermal plumes. Microbial metabolism is dominated by oxidation of reduced sulfur species and supports a diversity of bacteria, archaea and viruses that provide intriguing insights into metabolic plasticity and virus-mediated horizontal gene transfer in the microbial community. The manifestation of sulfur oxidation genes in hydrogen and methane oxidizing organisms hints at metabolic opportunism in deep-sea microbes that would enable them to respond to varying redox conditions in hydrothermal plumes. Finally, we infer that the abundance, diversity and metabolic versatility of microbes associated with sulfur oxidation impart functional redundancy that could allow it to persist in the dynamic settings of hydrothermal plumes.

  11. Microbial mechanisms of using enhanced ecological floating beds for eutrophic water improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Qing; Hu, Yue; Li, Shuqun; Peng, Sen; Zhao, Huabing

    2016-07-01

    Enhanced ecological floating beds were implemented to reduce nutrient quantity and improve the water quality of a eutrophic lake. The results showed that average removal efficiencies of CODCr, total nitrogen, NH3-N and total phosphorus for Canna indica L. set-up were 23.1%, 15.3%, 18.1% and 19.4% higher, respectively, than that of the setup with only substrate, and 14.2%, 12.8%, 7.9% and 11.9% higher than Iris pseudacorus L. ecological floating bed. The microbial community structure had obvious differences between devices and low similarity; bacteria were mainly attached on the fiber filling. The microbial population was abundant at the start and end of the experiment. Shannon index of samples selected ranged from 0.85 to 1.05. The sequencing results showed that fiber filling collected most uncultured bacteria species and the majority of bacteria on the plant roots were β-Proteobacteria and α-Proteobacteria. The co-dominant species attaching to the filling and plant was Nitrosomonadaceae. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. The Ecology of Human Development in Retrospect and Prospect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bronfenbrenner, Urie

    In attempting to define the "ecology" of human development, the term's history and connotations are discussed. The ecological approach requires that the person, the environment, and the relations between them be conceptualized in terms of systems, and subsystems within systems. The experimental situation is not limited to being…

  13. Microbial and plant ecology of a long-term TNT-contaminated site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Travis, Emma R.; Bruce, Neil C.; Rosser, Susan J.

    2008-01-01

    The contamination of the environment with explosive residues presents a serious ecological problem at sites across the world, with the highly toxic compound trinitrotoluene (TNT) the most widespread contaminant. This study examines the soil microbial community composition across a long-term TNT-contaminated site. It also investigates the extent of nitroaromatic contamination and its effect on vegetation. Concentrations of TNT and its metabolites varied across the site and this was observed to dramatically impact on the extent and diversity of the vegetation, with the most heavily contaminated area completely devoid of vegetation. Bryophytes were seen to be particularly sensitive to TNT contamination. The microbial population experienced both a reduction in culturable bacterial numbers and a shift in composition at the high concentrations of TNT. DGGE and community-level physiological profiling (CLPP) revealed a clear change in both the genetic and functional diversity of the soil when soil was contaminated with TNT. - Long-term contamination of soil with TNT reduces the extent and diversity of vegetation, decreases culturable bacterial numbers and shifts the microbial community composition

  14. A Novel Analysis Method for Paired-Sample Microbial Ecology Experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olesen, Scott W; Vora, Suhani; Techtmann, Stephen M; Fortney, Julian L; Bastidas-Oyanedel, Juan R; Rodríguez, Jorge; Hazen, Terry C; Alm, Eric J

    2016-01-01

    Many microbial ecology experiments use sequencing data to measure a community's response to an experimental treatment. In a common experimental design, two units, one control and one experimental, are sampled before and after the treatment is applied to the experimental unit. The four resulting samples contain information about the dynamics of organisms that respond to the treatment, but there are no analytical methods designed to extract exactly this type of information from this configuration of samples. Here we present an analytical method specifically designed to visualize and generate hypotheses about microbial community dynamics in experiments that have paired samples and few or no replicates. The method is based on the Poisson lognormal distribution, long studied in macroecology, which we found accurately models the abundance distribution of taxa counts from 16S rRNA surveys. To demonstrate the method's validity and potential, we analyzed an experiment that measured the effect of crude oil on ocean microbial communities in microcosm. Our method identified known oil degraders as well as two clades, Maricurvus and Rhodobacteraceae, that responded to amendment with oil but do not include known oil degraders. Our approach is sensitive to organisms that increased in abundance only in the experimental unit but less sensitive to organisms that increased in both control and experimental units, thus mitigating the role of "bottle effects".

  15. 'Everything is everywhere: but the environment selects': ubiquitous distribution and ecological determinism in microbial biogeography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Malley, Maureen A

    2008-09-01

    Recent discoveries of geographical patterns in microbial distribution are undermining microbiology's exclusively ecological explanations of biogeography and their fundamental assumption that 'everything is everywhere: but the environment selects'. This statement was generally promulgated by Dutch microbiologist Martinus Wilhelm Beijerinck early in the twentieth century and specifically articulated in 1934 by his compatriot, Lourens G. M. Baas Becking. The persistence of this precept throughout twentieth-century microbiology raises a number of issues in relation to its formulation and widespread acceptance. This paper will trace the conceptual history of Beijerinck's claim that 'everything is everywhere' in relation to a more general account of its theoretical, experimental and institutional context. His principle also needs to be situated in relationship to plant and animal biogeography, which, this paper will argue, forms a continuum of thought with microbial biogeography. Finally, a brief overview of the contemporary microbiological research challenging 'everything is everywhere' reveals that philosophical issues from Beijerinck's era of microbiology still provoke intense discussion in twenty-first century investigations of microbial biogeography.

  16. The Influence of Ecological and Conventional Plant Production Systems on Soil Microbial Quality under Hops (Humulus lupulus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oszust, Karolina; Frąc, Magdalena; Gryta, Agata; Bilińska, Nina

    2014-01-01

    The knowledge about microorganisms—activity and diversity under hop production is still limited. We assumed that, different systems of hop production (within the same soil and climatic conditions) significantly influence on the composition of soil microbial populations and its functional activity (metabolic potential). Therefore, we compared a set of soil microbial properties in the field experiment of two hop production systems (a) ecological based on the use of probiotic preparations and organic fertilization (b) conventional—with the use of chemical pesticides and mineral fertilizers. Soil analyses included following microbial properties: The total number microorganisms, a bunch of soil enzyme activities, the catabolic potential was also assessed following Biolog EcoPlates®. Moreover, the abundance of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) was characterized by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis (T-RFLP) of PCR ammonia monooxygenase α-subunit (amoA) gene products. Conventional and ecological systems of hop production were able to affect soil microbial state in different seasonal manner. Favorable effect on soil microbial activity met under ecological, was more probably due to livestock-based manure and fermented plant extracts application. No negative influence on conventional hopyard soil was revealed. Both type of production fulfilled fertilizing demands. Under ecological production it was due to livestock-based manure fertilizers and fermented plant extracts application. PMID:24897025

  17. The Influence of Ecological and Conventional Plant Production Systems on Soil Microbial Quality under Hops (Humulus lupulus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karolina Oszust

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The knowledge about microorganisms—activity and diversity under hop production is still limited. We assumed that, different systems of hop production (within the same soil and climatic conditions significantly influence on the composition of soil microbial populations and its functional activity (metabolic potential. Therefore, we compared a set of soil microbial properties in the field experiment of two hop production systems (a ecological based on the use of probiotic preparations and organic fertilization (b conventional—with the use of chemical pesticides and mineral fertilizers. Soil analyses included following microbial properties: The total number microorganisms, a bunch of soil enzyme activities, the catabolic potential was also assessed following Biolog EcoPlates®. Moreover, the abundance of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA was characterized by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis (T-RFLP of PCR ammonia monooxygenase α-subunit (amoA gene products. Conventional and ecological systems of hop production were able to affect soil microbial state in different seasonal manner. Favorable effect on soil microbial activity met under ecological, was more probably due to livestock-based manure and fermented plant extracts application. No negative influence on conventional hopyard soil was revealed. Both type of production fulfilled fertilizing demands. Under ecological production it was due to livestock-based manure fertilizers and fermented plant extracts application.

  18. Soil amendments improve microbial ecology parameters of "topsoil inoculum" used in post-mining restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumaresan, Deepak; Munoz-Rojas, Miriam; Moreira-Grez, Benjamin; Kariman, Khalil; Whiteley, Andrew

    2017-04-01

    Mine operations generate substantial volumes of waste substrates, which are crushed and/or chemically treated waste rock from which ores are extracted. Establishment of rehabilitated landforms using post-mining substrates (i.e. waste rocks, tailings) that typically exhibit extreme conditions (such as high pH, nutrient deficiency, excessive salinity and metal toxicity) can be a major environmental problem and a critical issue during mine closure operations. More importantly, mine sites are located predominantly in arid or semi-arid lands where our understanding of basic ecosystem processes and microbial interactions with native plants (e.g. Eucalyptus spp., Acacia spp., Grevillea spp. in Western Australia) are limited. Despite the wide acknowledgement on the impact of microbial functional diversity on overall soil and plant health, no detailed attention has been paid to understand the role of belowground microbial functional diversity in the context of mine rehabilitation strategies. In this research, we investigated the role of nitrogen-based and microbial consortia amendments on improving the microbial ecology parameters of "topsoil inoculum" and subsequently its cascading effect on seedling establishment and plant morphology of Acacia ancistrocarpa, a legume native to the Pilbara and other regions of Western Australia and commonly used in arid zone restoration. The study was conducted under controlled environmental conditions in potted plants using topsoil retrieved from previously stockpiled material as growth media. A morphological assessment was undertaken to measure shoot length, shoot weight, root length, root area and root weight. Soil chemical properties, e.g. carbon, nitrogen and trace metals concentrations were determined Microbial activity was measured with the 1-day CO2 test, which determines soil microbial respiration rate based on the measurement of the CO2 burst produced after moistening dry soil (Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2016). Bacterial and archaeal

  19. Earth's Earliest Ecosystems in the C: The Use of Microbial Mats to Demonstrate General Principles of Scientific Inquiry and Microbial Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bebout, Brad M.; Bucaria, Robin

    2006-01-01

    Microbial mats are living examples of the most ancient biological communities on Earth. As Earth's earliest ecosystems, they are centrally important to understanding the history of life on our planet and are useful models for the search for life elsewhere. As relatively compact (but complete) ecosystems, microbial mats are also extremely useful for educational activities. Mats may be used to demonstrate a wide variety of concepts in general and microbial ecology, including the biogeochemical cycling of elements, photosynthesis and respiration, and the origin of the Earth's present oxygen containing atmosphere. Microbial mats can be found in a number of common environments accessible to teachers, and laboratory microbial mats can be constructed using materials purchased from biological supply houses. With funding from NASA's Exobiology program, we have developed curriculum and web-based activities centered on the use of microbial mats as tools for demonstrating general principles in ecology, and the scientific process. Our web site (http://microbes.arc.nasa.gov) includes reference materials, lesson plans, and a "Web Lab", featuring living mats maintained in a mini-aquarium. The site also provides information as to how research on microbial mats supports NASA's goals, and various NASA missions. A photo gallery contains images of mats, microscopic views of the organisms that form them, and our own research activities. An animated educational video on the web site uses computer graphic and video microscopy to take students on a journey into a microbial mat. These activities are targeted to a middle school audience and are aligned with the National Science Standards.

  20. Microbiology Meets Archaeology: Soil Microbial Communities Reveal Different Human Activities at Archaic Monte Iato (Sixth Century BC).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margesin, Rosa; Siles, José A; Cajthaml, Tomas; Öhlinger, Birgit; Kistler, Erich

    2017-05-01

    Microbial ecology has been recognized as useful in archaeological studies. At Archaic Monte Iato in Western Sicily, a native (indigenous) building was discovered. The objective of this study was the first examination of soil microbial communities related to this building. Soil samples were collected from archaeological layers at a ritual deposit (food waste disposal) in the main room and above the fireplace in the annex. Microbial soil characterization included abundance (cellular phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA), viable bacterial counts), activity (physiological profiles, enzyme activities of viable bacteria), diversity, and community structure (bacterial and fungal Illumina amplicon sequencing, identification of viable bacteria). PLFA-derived microbial abundance was lower in soils from the fireplace than in soils from the deposit; the opposite was observed with culturable bacteria. Microbial communities in soils from the fireplace had a higher ability to metabolize carboxylic and acetic acids, while those in soils from the deposit metabolized preferentially carbohydrates. The lower deposit layer was characterized by higher total microbial and bacterial abundance and bacterial richness and by a different carbohydrate metabolization profile compared to the upper deposit layer. Microbial community structures in the fireplace were similar and could be distinguished from those in the two deposit layers, which had different microbial communities. Our data confirmed our hypothesis that human consumption habits left traces on microbiota in the archaeological evidence; therefore, microbiological residues as part of the so-called ecofacts are, like artifacts, key indicators of consumer behavior in the past.

  1. Ecological Insights into the Dynamics of Plant Biomass-Degrading Microbial Consortia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez, Diego Javier; Dini-Andreote, Francisco; DeAngelis, Kristen M; Singer, Steven W; Salles, Joana Falcão; van Elsas, Jan Dirk

    2017-10-01

    Plant biomass (PB) is an important resource for biofuel production. However, the frequent lack of efficiency of PB saccharification is still an industrial bottleneck. The use of enzyme cocktails produced from PB-degrading microbial consortia (PB-dmc) is a promising approach to optimize this process. Nevertheless, the proper use and manipulation of PB-dmc depends on a sound understanding of the ecological processes and mechanisms that exist in these communities. This Opinion article provides an overview of arguments as to how spatiotemporal nutritional fluxes influence the successional dynamics and ecological interactions (synergism versus competition) between populations in PB-dmc. The themes of niche occupancy, 'sugar cheaters', minimal effective consortium, and the Black Queen Hypothesis are raised as key subjects that foster our appraisal of such systems. Here we provide a conceptual framework that describes the critical topics underpinning the ecological basis of PB-dmc, giving a solid foundation upon which further prospective experimentation can be developed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. A human gut microbial gene catalogue established by metagenomic sequencing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    dos Santos, Marcelo Bertalan Quintanilha; Sicheritz-Pontén, Thomas; Nielsen, Henrik Bjørn

    2010-01-01

    To understand the impact of gut microbes on human health and well-being it is crucial to assess their genetic potential. Here we describe the Illumina-based metagenomic sequencing, assembly and characterization of 3.3 million non-redundant microbial genes, derived from 576.7 gigabases of sequence...

  3. Mobilifilum chasei: morphology and ecology of a spirochete from an intertidal stratified microbial mat community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margulis, L.; Hinkle, G.; Stolz, J.; Craft, F.; Esteve, I.; Guerrero, R.

    1990-01-01

    Spirochetes were found in the lower anoxiphototrophic layer of a stratified microbial mat (North Pond, Laguna Figueroa, Baja California, Mexico). Ultra-structural analysis of thin sections of field samples revealed spirochetes approximately 0.25 micrometer in diameter with 10 or more periplasmic flagella, leading to the interpretation that these spirochetes bear 10 flagellar insertions on each end. Morphometric study showed these free-living spirochetes greatly resemble certain symbiotic ones, i.e., Borrelia and certain termite spirochetes, the transverse sections of which are presented here. The ultrastructure of this spirochete also resembles Hollandina and Diplocalyx (spirochetes symbiotic in arthropods) more than it does Spirochaeta, the well known genus of mud-dwelling spirochetes. The new spirochete was detected in mat material collected both in 1985 and in 1987. Unique morphology (i.e., conspicuous outer coat of inner membrane, large number of periplasmic flagella) and ecology prompt us to name a new free-living spirochete.

  4. Studies of effects of closed microbial ecology. Report of 180-day test period

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenyon, A. J.

    1972-01-01

    Experiments were performed to determine the influence closed microbial ecologies have on modification or simplification of natural intestinal flora of ferrets in a closed environmental system. On the basis of previous tests in which certain species (Salmonella and Bacteroides) were decreased at 90 days of enclosure, a second trial was constructed for 180-day tests. In this trial there was little difference in the 8 major classes of intestinal flora between animals in the Open and Closed environmental groups except for the level of Lactobacillus. It is of extreme importance to note that when both Open and Closed groups contracted hemorrhagic gastritis, the interrelationship of this agent with other intestinal flora produced a more profound effect on animals from the Closed Group, particularly with reference to Lactobacillus levels.

  5. Dietary nisin modulates the gastrointestinal microbial ecology and enhances growth performance of the broiler chickens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damian Józefiak

    Full Text Available Due to antimicrobial properties, nisin is one of the most commonly used and investigated bacteriocins for food preservation. Surprisingly, nisin has had limited use in animal feed as well as there are only few reports on its influence on microbial ecology of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT. The present study therefore aimed at investigating effects of dietary nisin on broiler chicken GIT microbial ecology and performance in comparison to salinomycin, the widely used ionophore coccidiostat. In total, 720 one-day-old male Ross 308 chicks were randomly distributed to six experimental groups. The positive control (PC diet was supplemented with salinomycin (60 mg/kg. The nisin (NI diets were supplemented with increasing levels (100, 300, 900 and 2700 IU nisin/g, respectively of the bacteriocin. The negative control (NC diet contained no additives. At slaughter (35 days of age, activity of specific bacterial enzymes (α- and β-glucosidases, α-galactosidases and β-glucuronidase in crop, ileum and caeca were significantly higher (P<0.05 in the NC group, and nisin supplementation decreased the enzyme activities to levels observed for the PC group. A similar inhibitory influence on bacterial activity was reflected in the levels of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA and putrefactive SCFA (PSCFA in digesta from crop and ileum; no effect was observed in caeca. Counts of Bacteroides and Enterobacteriacae in ileum digesta were significantly (P<0.001 decreased by nisin and salinomycin, but no effects were observed on the counts of Clostridium perfringens, Lactobacillus/Enterococcus and total bacteria. Like salinomycin, nisin supplementation improved broiler growth performance in a dose-dependent manner; compared to the NC group, the body weight gain of the NI₉₀₀ and NI₂₇₀₀ groups was improved by 4.7 and 8.7%, respectively. Our findings suggest that dietary nisin exerts a mode of action similar to salinomycin and could be considered as a dietary

  6. Community cyberinfrastructure for Advanced Microbial Ecology Research and Analysis: the CAMERA resource.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Shulei; Chen, Jing; Li, Weizhong; Altintas, Ilkay; Lin, Abel; Peltier, Steve; Stocks, Karen; Allen, Eric E; Ellisman, Mark; Grethe, Jeffrey; Wooley, John

    2011-01-01

    The Community Cyberinfrastructure for Advanced Microbial Ecology Research and Analysis (CAMERA, http://camera.calit2.net/) is a database and associated computational infrastructure that provides a single system for depositing, locating, analyzing, visualizing and sharing data about microbial biology through an advanced web-based analysis portal. CAMERA collects and links metadata relevant to environmental metagenome data sets with annotation in a semantically-aware environment allowing users to write expressive semantic queries against the database. To meet the needs of the research community, users are able to query metadata categories such as habitat, sample type, time, location and other environmental physicochemical parameters. CAMERA is compliant with the standards promulgated by the Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC), and sustains a role within the GSC in extending standards for content and format of the metagenomic data and metadata and its submission to the CAMERA repository. To ensure wide, ready access to data and annotation, CAMERA also provides data submission tools to allow researchers to share and forward data to other metagenomics sites and community data archives such as GenBank. It has multiple interfaces for easy submission of large or complex data sets, and supports pre-registration of samples for sequencing. CAMERA integrates a growing list of tools and viewers for querying, analyzing, annotating and comparing metagenome and genome data.

  7. Earth's Earliest Ecosystems in the Classroom: The Use of Microbial Mats to Teach General Principles in Microbial Ecology, and Scientific Inquiry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beboutl, Brad M.; Bucaria, Robin

    2004-01-01

    Microbial mats are living examples of the most ancient biological communities on earth, and may also be useful models for the search for life elsewhere. They are centrally important to Astrobiology. In this lecture, we will present an introduction to microbial mats, as well as an introduction to our web-based educational module on the subject of microbial ecology, featuring living mats maintained in a mini "Web Lab" complete with remotely-operable instrumentation. We have partnered with a number of outreach specialists in order to produce an informative and educational web-based presentation, aspects of which will be exported to museum exhibits reaching a wide audience. On our web site, we will conduct regularly scheduled experimental manipulations, linking the experiments to our research activities, and demonstrating fundamental principles of scientific research.

  8. Natural environments, ancestral diets, and microbial ecology: is there a modern "paleo-deficit disorder"? Part II.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Logan, Alan C; Katzman, Martin A; Balanzá-Martínez, Vicent

    2015-03-10

    Famed microbiologist René J. Dubos (1901-1982) was an early pioneer in the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) construct. In the 1960s, he conducted groundbreaking research concerning the ways in which early-life experience with nutrition, microbiota, stress, and other environmental variables could influence later-life health outcomes. He recognized the co-evolutionary relationship between microbiota and the human host. Almost 2 decades before the hygiene hypothesis, he suggested that children in developed nations were becoming too sanitized (vs. our ancestral past) and that scientists should determine whether the childhood environment should be "dirtied up in a controlled manner." He also argued that oft-celebrated growth chart increases via changes in the global food supply and dietary patterns should not be equated to quality of life and mental health. Here in the second part of our review, we reflect the words of Dubos off contemporary research findings in the areas of diet, the gut-brain-axis (microbiota and anxiety and depression) and microbial ecology. Finally, we argue, as Dubos did 40 years ago, that researchers should more closely examine the relevancy of silo-sequestered, reductionist findings in the larger picture of human quality of life. In the context of global climate change and the epidemiological transition, an allergy epidemic and psychosocial stress, our review suggests that discussions of natural environments, urbanization, biodiversity, microbiota, nutrition, and mental health, are often one in the same.

  9. Ecology and Evolution of the Human Microbiota: Fire, Farming and Antibiotics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael R. Gillings

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Human activities significantly affect all ecosystems on the planet, including the assemblages that comprise our own microbiota. Over the last five million years, various evolutionary and ecological drivers have altered the composition of the human microbiota, including the use of fire, the invention of agriculture, and the increasing availability of processed foods after the Industrial Revolution. However, no factor has had a faster or more direct effect than antimicrobial agents. Biocides, disinfectants and antibiotics select for individual cells that carry resistance genes, immediately reducing both overall microbial diversity and within-species genetic diversity. Treated individuals may never recover their original diversity, and repeated treatments lead to a series of genetic bottlenecks. The sequential introduction of diverse antimicrobial agents has selected for increasingly complex DNA elements that carry multiple resistance genes, and has fostered their spread through the human microbiota. Practices that interfere with microbial colonization, such as sanitation, Caesarian births and bottle-feeding, exacerbate the effects of antimicrobials, generating species-poor and less resilient microbial assemblages in the developed world. More and more evidence is accumulating that these perturbations to our internal ecosystems lie at the heart of many diseases whose frequency has shown a dramatic increase over the last half century.

  10. Ecology and Evolution of the Human Microbiota: Fire, Farming and Antibiotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillings, Michael R; Paulsen, Ian T; Tetu, Sasha G

    2015-09-08

    Human activities significantly affect all ecosystems on the planet, including the assemblages that comprise our own microbiota. Over the last five million years, various evolutionary and ecological drivers have altered the composition of the human microbiota, including the use of fire, the invention of agriculture, and the increasing availability of processed foods after the Industrial Revolution. However, no factor has had a faster or more direct effect than antimicrobial agents. Biocides, disinfectants and antibiotics select for individual cells that carry resistance genes, immediately reducing both overall microbial diversity and within-species genetic diversity. Treated individuals may never recover their original diversity, and repeated treatments lead to a series of genetic bottlenecks. The sequential introduction of diverse antimicrobial agents has selected for increasingly complex DNA elements that carry multiple resistance genes, and has fostered their spread through the human microbiota. Practices that interfere with microbial colonization, such as sanitation, Caesarian births and bottle-feeding, exacerbate the effects of antimicrobials, generating species-poor and less resilient microbial assemblages in the developed world. More and more evidence is accumulating that these perturbations to our internal ecosystems lie at the heart of many diseases whose frequency has shown a dramatic increase over the last half century.

  11. Considerations in representing human individuals in social ecological models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manfredo, Michael J.; Teel, Tara L.; Gavin, Michael C.; Fulton, David C.

    2017-01-01

    In this chapter we focus on how to integrate the human individual into social-ecological systems analysis, and how to improve research on individual thought and action regarding the environment by locating it within the broader social-ecological context. We discuss three key questions as considerations for future research: (1) is human thought conceptualized as a dynamic and adaptive process, (2) is the individual placed in a multi-level context (including within-person levels, person-group interactions, and institutional and structural factors), and (3) is human thought seen as mutually constructed with the social and natural environment. Increased emphasis on the individual will be essential if we are to understand agency, innovation, and adaptation in social-ecological systems.

  12. Global ecology and the human hair composition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhuk, L.I.; Kist, A.A.

    1993-01-01

    As an example of the mapping of human hair composition, the territory of Uzbekistan was chosen. The data and the maps obtained were compared with the environmental situation and medical statistics. World maps were drawn on the basis of various authors' data. The possibility of using human hair for radioactivity studies is discussed on the basis of data obtained in the Chernobyl area. The proposed scheme of human hair analysis may be used for world mapping for chemical elements, radionuclides, pesticides, dioxides, PCBs, etc., either to picture the global situation or as a health status on the level of populations. (author) 27 refs. 8 figs; 1 tab

  13. Human Dimensions of Coral Reef Social-Ecological Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John N. Kittinger

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are among the most diverse ecosystems on the planet but are declining because of human activities. Despite general recognition of the human role in the plight of coral reefs, the vast majority of research focuses on the ecological rather than the human dimensions of reef ecosystems, limiting our understanding of social relationships with these environments as well as potential solutions for reef recovery. General frameworks for social-ecological systems (SESs have been advanced, but system-specific approaches are needed to develop a more nuanced view of human-environmental interactions for specific contexts and resource systems, and at specific scales. We synthesize existing concepts related to SESs and present a human dimensions framework that explores the linkages between social system structural traits, human activities, ecosystem services, and human well-being in coral reef SESs. Key features of the framework include social-ecological reciprocity, proximate and underlying dimensions, and the directionality of key relationships and feedback loops. Such frameworks are needed if human dimensions research is to be more fully integrated into studies of ecosystem change and the sustainability of linked SESs.

  14. Ecological determinants of health: food and environment on human health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Alice M L

    2017-04-01

    Human health and diseases are determined by many complex factors. Health threats from the human-animal-ecosystems interface (HAEI) and zoonotic diseases (zoonoses) impose an increasing risk continuously to public health, from those emerging pathogens transmitted through contact with animals, food, water and contaminated environments. Immense challenges forced on the ecological perspectives on food and the eco-environments, including aquaculture, agriculture and the entire food systems. Impacts of food and eco-environments on human health will be examined amongst the importance of human interventions for intended purposes in lowering the adverse effects on the biodiversity. The complexity of relevant conditions defined as factors contributing to the ecological determinants of health will be illuminated from different perspectives based on concepts, citations, examples and models, in conjunction with harmful consequential effects of human-induced disturbances to our environments and food systems, together with the burdens from ecosystem disruption, environmental hazards and loss of ecosystem functions. The eco-health literacy should be further promoting under the "One Health" vision, with "One World" concept under Ecological Public Health Model for sustaining our environments and the planet earth for all beings, which is coincidentally echoing Confucian's theory for the environmental ethics of ecological harmony.

  15. Significance of Microbial Communities and Interactions in Safeguarding Reactive Mine Tailings by Ecological Engineering▿†

    Science.gov (United States)

    N̆ancucheo, Ivan; Johnson, D. Barrie

    2011-01-01

    Pyritic mine tailings (mineral waste generated by metal mining) pose significant risk to the environment as point sources of acidic, metal-rich effluents (acid mine drainage [AMD]). While the accelerated oxidative dissolution of pyrite and other sulfide minerals in tailings by acidophilic chemolithotrophic prokaryotes has been widely reported, other acidophiles (heterotrophic bacteria that catalyze the dissimilatory reduction of iron and sulfur) can reverse the reactions involved in AMD genesis, and these have been implicated in the “natural attenuation” of mine waters. We have investigated whether by manipulating microbial communities in tailings (inoculating with iron- and sulfur-reducing acidophilic bacteria and phototrophic acidophilic microalgae) it is possible to mitigate the impact of the acid-generating and metal-mobilizing chemolithotrophic prokaryotes that are indigenous to tailing deposits. Sixty tailings mesocosms were set up, using five different microbial inoculation variants, and analyzed at regular intervals for changes in physicochemical and microbiological parameters for up to 1 year. Differences between treatment protocols were most apparent between tailings that had been inoculated with acidophilic algae in addition to aerobic and anaerobic heterotrophic bacteria and those that had been inoculated with only pyrite-oxidizing chemolithotrophs; these differences included higher pH values, lower redox potentials, and smaller concentrations of soluble copper and zinc. The results suggest that empirical ecological engineering of tailing lagoons to promote the growth and activities of iron- and sulfate-reducing bacteria could minimize their risk of AMD production and that the heterotrophic populations could be sustained by facilitating the growth of microalgae to provide continuous inputs of organic carbon. PMID:21965397

  16. Microbial ecology of Vietnamese Tra fish (Pangasius hypophthalmus) fillets during processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong Thi, Anh Ngoc; Noseda, Bert; Samapundo, Simbarashe; Nguyen, Binh Ly; Broekaert, Katrien; Rasschaert, Geertrui; Heyndrickx, Marc; Devlieghere, Frank

    2013-10-15

    There are numerous factors that can have an impact on the microbial ecology and quality of frozen Pangasius hypophthalmus fillets during processing in Vietnam. The presence of spoilage bacteria along the processing line can shorten the shelf-life of thawed frozen fish products. Therefore, the spoilage microbiota throughout the processing chain of two companies (BC: large scale factory, chlorine-based process, BW: large scale factory, water-based process and SC: small scale factory, chlorine-based process) was identified by culture-dependent techniques and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The microbiological counts were observed to be insignificantly different (p>0.05) between BC and BW. Surprisingly, chlorine treated fillets from the SC line were revealed to have significantly higher microbial counts than potable water treated fillets at BW line. This was determined to be a result of temperature abuse during processing at SC, with temperatures even greater than 10 °C being recorded from skinning onwards. On the contrary, the microbiota related to spoilage for BC and BW lines was determined by 16S rRNA gene sequencing to be more diverse than that on the SC line. A total of 174 isolates, 20 genera and 38 species were identified along the processing chains. The genera Aeromonas, Acinetobacter, Lactococcus and Enterococcus were prevalent at various processing steps on all the processing lines evaluated. A diverse range of isolates belonging to the Enterobacteriaceae such as Providencia, Shigella, Klebsiella, Enterobacter and Wautersiella were isolated from fillets sampled on the SC line whereas Serratia was only observed on fillets sampled on the BC and BW lines. The results can be used to improve Good Manufacturing Practices for processed Pangasius fillets and to select effective measures to prolong the shelf-life of thawed Vietnamese Pangasius fillets products. © 2013.

  17. Ecology of the aging human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonnen, Joshua A; Santa Cruz, Karen; Hemmy, Laura S; Woltjer, Randall; Leverenz, James B; Montine, Kathleen S; Jack, Clifford R; Kaye, Jeffrey; Lim, Kelvin; Larson, Eric B; White, Lon; Montine, Thomas J

    2011-08-01

    Alzheimer disease, cerebral vascular brain injury, and isocortical Lewy body disease (LBD) are the major contributors to dementia in community- and population-based studies. To estimate the prevalence of clinically silent forms of these diseases in cognitively normal (CN) adults. Autopsy study. Community- and population based. A total of 1672 brain autopsies from the Adult Changes in Thought study, Honolulu-Asia Aging Study, Nun Study, and Oregon Brain Aging Study, of which 424 met the criteria for CN. Of these, 336 cases had a comprehensive neuropathologic examination of neuritic plaque density, Braak stage for neurofibrillary tangles, LB distribution, and number of cerebral microinfarcts. Forty-seven percent of CN cases had moderate or frequent neuritic plaque density; of these, 6% also had Braak stage V or VI for neurofibrillary tangles. Fifteen percent of CN cases had medullary LBD; 8% also had nigral and 4% isocortical LBD. The presence of any cerebral microinfarcts was identified in 33% and of high-level cerebral microinfarcts in 10% of CN individuals. Overall, the burden of lesions in each individual and their comorbidity varied widely within each study but were similar across studies. These data show an individually varying complex convergence of subclinical diseases in the brain of older CN adults. Appreciating this ecology should help guide future biomarker and neuroimaging studies and clinical trials that focus on community- and population-based cohorts.

  18. Biochemistry and Ecology of Novel Cytochromes Catalyzing Fe(II) Oxidation by an Acidophilic Microbial Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singer, S. W.; Jeans, C. J.; Thelen, M. P.; Verberkmoes, N. C.; Hettich, R. C.; Chan, C. S.; Banfield, J. F.

    2007-12-01

    An acidophilic microbial community found in the Richmond Mine at Iron Mountain, CA forms abundant biofilms in extremely acidic (pHindicated that several variants of Cyt579 were present in Leptospirillum strains. Intact protein MS analysis identified the dominant variants in each biofilm and documented multiple N-terminal cleavage sites for Cyt579. By combining biochemical, geochemical and microbiological data, we established that the sequence variation and N-terminal processing of Cyt579 are selected by ecological conditions. In addition to the soluble Cyt579, the second cytochrome appears as a much larger protein complex of ~210 kDa predominant in the biofilm membrane fraction, and has an alpha-band absorption at 572 nm. The 60 kDa cytochrome subunit, Cyt572, resides in the outer membrane of LeptoII, and readily oxidizes Fe(II) at low pH (0.95 - 3.0). Several genes encoding Cyt572 were localized within a recombination hotspot between two strains of LeptoII, causing a large range of variation in the sequences. Genomic sequencing and MS proteomic studies established that the variants were also selected by ecological conditions. A general mechanistic model for Fe(II) oxidation has been developed from these studies. Initial Fe(II) oxidation by Cyt572 occurs at the outer membrane. Cyt572 then transfers electrons to Cyt579, perhaps representing an initial step in energy flow to the biofilm community. Amino acid variations and post-translational modifications of these unique cytochromes may represent fine-tuning of function in response to local environmental conditions.

  19. Soil ecology of a rock outcrop ecosystem: Abiotic stresses, soil respiration, and microbial community profiles in limestone cedar glades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, Jennifer M.; Advised by Dzantor, E. Kudjo

    2015-01-01

    Limestone cedar glades are a type of rock outcrop ecosystem characterized by shallow soil and extreme hydrologic conditions—seasonally ranging from xeric to saturated—that support a number of plant species of conservation concern. Although a rich botanical literature exists on cedar glades, soil biochemical processes and the ecology of soil microbial communities in limestone cedar glades have largely been ignored. This investigation documents the abiotic stress regime of this ecosystem (shallow soil, extreme hydrologic fluctuations and seasonally high soil surface temperatures) as well as soil physical and chemical characteristics, and relates both types of information to ecological structures and functions including vegetation, soil respiration, and soil microbial community metabolic profiles and diversity. Methods used in this investigation include field observations and measurements of soil physical and chemical properties and processes, laboratory analyses, and microbiological assays of soil samples.

  20. Role of bacterial adhesion in the microbial ecology of biofilms in cooling tower systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yang; Zhang, Wei; Sileika, Tadas; Warta, Richard; Cianciotto, Nicholas P; Packman, Aaron

    2009-01-01

    The fate of the three heterotrophic biofilm forming bacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Flavobacterium sp. in pilot scale cooling towers was evaluated both by observing the persistence of each species in the recirculating water and the formation of biofilms on steel coupons placed in each cooling tower water reservoir. Two different cooling tower experiments were performed: a short-term study (6 days) to observe the initial bacterial colonization of the cooling tower, and a long-term study (3 months) to observe the ecological dynamics with repeated introduction of the test strains. An additional set of batch experiments (6 days) was carried out to evaluate the adhesion of each strain to steel surfaces under similar conditions to those found in the cooling tower experiments. Substantial differences were observed in the microbial communities that developed in the batch systems and cooling towers. P. aeruginosa showed a low degree of adherence to steel surfaces both in batch and in the cooling towers, but grew much faster than K. pneumoniae and Flavobacterium in mixed-species biofilms and ultimately became the dominant organism in the closed batch systems. However, the low degree of adherence caused P. aeruginosa to be rapidly washed out of the open cooling tower systems, and Flavobacterium became the dominant microorganism in the cooling towers in both the short-term and long-term experiments. These results indicate that adhesion, retention and growth on solid surfaces play important roles in the bacterial community that develops in cooling tower systems.

  1. Different Land Use Intensities in Grassland Ecosystems Drive Ecology of Microbial Communities Involved in Nitrogen Turnover in Soil

    OpenAIRE

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Sch?ning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Marhan, Sven; Kandeler, Ellen; Schloter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions,...

  2. Host Ecology Rather Than Host Phylogeny Drives Amphibian Skin Microbial Community Structure in the Biodiversity Hotspot of Madagascar

    OpenAIRE

    Bletz, Molly C.; Archer, Holly; Harris, Reid N.; McKenzie, Valerie J.; Rabemananjara, Falitiana C. E.; Rakotoarison, Andolalao; Vences, Miguel

    2017-01-01

    Host-associated microbiotas of vertebrates are diverse and complex communities that contribute to host health. In particular, for amphibians, cutaneous microbial communities likely play a significant role in pathogen defense; however, our ecological understanding of these communities is still in its infancy. Here, we take advantage of the fully endemic and locally species-rich amphibian fauna of Madagascar to investigate the factors structuring amphibian skin microbiota on a large scale. Usin...

  3. The Microbiology of Subsurface, Salt-Based Nuclear Waste Repositories: Using Microbial Ecology, Bioenergetics, and Projected Conditions to Help Predict Microbial Effects on Repository Performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swanson, Juliet S.; Cherkouk, Andrea; Arnold, Thuro; Meleshyn, Artur; Reed, Donald T.

    2016-01-01

    This report summarizes the potential role of microorganisms in salt-based nuclear waste repositories using available information on the microbial ecology of hypersaline environments, the bioenergetics of survival under high ionic strength conditions, and ''repository microbiology'' related studies. In areas where microbial activity is in question, there may be a need to shift the research focus toward feasibility studies rather than studies that generate actual input for performance assessments. In areas where activity is not necessary to affect performance (e.g., biocolloid transport), repository-relevant data should be generated. Both approaches will lend a realistic perspective to a safety case/performance scenario that will most likely underscore the conservative value of that case.

  4. The Microbiology of Subsurface, Salt-Based Nuclear Waste Repositories: Using Microbial Ecology, Bioenergetics, and Projected Conditions to Help Predict Microbial Effects on Repository Performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Swanson, Juliet S. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Cherkouk, Andrea [Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Rossendorf (Germany); Arnold, Thuro [Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Rossendorf (Germany); Meleshyn, Artur [Gesellschaft fur Anlagen und Reaktorsicherheit, Braunschweig (Germany); Reed, Donald T. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2016-11-17

    This report summarizes the potential role of microorganisms in salt-based nuclear waste repositories using available information on the microbial ecology of hypersaline environments, the bioenergetics of survival under high ionic strength conditions, and “repository microbiology” related studies. In areas where microbial activity is in question, there may be a need to shift the research focus toward feasibility studies rather than studies that generate actual input for performance assessments. In areas where activity is not necessary to affect performance (e.g., biocolloid transport), repository-relevant data should be generated. Both approaches will lend a realistic perspective to a safety case/performance scenario that will most likely underscore the conservative value of that case.

  5. Microbial ecology in a future climate: effects of temperature and moisture on microbial communities of two boreal fens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peltoniemi, Krista; Laiho, Raija; Juottonen, Heli; Kiikkilä, Oili; Mäkiranta, Päivi; Minkkinen, Kari; Pennanen, Taina; Penttilä, Timo; Sarjala, Tytti; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina; Tuomivirta, Tero; Fritze, Hannu

    2015-07-01

    Impacts of warming with open-top chambers on microbial communities in wet conditions and in conditions resulting from moderate water-level drawdown (WLD) were studied across 0-50 cm depth in northern and southern boreal sedge fens. Warming alone decreased microbial biomass especially in the northern fen. Impact of warming on microbial PLFA and fungal ITS composition was more obvious in the northern fen and linked to moisture regime and sample depth. Fungal-specific PLFA increased in the surface peat in the drier regime and decreased in layers below 10 cm in the wet regime after warming. OTUs representing Tomentella and Lactarius were observed in drier regime and Mortierella in wet regime after warming in the northern fen. The ectomycorrhizal fungi responded only to WLD. Interestingly, warming together with WLD decreased archaeal 16S rRNA copy numbers in general, and fungal ITS copy numbers in the northern fen. Expectedly, many results indicated that microbial response on warming may be linked to the moisture regime. Results indicated that microbial community in the northern fen representing Arctic soils would be more sensitive to environmental changes. The response to future climate change clearly may vary even within a habitat type, exemplified here by boreal sedge fen. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Responses of soil microbial biomass and bacterial community structure to closed-off management (an ecological natural restoration measures): A case study of Dongting Lake wetland, middle China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Juan; Wu, Haipeng; Zhang, Chang; Zeng, Guangming; Liang, Jie; Guo, Shenglian; Li, Xiaodong; Huang, Lu; Lu, Lunhui; Yuan, Yujie

    2016-09-01

    Soil microbial biomass (SMB) and bacterial community structure, which are critical to global ecosystem and fundamental ecological processes, are sensitive to anthropogenic activities and environmental conditions. In this study, we examined the possible effects of closed-off management (an ecological natural restoration measures, ban on anthropogenic activity, widely employed for many important wetlands) on SMB, soil bacterial community structure and functional marker genes of nitrogen cycling in Dongting Lake wetland. Soil samples were collected from management area (MA) and contrast area (CA: human activities, such as hunting, fishing and draining, are permitted) in November 2013 and April 2014. Soil properties, microbial biomass carbon (MBC), and bacterial community structure were investigated. Comparison of the values of MA and CA showed that SMB and bacterial community diversity of the MA had a significant increase after 7 years closed-off management. The mean value of Shannon-Weiner diversity index of MA and CA respectively were 2.85 and 2.07. The gene copy numbers of 16S rRNA and nosZ of MA were significant higher than those of CA. the gene copy numbers of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and nirK of MA were significant lower than those of CA. However, there was no significant change in the gene copy numbers of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and nirS. Copyright © 2016 The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Ecological effects of combined pollution associated with e-waste recycling on the composition and diversity of soil microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jun; He, Xiao-Xin; Lin, Xue-Rui; Chen, Wen-Ce; Zhou, Qi-Xing; Shu, Wen-Sheng; Huang, Li-Nan

    2015-06-02

    The crude processing of electronic waste (e-waste) has led to serious contamination in soils. While microorganisms may play a key role in remediation of the contaminated soils, the ecological effects of combined pollution (heavy metals, polychlorinated biphenyls, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers) on the composition and diversity of microbial communities remain unknown. In this study, a suite of e-waste contaminated soils were collected from Guiyu, China, and the indigenous microbial assemblages were profiled by 16S rRNA high-throughput sequencing and clone library analysis. Our data revealed significant differences in microbial taxonomic composition between the contaminated and the reference soils, with Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Firmicutes dominating the e-waste-affected communities. Genera previously identified as organic pollutants-degrading bacteria, such as Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas, and Alcanivorax, were frequently detected. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed that approximately 70% of the observed variation in microbial assemblages in the contaminated soils was explained by eight environmental variables (including soil physiochemical parameters and organic pollutants) together, among which moisture content, decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-209), and copper were the major factors. These results provide the first detailed phylogenetic look at the microbial communities in e-waste contaminated soils, demonstrating that the complex combined pollution resulting from improper e-waste recycling may significantly alter soil microbiota.

  8. Dynamic assessment of microbial ecology (DAME): A shiny app for analysis and visualization of microbial sequencing data

    Science.gov (United States)

    A new renaissance in knowledge about the role of commensal microbiota in health and disease is well underway facilitated by culture-independent sequencing technologies; however, microbial sequencing data poses new challenges (e.g., taxonomic hierarchy, overdispersion) not generally seen in more trad...

  9. The ecology of seamounts: structure, function, and human impacts.

    OpenAIRE

    Clark, MR; Rowden, AA; Schlacher, T; Williams, A; Consalvey, M; Stocks, KI; Rogers, AD; O'Hara, TD; White, M; Shank, TM; Hall-Spencer, JM

    2010-01-01

    In this review of seamount ecology, we address a number of key scientific issues concerning the structure and function of benthic communities, human impacts, and seamount management and conservation. We consider whether community composition and diversity differ between seamounts and continental slopes, how important dispersal capabilities are in seamount connectivity, what environmental factors drive species composition and diversity, whether seamounts are centers of enhanced biological prod...

  10. The biology of human sexuality: evolution, ecology and physiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PW Bateman

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available Many evolutionary biologists argue that human sexual behaviour can be studied in exactly the same way as that of other species. Many sociologists argue that social influences effectively obscure, and are more important than, a reductionist biological approach to human sexual behaviour. Here,we authors attempt to provide a broad introduction to human sexual behaviour from a biological standpoint and to indicate where the ambiguous areas are. We outline the evolutionary selective pressures that are likely to have influenced human behaviour and mate choice in the past and in the present; ecological features that influence such things as degree of parental care and polygamy; and the associated physiology of human sexuality. Then they end with a discussion of �abnormal� sexuality.

  11. Biodiversity, the Human Microbiome and Mental Health: Moving toward a New Clinical Ecology for the 21st Century?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan L. Prescott

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Advances in research concerning the brain-related influences of the microbiome have been paradigm shifting, although at an early stage, clinical research involving beneficial microbes lends credence to the notion that the microbiome may be an important target in supporting mental health (defined here along the continuum between quality of life and the criteria for specific disorders. Through metagenomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and systems biology, a new emphasis to personalized medicine is on the horizon. Humans can now be viewed as multispecies organisms operating within an ecological theatre; it is important that clinicians increasingly see their patients in this context. Historically marginalized ecological aspects of health are destined to become an important consideration in the new frontiers of practicing medicine with the microbiome in mind. Emerging evidence indicates that macrobiodiversity in the external environment can influence mental well-being. Local biodiversity may also drive differences in human-associated microbiota; microbial diversity as a product of external biodiversity may have far-reaching effects on immune function and mood. With a focus on the microbiome as it pertains to mental health, we define environmental “grey space” and emphasize a new frontier involving bio-eco-psychological medicine. Within this concept the ecological terrain can link dysbiotic lifestyles and biodiversity on the grand scale to the local human-associated microbial ecosystems that might otherwise seem far removed from one another.

  12. Dietary marker effects on fecal microbial ecology, fecal VFA, nutrient digestibility coefficients, and growth performance in finishing pigs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerr, B J; Weber, T E; Ziemer, C J

    2015-05-01

    Use of indigestible markers such as Cr2O3, Fe2O3, and TiO2 are commonly used in animal studies to evaluate digesta rate of passage and nutrient digestibility. Yet, the potential impact of indigestible markers on fecal microbial ecology and subsequent VFA generation is not known. Two experiments utilizing a total of 72 individually fed finishing pigs were conducted to describe the impact of dietary markers on fecal microbial ecology, fecal ammonia and VFA concentrations, nutrient digestibility, and pig performance. All pigs were fed a common diet with no marker or with 0.5% Cr2O3, Fe2O3, or TiO2. In Exp. 1, after 33 d of feeding, fresh fecal samples were collected for evaluation of microbial ecology, fecal ammonia and VFA concentrations, and nutrient digestibility, along with measures of animal performance. No differences were noted in total microbes or bacterial counts in pig feces obtained from pigs fed the different dietary markers while Archaea counts were decreased (P = 0.07) in feces obtained from pigs fed the diet containing Fe2O 3compared to pigs fed the control diet. Feeding Cr2O3, Fe2O3, or TiO2 increased fecal bacterial richness (P = 0.03, 0.01, and 0.10; respectively) when compared to pigs fed diets containing no marker, but no dietary marker effects were noted on fecal microbial evenness or the Shannon-Wiener index. Analysis of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis gels did not reveal band pattern alterations due to inclusion of dietary markers in pig diets. There was no effect of dietary marker on fecal DM, ammonia, or VFA concentrations. Pigs fed diets containing Cr2O3 had greater Ca, Cu, Fe, and P (P ≤ 0.02), but lower Ti ( P= 0.08) digestibility compared to pigs fed the control diet. Pigs fed diets containing Fe2O3 had greater Ca (P = 0.08) but lower Ti (P = 0.01) digestibility compared to pigs fed the control diet. Pigs fed diets containing TiO2 had greater Fe and Zn (P ≤ 0.09), but lower Ti ( P= 0.01) digestibility compared to pigs fed the

  13. Human cognitive ecology: an instructive framework for comparative primatology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Janet Dixon

    2004-03-01

    In this review, research on human cognitive ecology is compared with studies of the cognitive ecologies of apes-especially the common chimpanzee. The objective was to assess the feasibility of extending an activity-theory framework developed in studies of humans to an integrated approach for studying the cognitive accomplishments and skills of other primates living in the wild. Six generalizations were abstracted from studies of humans: 1) Social and material environments are arranged to facilitate production. 2) Human activity is shaped by conceptual and cultural principles that provide underlying logic for working knowledge and practice. 3) Schemata (multimodal, mental representations of procedures, strategies, and techniques) govern performance in a domain. 4) Working knowledge, skills, and social identities are co-constructed in communities of practice. 5) Rehearsal improves skilled performances, from which reputations as well as material products are derived. 6) Planning and emergence are in productive tension in human practices. These generalizations are applied to findings in the literature regarding the behavior of chimpanzees and other apes in the wild to assess the potential utility of a situated-activity approach for comparative studies of primate cognition. It is argued in the Discussion that schemata constitute a common core of higher primate intelligence. Planning, emergence, and alterations of the environment to facilitate production further characterize human and chimpanzee or gorilla behaviors to varying degrees. Less apparent in the nonhuman-primate literature is evidence of governing principles, rehearsal, and skill-based reputations or identities entailing theories of mind. Nonetheless, recent observations in the wild suggest that further research is warranted to explore the rudiments of each of these components to enhance our understanding of the ecology of primate cognition and its evolutionary history. Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  14. Analysis of gut microbial regulation of host gene expression along the length of the gut and regulation of gut microbial ecology through MyD88.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsson, Erik; Tremaroli, Valentina; Lee, Ying Shiuan; Koren, Omry; Nookaew, Intawat; Fricker, Ashwana; Nielsen, Jens; Ley, Ruth E; Bäckhed, Fredrik

    2012-08-01

    The gut microbiota has profound effects on host physiology but local host-microbial interactions in the gut are only poorly characterised and are likely to vary from the sparsely colonised duodenum to the densely colonised colon. Microorganisms are recognised by pattern recognition receptors such as Toll-like receptors, which signal through the adaptor molecule MyD88. To identify host responses induced by gut microbiota along the length of the gut and whether these required MyD88, transcriptional profiles of duodenum, jejunum, ileum and colon were compared from germ-free and conventionally raised wild-type and Myd88-/- mice. The gut microbial ecology was assessed by 454-based pyrosequencing and viruses were analysed by PCR. The gut microbiota modulated the expression of a large set of genes in the small intestine and fewer genes in the colon but surprisingly few microbiota-regulated genes required MyD88 signalling. However, MyD88 was essential for microbiota-induced colonic expression of the antimicrobial genes Reg3β and Reg3γ in the epithelium, and Myd88 deficiency was associated with both a shift in bacterial diversity and a greater proportion of segmented filamentous bacteria in the small intestine. In addition, conventionally raised Myd88-/- mice had increased expression of antiviral genes in the colon, which correlated with norovirus infection in the colonic epithelium. This study provides a detailed description of tissue-specific host transcriptional responses to the normal gut microbiota along the length of the gut and demonstrates that the absence of MyD88 alters gut microbial ecology.

  15. [Microbial "friend-foe" identification in human intestine microsymbiocenosis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bukharin, O V; Petrunova, N B

    2011-01-01

    Development of methodical approach of evaluation of microbial "friend-foe" identification in human intestine microsymbiocenosis. 9 bifidobacteria cultures (dominants) and 18 opportunistic microorganism strains (associants) isolated from patients during examination for intestine dysbiosis and identified by conventional methods were used. Evaluation of microbial "friend-foe" identification in microsymbiocenosis was performed by author developed technique that is based on determination of growth factors (GF), anti-lysozyme activity (ALA) and formation of biofilms (BFF) of associants co-incubated with exometabolites of dominants. GF, ALA, BFF were studied photometrically (Bukharin O.V., 1999, 2009; O'Toole G.A., 2000). The data were statistically analyzed by Fisher-Student criteria. The detected opposite (increase/reduction) phenomenon of the "dominant-associant" pair allowed realization of the "friend-foe" identification in microsymbiocenosis. Associants (E. coli and Enterococcus faecium) were "friend" species, in which bifidobacteria exometabolites did not change growth properties and stimulated ALA (by 17,5--32%) and BFF (by 25 - 39%). Associants (Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans) were "foe" microsymbiont species, in which bifidoflora exometabolites decreased GF (by 20,7--68%), ALA (by 22,7--54%) and BFF (by 22,5 --39%). Indigenous microflora during microsymbiocenosis formation can participate in "friend-foe" identification, the basis of which is determined by microsymbiont exometabolites. The data obtained open a perspective of understanding mechanisms of intramicrobial interactions and can be used for both diagnostics and optimal selection of "candidates" during creation of new probiotics and synbiotics.

  16. A radioimmunoassay for human antibody specific for microbial antigens

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tew, J.G.; Burmeister, J.; Greene, E.J.; Pflaumer, S.K.; Goldstein, J.

    1977-01-01

    A simple and sensitive method for detecting and quantitating antibody specific or microbial antigens is described. Bacterial, fungal, parasitic or viral antigens attached to bromoacetyl cellulose or the intact cells themselves were added to a series of two-fold dilutions of human serum. After a short incubation period, which allowed human antibody to attach to the antigens, the complex was thoroughly washed and carbon-14 labeled anti-human light chain antibody was added to each dilution. The resulting complex was washed, collected on a filter pad, placed in a scintillation vial and radioassayed. The relationship between radioactivity bound and -log 2 of the serum dilution was linear. The endpoint for each assay and a confidence interval was calculated by doing inverse prediction from simple linear regression. Results obtained using this assay indicated the presence of antibody in a pool of normal human sera specific for herpes virus and for both cell surface and intracellular antigens of Streptococcus mutans, Naegleria fowleri and Cryptococcus neoformans. In general the dominant response was against the intracellular antigens rather than cell surface antigens

  17. Microbial ecology: new insights into the great wide-open culture independent sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Microbial communities are the basis for most, if not all, biochemical or biogeochemical functions in the environment. These environments are vastly different with respect to matrix, function, and biodiversity, and as such, present minute to stark differences in their respective microbial communities...

  18. The Ecology of Seamounts: Structure, Function, and Human Impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Malcolm R.; Rowden, Ashley A.; Schlacher, Thomas; Williams, Alan; Consalvey, Mireille; Stocks, Karen I.; Rogers, Alex D.; O'Hara, Timothy D.; White, Martin; Shank, Timothy M.; Hall-Spencer, Jason M.

    2010-01-01

    In this review of seamount ecology, we address a number of key scientific issues concerning the structure and function of benthic communities, human impacts, and seamount management and conservation. We consider whether community composition and diversity differ between seamounts and continental slopes, how important dispersal capabilities are in seamount connectivity, what environmental factors drive species composition and diversity, whether seamounts are centers of enhanced biological productivity, and whether they have unique trophic architecture. We discuss how vulnerable seamount communities are to fishing and mining, and how we can balance exploitation of resources and conservation of habitat. Despite considerable advances in recent years, there remain many questions about seamount ecosystems that need closer integration of molecular, oceanographic, and ecological research.

  19. Human influences on evolution, and the ecological and societal consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendry, Andrew P; Gotanda, Kiyoko M; Svensson, Erik I

    2017-01-19

    Humans have dramatic, diverse and far-reaching influences on the evolution of other organisms. Numerous examples of this human-induced contemporary evolution have been reported in a number of 'contexts', including hunting, harvesting, fishing, agriculture, medicine, climate change, pollution, eutrophication, urbanization, habitat fragmentation, biological invasions and emerging/disappearing diseases. Although numerous papers, journal special issues and books have addressed each of these contexts individually, the time has come to consider them together and thereby seek important similarities and differences. The goal of this special issue, and this introductory paper, is to promote and expand this nascent integration. We first develop predictions as to which human contexts might cause the strongest and most consistent directional selection, the greatest changes in evolutionary potential, the greatest genetic (as opposed to plastic) changes and the greatest effects on evolutionary diversification We then develop predictions as to the contexts where human-induced evolutionary changes might have the strongest effects on the population dynamics of the focal evolving species, the structure of their communities, the functions of their ecosystems and the benefits and costs for human societies. These qualitative predictions are intended as a rallying point for broader and more detailed future discussions of how human influences shape evolution, and how that evolution then influences species traits, biodiversity, ecosystems and humans.This article is part of the themed issue 'Human influences on evolution, and the ecological and societal consequences'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  20. Biofilms in lab and nature: a molecular geneticist's voyage to microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolter, Roberto

    2010-03-01

    This article reviews the latest findings on how extracellular signaling controls cell fate determination during the process of biofilm formation by Bacillus subtilis in the artificial setting of the laboratory. To complement molecular genetic approaches, surface-associated communities in settings as diverse as the pitcher plant Sarracenia purpurea and the human lung were investigated. The study of the pitcher plant revealed that the presence or absence of a mosquito larva in the pitcher plant controlled bacterial diversity in the ecosystem inside the pitcher plant. Through the analysis of the respiratory tract microbiota of humans suffering from cystic fibrosis (CF) a correlation between lung function and bacterial community diversity was found. Those that had lungs in good condition had also more diverse communities, whereas patients harboring Pseudomonas aeruginosa-the predominant CF pathogen-in their lungs had less diverse communities. Further studies focused on interspecies and intraspecies relationships at the molecular level in search for signaling molecules that would promote biofilm formation. Two molecules were found that induced biofilm formation in B. subtilis: nystatin-released by other species-and surfactin-released by B. subtilis itself. This is a role not previously known for two molecules that were known for other activities-nystatin as an antifungal and surfactin as a surfactant. In addition, surfactin was found to also trigger cannibalism under starvation. This could be a strategy to maintain the population because the cells destroyed serve as nutrients for the rest. The path that led the author to the study of microbial biofilms is also described.

  1. Shift in the microbial ecology of a hospital hot water system following the introduction of an on-site monochloramine disinfection system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baron, Julianne L; Vikram, Amit; Duda, Scott; Stout, Janet E; Bibby, Kyle

    2014-01-01

    Drinking water distribution systems, including premise plumbing, contain a diverse microbiological community that may include opportunistic pathogens. On-site supplemental disinfection systems have been proposed as a control method for opportunistic pathogens in premise plumbing. The majority of on-site disinfection systems to date have been installed in hospitals due to the high concentration of opportunistic pathogen susceptible occupants. The installation of on-site supplemental disinfection systems in hospitals allows for evaluation of the impact of on-site disinfection systems on drinking water system microbial ecology prior to widespread application. This study evaluated the impact of supplemental monochloramine on the microbial ecology of a hospital's hot water system. Samples were taken three months and immediately prior to monochloramine treatment and monthly for the first six months of treatment, and all samples were subjected to high throughput Illumina 16S rRNA region sequencing. The microbial community composition of monochloramine treated samples was dramatically different than the baseline months. There was an immediate shift towards decreased relative abundance of Betaproteobacteria, and increased relative abundance of Firmicutes, Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Cyanobacteria and Actinobacteria. Following treatment, microbial populations grouped by sampling location rather than sampling time. Over the course of treatment the relative abundance of certain genera containing opportunistic pathogens and genera containing denitrifying bacteria increased. The results demonstrate the driving influence of supplemental disinfection on premise plumbing microbial ecology and suggest the value of further investigation into the overall effects of premise plumbing disinfection strategies on microbial ecology and not solely specific target microorganisms.

  2. Functional ecology of soil microbial communities along a glacier forefield in Tierra del Fuego (Chile).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Martínez, Miguel A; Pointing, Stephen B; Pérez-Ortega, Sergio; Arróniz-Crespo, María; Green, T G Allan; Rozzi, Ricardo; Sancho, Leopoldo G; de Los Ríos, Asunción

    2016-09-01

    A previously established chronosequence from Pia Glacier forefield in Tierra del Fuego (Chile) containing soils of different ages (from bare soils to forest ones) is analyzed. We used this chronosequence as framework to postulate that microbial successional development would be accompanied by changes in functionality. To test this, the GeoChip functional microarray was used to identify diversity of genes involved in microbial carbon and nitrogen metabolism, as well as other genes related to microbial stress response and biotic interactions. Changes in putative functionality generally reflected succession-related taxonomic composition of soil microbiota. Major shifts in carbon fixation and catabolism were observed, as well as major changes in nitrogen metabolism. At initial microbial dominated succession stages, microorganisms could be mainly involved in pathways that help to increase nutrient availability, while more complex microbial transformations such as denitrification and methanogenesis, and later degradation of complex organic substrates, could be more prevalent at vegetated successional states. Shifts in virus populations broadly reflected changes in microbial diversity. Conversely, stress response pathways appeared relatively well conserved for communities along the entire chronosequence. We conclude that nutrient utilization is likely the major driver of microbial succession in these soils. [Int Microbiol 19(3):161-173 (2016)]. Copyright© by the Spanish Society for Microbiology and Institute for Catalan Studies.

  3. Putting humans in ecology: consistency in science and management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobbs, Larry; Fowler, Charles W

    2008-03-01

    Normal and abnormal levels of human participation in ecosystems can be revealed through the use of macro-ecological patterns. Such patterns also provide consistent and objective guidance that will lead to achieving and maintaining ecosystem health and sustainability. This paper focuses on the consistency of this type of guidance and management. Such management, in sharp contrast to current management practices, ensures that our actions as individuals, institutions, political groups, societies, and as a species are applied consistently across all temporal, spatial, and organizational scales. This approach supplants management of today, where inconsistency results from debate, politics, and legal and religious polarity. Consistency is achieved when human endeavors are guided by natural patterns. Pattern-based management meets long-standing demands for enlightened management that requires humans to participate in complex systems in consistent and sustainable ways.

  4. Acoustic environments matter: Synergistic benefits to humans and ecological communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francis, Clinton D; Newman, Peter; Taff, B Derrick; White, Crow; Monz, Christopher A; Levenhagen, Mitchell; Petrelli, Alissa R; Abbott, Lauren C; Newton, Jennifer; Burson, Shan; Cooper, Caren B; Fristrup, Kurt M; McClure, Christopher J W; Mennitt, Daniel; Giamellaro, Michael; Barber, Jesse R

    2017-12-01

    Protected areas are critical locations worldwide for biodiversity preservation and offer important opportunities for increasingly urbanized humans to experience nature. However, biodiversity preservation and visitor access are often at odds and creative solutions are needed to safeguard protected area natural resources in the face of high visitor use. Managing human impacts to natural soundscapes could serve as a powerful tool for resolving these conflicting objectives. Here, we review emerging research that demonstrates that the acoustic environment is critical to wildlife and that sounds shape the quality of nature-based experiences for humans. Human-made noise is known to affect animal behavior, distributions and reproductive success, and the organization of ecological communities. Additionally, new research suggests that interactions with nature, including natural sounds, confer benefits to human welfare termed psychological ecosystem services. In areas influenced by noise, elevated human-made noise not only limits the variety and abundance of organisms accessible to outdoor recreationists, but also impairs their capacity to perceive the wildlife that remains. Thus soundscape changes can degrade, and potentially limit the benefits derived from experiences with nature via indirect and direct mechanisms. We discuss the effects of noise on wildlife and visitors through the concept of listening area and demonstrate how the perceptual worlds of both birds and humans are reduced by noise. Finally, we discuss how management of soundscapes in protected areas may be an innovative solution to safeguarding both and recommend several key questions and research directions to stimulate new research. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. [Human ecology. Which is the main challenge to Russia?].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velichkovskiĭ, B T

    2002-01-01

    The main direction in the study of human ecology in Russia today is to provide evidence for how to maintain environmental balance in the biosphere of the Earth, though the above factor also exerts a constantly growing negative impact on the health and life quality of the population. During the years of the reforms in the country, all the principal medical and demographic indices have undergone negative changes. To overcome the medicodemographic crisis should be now a priority problem to be solved in human ecology in Russia. The crisis was mainly caused by the "shock" strategy of the reforms. To eliminate the negative medicodemographic consequences, a strong working motivation should be firstly created for the population, that is to create such conditions that allow people to earn well-deserved living by honest work. All this requires the development of small business, democratization of private property forms of private property, and changes in the Government's policy concerning work payment. Medical scientists should clarify how biological mechanisms, that is negative social, economic and psychological factors, cause a drastic increase in mortality, particularly in the able-bodied population. This process is likely to involve three regulation levels; the central nervous system (dynamic stereotype break, as called by I. P. Pavlov), the neuroendocrine system (great stress, as described by G. Selye), molecular-cellular free radical processes (phenoptosis, as outlined by V. P. Skulachev). Five factors that most negatively affect human health and demographic processes were identified.

  6. Microbial Influence on the Performance of Subsurface, Salt-Based Radioactive Waste Repositories. An Evaluation Based on Microbial Ecology, Bioenergetics and Projected Repository Conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swanson, J.S.; Reed, D.T.; Cherkouk, A.; Arnold, T.; Meleshyn, A.; Patterson, Russ

    2018-01-01

    For the past several decades, the Nuclear Energy Agency Salt Club has been supporting and overseeing the characterisation of rock salt as a potential host rock for deep geological repositories. This extensive evaluation of deep geological settings is aimed at determining - through a multidisciplinary approach - whether specific sites are suitable for radioactive waste disposal. Studying the microbiology of granite, basalt, tuff, and clay formations in both Europe and the United States has been an important part of this investigation, and much has been learnt about the potential influence of microorganisms on repository performance, as well as about deep subsurface microbiology in general. Some uncertainty remains, however, around the effects of microorganisms on salt-based repository performance. Using available information on the microbial ecology of hyper-saline environments, the bioenergetics of survival under high ionic strength conditions and studies related to repository microbiology, this report summarises the potential role of microorganisms in salt-based radioactive waste repositories

  7. Relationships Among Microbial Communities, Maternal Cells, Oligosaccharides, and Macronutrients in Human Milk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Janet E; Price, William J; Shafii, Bahman; Yahvah, Katherine M; Bode, Lars; McGuire, Mark A; McGuire, Michelle K

    2017-08-01

    Human milk provides all essential nutrients necessary for early life and is rich in nonnutrients, maternally derived (host) cells, and bacteria, but almost nothing is known about the interplay among these components. Research aim: The primary objective of this research was to characterize relationships among macronutrients, maternal cells, and bacteria in milk. Milk samples were collected from 16 women and analyzed for protein, lipid, fatty acid, lactose, and human milk oligosaccharide concentrations. Concentrations of maternal cells were determined using microscopy, and somatic cell counts were enumerated. Microbial ecologies were characterized using culture-independent methods. Absolute and relative concentrations of maternal cells were mostly consistent within each woman as were relative abundances of bacterial genera, and there were many apparent relationships between these factors. For instance, relative abundance of Serratia was negatively associated with somatic cell counts ( r = -.47, p < .0001) and neutrophil concentration ( r = -.38, p < .0006). Concentrations of several oligosaccharides were correlated with maternally derived cell types as well as somatic cell counts; for example, lacto-N-tetraose and lacto-N-neotetraose were inversely correlated with somatic cell counts ( r = -.64, p = .0082; r = -.52, p = .0387, respectively), and relative abundance of Staphylococcus was positively associated with total oligosaccharide concentration ( r = .69, p = .0034). Complex relationships between milk nutrients and bacterial community profile, maternal cells, and milk oligosaccharides were also apparent. These data support the possibility that profiles of maternally derived cells, nutrient concentrations, and the microbiome of human milk might be interrelated.

  8. Microbial Species and Functional Diversity in Rice Rhizosphere of High-yield Special Ecological Areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PAN Li-yuan

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Taoyuan, Yunnan Province is a special eco-site which keeps the highest yield records of rice cultivation in small planting areas. Soil microbial species and functional diversity were evaluated using cultivation method and BIOLOG ecoplates. The results showed that the microbial community of the high yield region was more abundant, and the total microbial population was 2 times of the control, furthermore, the areas belonged to the healthy "bacteria" soil, which was showed as bacteria > actinomycetes > fungi. Bacteria were the dominant populations in the rhizosphere of high yielding rice field, and the yield formation of rice was not correlated with the depth of soil layers. In order to obtain more species diversity information, Shannon diversity index H, Shannon evenness index E and Simpson index D were analyzed, and the results showed that microbial community diversity and evenness were not the main differences between the high and general yield areas. Then, the functional diversity of soil microbial community was investigated through the average well color development(AWCD and diversity index analyses. The results of AWCD analysis indicated that the metabolic activity of soil microbial community in high yield paddy soils were stronger than the control. Moreover, the difference range from large to small showed as tillering stage > harvest period > seedling period > rotation period, the stronger the rice growth, the greater the difference between the high yield region and the control. At tillering stage and harvest stage, due to the vigorous plant growth, the root exudates were rich, and the microbial communities of high yield paddy soils showed a strong metabolic activity and strong ability to use carbon sources. The results of Shannon, Simpson and McIntosh indices analysis indicated that common microbial species was not a key factor affecting the yield of rice. Tillering stage was a key period for the growth of high yield rice, and many

  9. Fractal Hypothesis of the Pelagic Microbial Ecosystem—Can Simple Ecological Principles Lead to Self-Similar Complexity in the Pelagic Microbial Food Web?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Våge, Selina; Thingstad, T. Frede

    2015-01-01

    Trophic interactions are highly complex and modern sequencing techniques reveal enormous biodiversity across multiple scales in marine microbial communities. Within the chemically and physically relatively homogeneous pelagic environment, this calls for an explanation beyond spatial and temporal heterogeneity. Based on observations of simple parasite-host and predator-prey interactions occurring at different trophic levels and levels of phylogenetic resolution, we present a theoretical perspective on this enormous biodiversity, discussing in particular self-similar aspects of pelagic microbial food web organization. Fractal methods have been used to describe a variety of natural phenomena, with studies of habitat structures being an application in ecology. In contrast to mathematical fractals where pattern generating rules are readily known, however, identifying mechanisms that lead to natural fractals is not straight-forward. Here we put forward the hypothesis that trophic interactions between pelagic microbes may be organized in a fractal-like manner, with the emergent network resembling the structure of the Sierpinski triangle. We discuss a mechanism that could be underlying the formation of repeated patterns at different trophic levels and discuss how this may help understand characteristic biomass size-spectra that hint at scale-invariant properties of the pelagic environment. If the idea of simple underlying principles leading to a fractal-like organization of the pelagic food web could be formalized, this would extend an ecologists mindset on how biological complexity could be accounted for. It may furthermore benefit ecosystem modeling by facilitating adequate model resolution across multiple scales. PMID:26648929

  10. CMEIAS bioimage informatics that define the landscape ecology of immature microbial biofilms developed on plant rhizoplane surfaces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank B Dazzo

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Colonization of the rhizoplane habitat is an important activity that enables certain microorganisms to promote plant growth. Here we describe various types of computer-assisted microscopy that reveal important ecological insights of early microbial colonization behavior within biofilms on plant root surfaces grown in soil. Examples of the primary data are obtained by analysis of processed images of rhizoplane biofilm landscapes analyzed at single-cell resolution using the emerging technology of CMEIAS bioimage informatics software. Included are various quantitative analyses of the in situ biofilm landscape ecology of microbes during their pioneer colonization of white clover roots, and of a rhizobial biofertilizer strain colonized on rice roots where it significantly enhances the productivity of this important crop plant. The results show that spatial patterns of immature biofilms developed on rhizoplanes that interface rhizosphere soil are highly structured (rather than distributed randomly when analyzed at the appropriate spatial scale, indicating that regionalized microbial cell-cell interactions and the local environment can significantly affect their cooperative and competitive colonization behaviors.

  11. Ecological Interactions of Bacteria in the Human Gut

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falony, Gwen; de Vuyst, Luc

    The colon or large intestine is one of the most important organs of the human body (Macfarlane and Cummings, 1991). Moreover, its inhabitants, the colon microbiota, are the key elements of the human digestive ecosystem. The vast complexity of the human large-intestinal microbiota has inspired researchers to consider it as an organ itself, located inside the colon and acquired postnatally (Bäckhed et al., 2005; Zocco et al., 2007). From a physiologist's point of view, this image of the colon microbiota is relevant: like an organ, it is composed of different cell lineages that communicate with both one another and the host; it consumes, stores, and redistributes energy; it mediates physiologically important chemical transformations; and it is able to maintain and repair itself through self-replication (Bäckhed et al., 2005). As a microbial organ, the human colon community does not only broaden the digestive abilities of the host (Gill et al., 2006), but also influences body processes far beyond digestion (Roberfroid, 2005b; Turnbaugh et al., 2007).

  12. Ecology and exploration of the rare biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynch, Michael D J; Neufeld, Josh D

    2015-04-01

    The profound influence of microorganisms on human life and global biogeochemical cycles underlines the value of studying the biogeography of microorganisms, exploring microbial genomes and expanding our understanding of most microbial species on Earth: that is, those present at low relative abundance. The detection and subsequent analysis of low-abundance microbial populations—the 'rare biosphere'—have demonstrated the persistence, population dynamics, dispersion and predation of these microbial species. We discuss the ecology of rare microbial populations, and highlight molecular and computational methods for targeting taxonomic 'blind spots' within the rare biosphere of complex microbial communities.

  13. Effects of shelter and enrichment on the ecology and nutrient cycling of microbial communities of subtidal carbonate sediments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forehead, Hugh I; Kendrick, Gary A; Thompson, Peter A

    2012-04-01

    The interactions between physical disturbances and biogeochemical cycling are fundamental to ecology. The benthic microbial community controls the major pathway of nutrient recycling in most shallow-water ecosystems. This community is strongly influenced by physical forcing and nutrient inputs. Our study tests the hypotheses that benthic microbial communities respond to shelter and enrichment with (1) increased biomass, (2) change in community composition and (3) increased uptake of inorganic nutrients from the water column. Replicate in situ plots were sheltered from physical disturbance and enriched with inorganic nutrients or left without additional nutrients. At t(0) and after 10 days, sediment-water fluxes of nutrients, O(2) and N(2) , were measured, the community was characterized with biomarkers. Autochthonous benthic microalgal (BMA) biomass increased 30% with shelter and a natural fivefold increase in nutrient concentration; biomass did not increase with greater enrichment. Diatoms remained the dominant taxon of BMA, suggesting that the sediments were not N or Si limited. Bacteria and other heterotrophic organisms increased with enrichment and shelter. Daily exchanges of inorganic nutrients between sediments and the water column did not change in response to shelter or nutrient enrichment. In these sediments, physical disturbance, perhaps in conjunction with nutrient enrichment, was the primary determinant of microbial biomass. © 2011 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Managing ecological thresholds in coupled environmental–human systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horan, Richard D.; Fenichel, Eli P.; Drury, Kevin L. S.; Lodge, David M.

    2011-01-01

    Many ecosystems appear subject to regime shifts—abrupt changes from one state to another after crossing a threshold or tipping point. Thresholds and their associated stability landscapes are determined within a coupled socioeconomic–ecological system (SES) where human choices, including those of managers, are feedback responses. Prior work has made one of two assumptions about managers: that they face no institutional constraints, in which case the SES may be managed to be fairly robust to shocks and tipping points are of little importance, or that managers are rigidly constrained with no flexibility to adapt, in which case the inferred thresholds may poorly reflect actual managerial flexibility. We model a multidimensional SES to investigate how alternative institutions affect SES stability landscapes and alter tipping points. With institutionally dependent human feedbacks, the stability landscape depends on institutional arrangements. Strong institutions that account for feedback responses create the possibility for desirable states of the world and can cause undesirable states to cease to exist. Intermediate institutions interact with ecological relationships to determine the existence and nature of tipping points. Finally, weak institutions can eliminate tipping points so that only undesirable states of the world remain. PMID:21502517

  15. Microbial ecology of the salmon necrobiome: evidence salmon carrion decomposition influences aquatic and terrestrial insect microbiomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pechal, Jennifer L; Benbow, M Eric

    2016-05-01

    Carrion decomposition is driven by complex relationships that affect necrobiome community (i.e. all organisms and their genes associated with a dead animal) interactions, such as insect species arrival time to carrion and microbial succession. Little is understood about how microbial communities interact with invertebrates at the aquatic-terrestrial habitat interface. The first objective of the study was to characterize internal microbial communities using high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons for aquatic insects (three mayfly species) in streams with salmon carcasses compared with those in streams without salmon carcasses. The second objective was to assess the epinecrotic microbial communities of decomposing salmon carcasses (Oncorhynchus keta) compared with those of terrestrial necrophagous insects (Calliphora terraenovae larvae and adults) associated with the carcasses. There was a significant difference in the internal microbiomes of mayflies collected in salmon carcass-bearing streams and in non-carcass streams, while the developmental stage of blow flies was the governing factor in structuring necrophagous insect internal microbiota. Furthermore, the necrophagous internal microbiome was influenced by the resource on which the larvae developed, and changes in the adult microbiome varied temporally. Overall, these carrion subsidy-driven networks respond to resource pulses with bottom-up effects on consumer microbial structure, as revealed by shifting communities over space and time. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Ecological drivers of soil microbial diversity and soil biological networks in the Southern Hemisphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Reith, Frank; Dennis, Paul G; Hamonts, Kelly; Powell, Jeff R; Young, Andrew; Singh, Brajesh K; Bissett, Andrew

    2018-03-01

    The ecological drivers of soil biodiversity in the Southern Hemisphere remain underexplored. Here, in a continental survey comprising 647 sites, across 58 degrees of latitude between tropical Australia and Antarctica, we evaluated the major ecological patterns in soil biodiversity and relative abundance of ecological clusters within a co-occurrence network of soil bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes. Six major ecological clusters (modules) of co-occurring soil taxa were identified. These clusters exhibited strong shifts in their relative abundances with increasing distance from the equator. Temperature was the major environmental driver of the relative abundance of ecological clusters when Australia and Antarctica are analyzed together. Temperature, aridity, soil properties and vegetation types were the major drivers of the relative abundance of different ecological clusters within Australia. Our data supports significant reductions in the diversity of bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes in Antarctica vs. Australia linked to strong reductions in temperature. However, we only detected small latitudinal variations in soil biodiversity within Australia. Different environmental drivers regulate the diversity of soil archaea (temperature and soil carbon), bacteria (aridity, vegetation attributes and pH) and eukaryotes (vegetation type and soil carbon) across Australia. Together, our findings provide new insights into the mechanisms driving soil biodiversity in the Southern Hemisphere. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  17. Viral coinfection is shaped by host ecology and virus-virus interactions across diverse microbial taxa and environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Muñoz, Samuel L

    2017-01-01

    Infection of more than one virus in a host, coinfection, is common across taxa and environments. Viral coinfection can enable genetic exchange, alter the dynamics of infections, and change the course of viral evolution. Yet, a systematic test of the factors explaining variation in viral coinfection across different taxa and environments awaits completion. Here I employ three microbial data sets of virus-host interactions covering cross-infectivity, culture coinfection, and single-cell coinfection (total: 6,564 microbial hosts, 13,103 viruses) to provide a broad, comprehensive picture of the ecological and biological factors shaping viral coinfection. I found evidence that ecology and virus-virus interactions are recurrent factors shaping coinfection patterns. Host ecology was a consistent and strong predictor of coinfection across all three data sets: cross-infectivity, culture coinfection, and single-cell coinfection. Host phylogeny or taxonomy was a less consistent predictor, being weak or absent in the cross-infectivity and single-cell coinfection models, yet it was the strongest predictor in the culture coinfection model. Virus-virus interactions strongly affected coinfection. In the largest test of superinfection exclusion to date, prophage sequences reduced culture coinfection by other prophages, with a weaker effect on extrachromosomal virus coinfection. At the single-cell level, prophage sequences eliminated coinfection. Virus-virus interactions also increased culture coinfection with ssDNA-dsDNA coinfections >2× more likely than ssDNA-only coinfections. The presence of CRISPR spacers was associated with a ∼50% reduction in single-cell coinfection in a marine bacteria, despite the absence of exact spacer matches in any active infection. Collectively, these results suggest the environment bacteria inhabit and the interactions among surrounding viruses are two factors consistently shaping viral coinfection patterns. These findings highlight the role of

  18. Meeting report: GSC M5 roundtable at the 13th International Society for Microbial Ecology meeting in Seattle, WA, USA August 22-27, 2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Jack A.; Meyer, Folker; Knight, Rob; Field, Dawn; Kyrpides, Nikos; Yilmaz, Pelin; Wooley, John

    2010-01-01

    This report summarizes the proceedings of the Metagenomics, Metadata, Metaanalysis, Models and Metainfrastructure (M5) Roundtable at the 13th International Society for Microbial Ecology Meeting in Seattle, WA, USA August 22-27, 2010. The Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC) hosted this meeting as a community engagement exercise to describe the GSC to the microbial ecology community during this important international meeting. The roundtable included five talks given by members of the GSC, and was followed by audience participation in the form of a roundtable discussion. This report summarizes this event. Further information on the GSC and its range of activities can be found at http://www.gensc.org. PMID:21304725

  19. Meeting report: GSC M5 roundtable at the 13th International Society for Microbial Ecology meeting in Seattle, WA, USA August 22-27, 2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Jack A; Meyer, Folker; Knight, Rob; Field, Dawn; Kyrpides, Nikos; Yilmaz, Pelin; Wooley, John

    2010-12-15

    This report summarizes the proceedings of the Metagenomics, Metadata, Metaanalysis, Models and Metainfrastructure (M5) Roundtable at the 13th International Society for Microbial Ecology Meeting in Seattle, WA, USA August 22-27, 2010. The Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC) hosted this meeting as a community engagement exercise to describe the GSC to the microbial ecology community during this important international meeting. The roundtable included five talks given by members of the GSC, and was followed by audience participation in the form of a roundtable discussion. This report summarizes this event. Further information on the GSC and its range of activities can be found at http://www.gensc.org.

  20. Exploring the dynamic links between microbial ecology and redox state of the hyporheic zone: insight from flume experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufman, M.; Cardenas, M. B.; Stegen, J.; Graham, E.; Cook, P. L. M.; Kessler, A. J.

    2017-12-01

    The hyporheic zone (HZ) provides key ecosystem services such as heavy metal sequestration, nutrient uptake and consumption, and habitat for a diverse collection of ecologically and commercially important species. Microbes are responsible for many of the chemical transformations in the HZ. These microbe populations are intimately linked to redox conditions, and recent work has shown that redox conditions in the HZ can be highly dynamic. Here we investigate the dynamic coupling between surface flow conditions, hyporheic redox conditions, and the hyporheic microbiome. Our window into this world is a large experimental flume (5m x 0.7m x 0.3m), prepared and incubated in a way that is relatively common to hyporheic zone research, without a strong attempt to impose a specific microbial community structure. We use computer-controlled flow combined with sand bedforms within the flume to generate a pattern of oxic and anoxic sediment zones, from which we collected sediment and water samples. Dissolved oxygen was mapped with a large planar optode. The samples were analyzed for microbial community composition through 16S rRNA gene sequencing. We compare the population structure between oxic and anoxic zones, showing that the presence of oxygen in the HZ is a strong predictor of microbial composition. Additionally, we compare both the oxic and anoxic community structure from the flume to those of samples taken from natural environments, showing both interesting similarities and differences. In the future, we plan to use time-series sampling to observe the response times of microbial communities subjected to dynamic surface channel flow and redox conditions. This work will yield greater understanding of the role that dynamic rivers play in microbe-provided ecosystem services.

  1. Genome-centric metatranscriptomes and ecological roles of the active microbial populations during cellulosic biomass anaerobic digestion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Yangyang; Ng, Siu-Kin; Lu, Hongyuan; Cai, Mingwei; Lee, Patrick K H

    2018-01-01

    Although anaerobic digestion for biogas production is used worldwide in treatment processes to recover energy from carbon-rich waste such as cellulosic biomass, the activities and interactions among the microbial populations that perform anaerobic digestion deserve further investigations, especially at the population genome level. To understand the cellulosic biomass-degrading potentials in two full-scale digesters, this study examined five methanogenic enrichment cultures derived from the digesters that anaerobically digested cellulose or xylan for more than 2 years under 35 or 55 °C conditions. Metagenomics and metatranscriptomics were used to capture the active microbial populations in each enrichment culture and reconstruct their meta-metabolic network and ecological roles. 107 population genomes were reconstructed from the five enrichment cultures using a differential coverage binning approach, of which only a subset was highly transcribed in the metatranscriptomes. Phylogenetic and functional convergence of communities by enrichment condition and phase of fermentation was observed for the highly transcribed populations in the metatranscriptomes. In the 35 °C cultures grown on cellulose, Clostridium cellulolyticum -related and Ruminococcus -related bacteria were identified as major hydrolyzers and primary fermenters in the early growth phase, while Clostridium leptum -related bacteria were major secondary fermenters and potential fatty acid scavengers in the late growth phase. While the meta-metabolism and trophic roles of the cultures were similar, the bacterial populations performing each function were distinct between the enrichment conditions. Overall, a population genome-centric view of the meta-metabolism and functional roles of key active players in anaerobic digestion of cellulosic biomass was obtained. This study represents a major step forward towards understanding the microbial functions and interactions at population genome level during the

  2. Changes in microbial ecology after fecal microbiota transplantation for recurrent C. difficile infection affected by underlying inflammatory bowel disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khanna, Sahil; Vazquez-Baeza, Yoshiki; González, Antonio; Weiss, Sophie; Schmidt, Bradley; Muñiz-Pedrogo, David A; Rainey, John F; Kammer, Patricia; Nelson, Heidi; Sadowsky, Michael; Khoruts, Alexander; Farrugia, Stefan L; Knight, Rob; Pardi, Darrell S; Kashyap, Purna C

    2017-05-15

    Gut microbiota play a key role in maintaining homeostasis in the human gut. Alterations in the gut microbial ecosystem predispose to Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) and gut inflammatory disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) from a healthy donor can restore gut microbial diversity and pathogen colonization resistance; consequently, it is now being investigated for its ability to improve inflammatory gut conditions such as IBD. In this study, we investigated changes in gut microbiota following FMT in 38 patients with CDI with or without underlying IBD. There was a significant change in gut microbial composition towards the donor microbiota and an overall increase in microbial diversity consistent with previous studies after FMT. FMT was successful in treating CDI using a diverse set of donors, and varying degrees of donor stool engraftment suggesting that donor type and degree of engraftment are not drivers of a successful FMT treatment of CDI. However, patients with underlying IBD experienced an increased number of CDI relapses (during a 24-month follow-up) and a decreased growth of new taxa, as compared to the subjects without IBD. Moreover, the need for IBD therapy did not change following FMT. These results underscore the importance of the existing gut microbial landscape as a decisive factor to successfully treat CDI and potentially for improvement of the underlying pathophysiology in IBD. FMT leads to a significant change in microbial diversity in patients with recurrent CDI and complete resolution of symptoms. Stool donor type (related or unrelated) and degree of engraftment are not the key for successful treatment of CDI by FMT. However, CDI patients with IBD have higher proportion of the original community after FMT and lack of improvement of their IBD symptoms and increased episodes of CDI on long-term follow-up.

  3. ‘TIME’: A Web Application for Obtaining Insights into Microbial Ecology Using Longitudinal Microbiome Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krishanu D. Baksi

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Realization of the importance of microbiome studies, coupled with the decreasing sequencing cost, has led to the exponential growth of microbiome data. A number of these microbiome studies have focused on understanding changes in the microbial community over time. Such longitudinal microbiome studies have the potential to offer unique insights pertaining to the microbial social networks as well as their responses to perturbations. In this communication, we introduce a web based framework called ‘TIME’ (Temporal Insights into Microbial Ecology’, developed specifically to obtain meaningful insights from microbiome time series data. The TIME web-server is designed to accept a wide range of popular formats as input with options to preprocess and filter the data. Multiple samples, defined by a series of longitudinal time points along with their metadata information, can be compared in order to interactively visualize the temporal variations. In addition to standard microbiome data analytics, the web server implements popular time series analysis methods like Dynamic time warping, Granger causality and Dickey Fuller test to generate interactive layouts for facilitating easy biological inferences. Apart from this, a new metric for comparing metagenomic time series data has been introduced to effectively visualize the similarities/differences in the trends of the resident microbial groups. Augmenting the visualizations with the stationarity information pertaining to the microbial groups is utilized to predict the microbial competition as well as community structure. Additionally, the ‘causality graph analysis’ module incorporated in TIME allows predicting taxa that might have a higher influence on community structure in different conditions. TIME also allows users to easily identify potential taxonomic markers from a longitudinal microbiome analysis. We illustrate the utility of the web-server features on a few published time series microbiome

  4. Planetary biology and microbial ecology. Biochemistry of carbon and early life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margulis, L. (Editor); Nealson, K. H. (Editor); Taylor, I. (Editor)

    1983-01-01

    Experiments made with cyanobacteria, phototrophic bacteria, and methanogenic bacteria are detailed. Significant carbon isotope fractionation data is included. Taken from well documented extant microbial communities, this data provides a basis of comparison for isotope fractionation values measured in Archean and Proterozoic (preCambrian) rocks. Media, methods, and techniques used to acquire data are also described.

  5. Linking Soil Microbial Ecology to Ecosystem Functioning in Integrated Crop-Livestock Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enhanced soil stability, nutrient cycling and C sequestration potential are important ecosystem functions driven by soil microbial processes and are directly influenced by agricultural management. Integrated crop-livestock agroecosystems (ICL) can enhance these functions via high-residue returning c...

  6. Board-invited review: Rumen microbiology: Leading the way in microbial ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert Hungate, considered the father of rumen microbiology, was the first to initiate a systematic exploration of the microbial ecosystem of the rumen, but he was not alone. The techniques he developed to isolate and identify cellulose-digesting bacteria from the rumen have had a major impact not ...

  7. Microbial community assembly in an evolving ecosystem : Ecological succession and functional properties of soil microbes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dini Andreote, Francisco

    2016-01-01

    Thema’s omtrent “gemeenschapssamenstelling” en “ecologische successie in bodems” zijn traditionele concepten binnen de ecologie, doch minder gewaardeerd in bodemmicrobiologie. Dit proefschrift is gericht op integratie van deze thema’s in microbiële ecologie door gebruik te maken van een natuurlijk

  8. MI-Sim: A MATLAB package for the numerical analysis of microbial ecological interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J Wade

    Full Text Available Food-webs and other classes of ecological network motifs, are a means of describing feeding relationships between consumers and producers in an ecosystem. They have application across scales where they differ only in the underlying characteristics of the organisms and substrates describing the system. Mathematical modelling, using mechanistic approaches to describe the dynamic behaviour and properties of the system through sets of ordinary differential equations, has been used extensively in ecology. Models allow simulation of the dynamics of the various motifs and their numerical analysis provides a greater understanding of the interplay between the system components and their intrinsic properties. We have developed the MI-Sim software for use with MATLAB to allow a rigorous and rapid numerical analysis of several common ecological motifs. MI-Sim contains a series of the most commonly used motifs such as cooperation, competition and predation. It does not require detailed knowledge of mathematical analytical techniques and is offered as a single graphical user interface containing all input and output options. The tools available in the current version of MI-Sim include model simulation, steady-state existence and stability analysis, and basin of attraction analysis. The software includes seven ecological interaction motifs and seven growth function models. Unlike other system analysis tools, MI-Sim is designed as a simple and user-friendly tool specific to ecological population type models, allowing for rapid assessment of their dynamical and behavioural properties.

  9. MI-Sim: A MATLAB package for the numerical analysis of microbial ecological interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wade, Matthew J; Oakley, Jordan; Harbisher, Sophie; Parker, Nicholas G; Dolfing, Jan

    2017-01-01

    Food-webs and other classes of ecological network motifs, are a means of describing feeding relationships between consumers and producers in an ecosystem. They have application across scales where they differ only in the underlying characteristics of the organisms and substrates describing the system. Mathematical modelling, using mechanistic approaches to describe the dynamic behaviour and properties of the system through sets of ordinary differential equations, has been used extensively in ecology. Models allow simulation of the dynamics of the various motifs and their numerical analysis provides a greater understanding of the interplay between the system components and their intrinsic properties. We have developed the MI-Sim software for use with MATLAB to allow a rigorous and rapid numerical analysis of several common ecological motifs. MI-Sim contains a series of the most commonly used motifs such as cooperation, competition and predation. It does not require detailed knowledge of mathematical analytical techniques and is offered as a single graphical user interface containing all input and output options. The tools available in the current version of MI-Sim include model simulation, steady-state existence and stability analysis, and basin of attraction analysis. The software includes seven ecological interaction motifs and seven growth function models. Unlike other system analysis tools, MI-Sim is designed as a simple and user-friendly tool specific to ecological population type models, allowing for rapid assessment of their dynamical and behavioural properties.

  10. Aspects of elephant behavior, ecology, and interactions with humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connell, Caitlin Elizabeth

    This dissertation is comprised of two chapters relating to the acoustic behavior of elephants, their surrounding ecology and interactions with humans. The first chapter investigates the seismic aspects of Asian elephant (Elephus maximus) acoustic communication. The second chapter is comprised of a synthesis of two separate studies conducted on the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) in Namibia, both in Etosha National Park and the Caprivi region. The two studies were combined and published in Biological Conservation as one large study on aspects of the economic and social impacts of elephant/human conflict and experiments conducted to reduce conflict. In chapter one, seismic and acoustic data were recorded simultaneously from Asian elephants during periods of vocalizations and locomotion. Acoustic and seismic signals from rumbles were highly correlated at near and far distances and were in phase near the elephant and were out of phase at an increased distance from the elephant. Data analyses indicated that elephant generated signals associated with rumbles and "foot stomps" propagated at different velocities in the two media, the acoustic signals traveling at 309 m/s and the seismic signals at 248--264 m/s. Both types of signals had predominant frequencies in the range of 20 Hz. Seismic signal amplitudes considerably above background noise were recorded at 40 m from the generating elephants for both the rumble and the stomp. Seismic propagation models suggest that seismic waveforms from vocalizations are potentially detectable by instruments at distances of up to 16 km, and up to 32 km for locomotion generated signals. Thus, if detectable by elephants, these seismic signals could be useful for long distance communication. In chapter two, the economic impact of elephants, Loxodonta africana , and predators, particularly lions, Panthera leo, on rural agriculturists in the Kwando region of the East Caprivi, Namibia was assessed from the years 1991 to 1995. Elephants

  11. The human dimensions of climate change: A micro-level assessment of views from the ecological modernization, political economy and human ecology perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adua, Lazarus; York, Richard; Schuelke-Leech, Beth-Anne

    2016-03-01

    Understanding the manifold human and physical dimensions of climate change has become an area of great interest to researchers in recent decades. Using a U.S. nationally-representative data set and drawing on the ecological modernization, political economy, and human ecology perspectives, this study examines the impacts of energy efficiency technologies, affluence, household demographics, and biophysical characteristics on residential CO2 emissions. Overall, the study provides mixed support for the ecological modernization perspective. While several findings are consistent with the theory's expectation that modern societies can harness technology to mitigate human impacts on the environment, others directly contradict it. Also, the theory's prediction of an inverted U-shaped relationship between affluence and environmental impacts is contradicted. The evidence is somewhat more supportive of the political economy and human ecology perspectives, with affluence, some indicators of technology, household demographics, and biophysical characteristics emerging as important drivers of residential CO2 emissions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Ecological patterns, diversity and core taxa of microbial communities in groundwater-fed rapid gravity filters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gülay, Arda; Musovic, Sanin; Albrechtsen, Hans-Jørgen

    2016-01-01

    the second most and most abundant fraction in PFs (27±23%) and AFs (45.2±23%), respectively, and were far more abundant than typical proteobacterial ammonium-oxidizing bacteria, suggesting a physiology beyond nitrite oxidation for Nitrospira. Within the core taxa, sequences closely related to types...... with ability to oxidize ammonium, nitrite, iron, manganese and methane as primary growth substrate were identified and dominated in both PFs (73.6±6%) and AFs (61.4±21%), suggesting their functional importance. Surprisingly, operational taxonomic unit richness correlated strongly and positively with sampling...... location in the drinking water treatment plant (from PFs to AFs), and a weaker negative correlation held for evenness. Significant spatial heterogeneity in microbial community composition was detected in both PFs and AFs, and was higher in the AFs. This is the first comprehensive documentation of microbial...

  13. Fine-scale distribution patterns of Synechococcus ecological diversity in the microbial mats of Mushroom Spring, Yellowstone National Park

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Becraft, E.; Cohan, F.; Kühl, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Past analyses of sequence diversity in high-resolution protein-encoding genes have identified putative ecological species of unicellular cyanobacteria in the genus Synechococcus, which are specialized to 60°C but not 65°C in Mushroom Spring microbial mats. Because these studies were limited to only...

  14. Differentiation in the microbial ecology and activity of suspended and attached bacteria in a nitritation-anammox process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Hongkeun; Sundar, Suneethi; Ma, Yiwei; Chandran, Kartik

    2015-02-01

    A directed differentiation between the biofilm and suspension was observed in the molecular microbial ecology and gene expression of different bacteria in a biofilm nitritation-anammox process operated at varying hydraulic residence times (HRT) and nitrogen loading rates (NLR). The highest degree of enrichment observed in the biofilm was of anaerobic ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AMX) followed by that of Nitrospira spp. related nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB). For AMX, a major shift from Candidatus "Brocadia fulgida" to Candidatus "Kuenenia stuttgartiensis" in both suspension and biofilm was observed with progressively shorter HRT, using discriminatory biomarkers targeting the hydrazine synthase (hzsA) gene. In parallel, expression of the hydrazine oxidoreductase gene (hzo), a functional biomarker for AMX energy metabolism, became progressively prominent in the biofilm. A marginal but statistically significant enrichment in the biofilm was observed for Nitrosomonas europaea related ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB). In direct contrast to AMX, the gene expression of ammonia monooxygenase subunit A (amoA), a functional biomarker for AOB energy metabolism, progressively increased in suspension. Using gene expression and biomass concentration measures in conjunction, it was determined that signatures of AOB metabolism were primarily present in the biofilm throughout the study. On the other hand, AMX metabolism gradually shifted from being uniformly distributed in both the biofilm and suspension to primarily the biofilm at shorter HRTs and higher NLRs. These results therefore highlight the complexity and key differences in the microbial ecology, gene expression and activity between the biofilm and suspension of a nitritation-anammox process and the biokinetic and metabolic drivers for such niche segregation. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Nitrification inhibition by hexavalent chromium Cr(VI)--Microbial ecology, gene expression and off-gas emissions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Young Mo; Park, Hongkeun; Chandran, Kartik

    2016-04-01

    The goal of this study was to investigate the responses in the physiology, microbial ecology and gene expression of nitrifying bacteria to imposition of and recovery from Cr(VI) loading in a lab-scale nitrification bioreactor. Exposure to Cr(VI) in the reactor strongly inhibited nitrification performance resulting in a parallel decrease in nitrate production and ammonia consumption. Cr(VI) exposure also led to an overall decrease in total bacterial concentrations in the reactor. However, the fraction of ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) decreased to a greater extent than the fraction of nitrite oxidizing bacteria (NOB). In terms of functional gene expression, a rapid decrease in the transcript concentrations of amoA gene coding for ammonia oxidation in AOB was observed in response to the Cr(VI) shock. In contrast, transcript concentrations of the nxrA gene coding for nitrite oxidation in NOB were relatively unchanged compared to Cr(VI) pre-exposure levels. Therefore, Cr(VI) exposure selectively and directly inhibited activity of AOB, which indirectly resulted in substrate (nitrite) limitation to NOB. Significantly, trends in amoA expression preceded performance trends both during imposition of and recovery from inhibition. During recovery from the Cr(VI) shock, the high ammonia concentrations in the bioreactor resulted in an irreversible shift towards AOB populations, which are expected to be more competitive in high ammonia environments. An inadvertent impact during recovery was increased emission of nitrous oxide (N2O) and nitric oxide (NO), consistent with recent findings linking AOB activity and the production of these gases. Therefore, Cr(VI) exposure elicited multiple responses on the microbial ecology, gene expression and both aqueous and gaseous nitrogenous conversion in a nitrification process. A complementary interrogation of these multiple responses facilitated an understanding of both direct and indirect inhibitory impacts on nitrification. Copyright

  16. Marine microbiology: Microbial ecology of the Red Sea [Mikrobielle Ökologie des Roten Meeres

    KAUST Repository

    Stingl, Ulrich; Ngugi, David; Thompson, Luke R.; Antunes, Andre; Cahill, Matthew

    2012-01-01

    The Red Sea is an unusually harsh marine environment, characterized by high temperature and salinity. It also harbors some of the most extreme environments on earth, the Deep Sea Brine Pools. Here, we report on the microbial communities in these environments. The water column is dominated by SAR11 and Prochlorococcus, which have developed specific adaptations to withstand the conditions. The Brine Pools have only been poorly characterized so far, and only four pure cultures are described. © Springer-Verlag 2012.

  17. Marine microbiology: Microbial ecology of the Red Sea [Mikrobielle Ökologie des Roten Meeres

    KAUST Repository

    Stingl, Ulrich

    2012-10-01

    The Red Sea is an unusually harsh marine environment, characterized by high temperature and salinity. It also harbors some of the most extreme environments on earth, the Deep Sea Brine Pools. Here, we report on the microbial communities in these environments. The water column is dominated by SAR11 and Prochlorococcus, which have developed specific adaptations to withstand the conditions. The Brine Pools have only been poorly characterized so far, and only four pure cultures are described. © Springer-Verlag 2012.

  18. Microbial Communities as Environmental Indicators of Ecological Disturbance in Restored Carbonate Fen-Results of 10 Years of Studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mieczan, Tomasz; Tarkowska-Kukuryk, Monika

    2017-08-01

    Interactions between bacteria and protists are essential to the ecosystem ecology of fens. Until now, however, there has been almost no information on how restoration procedures in carbonate fens affect the functioning of microbial food webs. Changes in vegetation patterns resulting from restoration may take years to be observed, whereas microbial processes display effects even after short-term exposure to changes in environmental conditions caused by restoration. Therefore, microbial processes and patterns can be used as sensitive indicators of changes in environmental conditions. The present study attempts to verify the hypothesis that the species richness and abundance of microbial loop components would differ substantially before and after restoration. The effect of restoration processes on the functioning of the food web was investigated for a 10 years in a carbonate-rich fen, before and after restoration. The restoration procedure (particularly the improvement in hydrological conditions) distinctly modified the taxonomic composition and functioning of microbial food webs. This is reflected in the increased abundance and diversity of testate amoeba, i.e. top predators, within the microbial food web and in the pronounced increase in the abundance of bacteria. This study suggests potential use of microbial loop components as bio-indicators and bio-monitoring tools for hydrological status of fens and concentrations of nutrients. Better understanding of what regulates microbial populations and activity in fens and unravelling of these fundamental mechanisms are particularly critical in order to more accurately predict how fens will respond to global change or anthropogenic disturbances.

  19. Microbial ecology, bacterial pathogens, and antibiotic resistant genes in swine manure wastewater as influenced by three swine management systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, John P; Adeli, Ardeshir; McLaughlin, Michael R

    2014-06-15

    The environmental influence of farm management in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) can yield vast changes to the microbial biota and ecological structure of both the pig and waste manure lagoon wastewater. While some of these changes may not be negative, it is possible that CAFOs can enrich antibiotic resistant bacteria or pathogens based on farm type, thereby influencing the impact imparted by the land application of its respective wastewater. The purpose of this study was to measure the microbial constituents of swine-sow, -nursery, and -finisher farm manure lagoon wastewater and determine the changes induced by farm management. A total of 37 farms were visited in the Mid-South USA and analyzed for the genes 16S rRNA, spaQ (Salmonella spp.), Camp-16S (Campylobacter spp.), tetA, tetB, ermF, ermA, mecA, and intI using quantitative PCR. Additionally, 16S rRNA sequence libraries were created. Overall, it appeared that finisher farms were significantly different from nursery and sow farms in nearly all genes measured and in 16S rRNA clone libraries. Nearly all antibiotic resistance genes were detected in all farms. Interestingly, the mecA resistance gene (e.g. methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus) was below detection limits on most farms, and decreased as the pigs aged. Finisher farms generally had fewer antibiotic resistance genes, which corroborated previous phenotypic data; additionally, finisher farms produced a less diverse 16S rRNA sequence library. Comparisons of Camp-16S and spaQ GU (genomic unit) values to previous culture data demonstrated ratios from 10 to 10,000:1 depending on farm type, indicating viable but not cultivatable bacteria were dominant. The current study indicated that swine farm management schemes positively and negatively affect microbial and antibiotic resistant populations in CAFO wastewater which has future "downstream" implications from both an environmental and public health perspective. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  20. Shift in the microbial ecology of a hospital hot water system following the introduction of an on-site monochloramine disinfection system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julianne L Baron

    Full Text Available Drinking water distribution systems, including premise plumbing, contain a diverse microbiological community that may include opportunistic pathogens. On-site supplemental disinfection systems have been proposed as a control method for opportunistic pathogens in premise plumbing. The majority of on-site disinfection systems to date have been installed in hospitals due to the high concentration of opportunistic pathogen susceptible occupants. The installation of on-site supplemental disinfection systems in hospitals allows for evaluation of the impact of on-site disinfection systems on drinking water system microbial ecology prior to widespread application. This study evaluated the impact of supplemental monochloramine on the microbial ecology of a hospital's hot water system. Samples were taken three months and immediately prior to monochloramine treatment and monthly for the first six months of treatment, and all samples were subjected to high throughput Illumina 16S rRNA region sequencing. The microbial community composition of monochloramine treated samples was dramatically different than the baseline months. There was an immediate shift towards decreased relative abundance of Betaproteobacteria, and increased relative abundance of Firmicutes, Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Cyanobacteria and Actinobacteria. Following treatment, microbial populations grouped by sampling location rather than sampling time. Over the course of treatment the relative abundance of certain genera containing opportunistic pathogens and genera containing denitrifying bacteria increased. The results demonstrate the driving influence of supplemental disinfection on premise plumbing microbial ecology and suggest the value of further investigation into the overall effects of premise plumbing disinfection strategies on microbial ecology and not solely specific target microorganisms.

  1. Innovative human health and ecological risk assessment techniques at Hanford

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clarke, S.; Jones, K.; Goller, E.

    1993-01-01

    The open-quotes Hanford Site Baseline Risk Assessment Methodologyclose quotes (HSBRAM) was developed to enhance the preparation of risk assessments supporting the Hanford site cleanup mission. This methodology satisfies a Hanford federal facility agreement and consent order (tri-party agreement) milestone and is used to evaluate the risk to human health and the environment under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The methodology was prepared by the Hanford Risk Assessment Committee (RAC) consisting of tri-party representatives: the U.S. Department of Energy, the State of Washington Department of Ecology, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with associated contractors. The risk assessment guidance provided by EPA is sufficiently general to permit tailoring of specific parameters to meet the risk assessment needs of individual sites. The RAC utilized EPA's Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund, (RAGS) as the cornerstone of the HSBRAM. The RAC added necessary Hanford-specific elements to construct a complete risk assessment guidance for utilization as an independent document. The HSBRAM is a living document because the RAC charter emphasizes the importance of continued methodology reevaluation. The HSBRAM also provides guidelines for the application of EPA's open-quotes Framework for Ecological Risk Assessmentclose quotes to Hanford-specific environmental baseline risk assessments by including endangered and threatened species in addition to sensitive habitats potentially associated with the Hanford site and guidance for selection of ecotoxicological data. Separate negotiations for the selection of risk parameters for each operable unit were avoided by defining parameters in the HSBRAM. There are 78 past-practice operable units at Hanford requiring risk assessments

  2. The First Microbial Colonizers of the Human Gut: Composition, Activities, and Health Implications of the Infant Gut Microbiota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milani, Christian; Duranti, Sabrina; Bottacini, Francesca; Casey, Eoghan; Turroni, Francesca; Mahony, Jennifer; Belzer, Clara; Delgado Palacio, Susana; Arboleya Montes, Silvia; Mancabelli, Leonardo; Lugli, Gabriele Andrea; Rodriguez, Juan Miguel; Bode, Lars; de Vos, Willem; Gueimonde, Miguel; Margolles, Abelardo; van Sinderen, Douwe; Ventura, Marco

    2017-12-01

    The human gut microbiota is engaged in multiple interactions affecting host health during the host's entire life span. Microbes colonize the neonatal gut immediately following birth. The establishment and interactive development of this early gut microbiota are believed to be (at least partially) driven and modulated by specific compounds present in human milk. It has been shown that certain genomes of infant gut commensals, in particular those of bifidobacterial species, are genetically adapted to utilize specific glycans of this human secretory fluid, thus representing a very intriguing example of host-microbe coevolution, where both partners are believed to benefit. In recent years, various metagenomic studies have tried to dissect the composition and functionality of the infant gut microbiome and to explore the distribution across the different ecological niches of the infant gut biogeography of the corresponding microbial consortia, including those corresponding to bacteria and viruses, in healthy and ill subjects. Such analyses have linked certain features of the microbiota/microbiome, such as reduced diversity or aberrant composition, to intestinal illnesses in infants or disease states that are manifested at later stages of life, including asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, and metabolic disorders. Thus, a growing number of studies have reported on how the early human gut microbiota composition/development may affect risk factors related to adult health conditions. This concept has fueled the development of strategies to shape the infant microbiota composition based on various functional food products. In this review, we describe the infant microbiota, the mechanisms that drive its establishment and composition, and how microbial consortia may be molded by natural or artificial interventions. Finally, we discuss the relevance of key microbial players of the infant gut microbiota, in particular bifidobacteria, with respect to their role in health and

  3. A resurgence in field research is essential to better understand the diversity, ecology, and evolution of microbial eukaryotes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heger, Thierry J; Edgcomb, Virginia P; Kim, Eunsoo; Lukeš, Julius; Leander, Brian S; Yubuki, Naoji

    2014-01-01

    The discovery and characterization of protist communities from diverse environments are crucial for understanding the overall evolutionary history of life on earth. However, major questions about the diversity, ecology, and evolutionary history of protists remain unanswered, notably because data obtained from natural protist communities, especially of heterotrophic species, remain limited. In this review, we discuss the challenges associated with "field protistology", defined here as the exploration, characterization, and interpretation of microbial eukaryotic diversity within the context of natural environments or field experiments, and provide suggestions to help fill this important gap in knowledge. We also argue that increased efforts in field studies that combine molecular and microscopical methods offer the most promising path toward (1) the discovery of new lineages that expand the tree of eukaryotes; (2) the recognition of novel evolutionary patterns and processes; (3) the untangling of ecological interactions and functions, and their roles in larger ecosystem processes; and (4) the evaluation of protist adaptations to a changing climate. © 2013 The Author(s) Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology © 2013 International Society of Protistologists.

  4. Disease induction by human microbial pathogens in plant-model systems: potential, problems and prospects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Baarlen, Peter; van Belkum, Alex; Thomma, Bart P H J

    2007-02-01

    Relatively simple eukaryotic model organisms such as the genetic model weed plant Arabidopsis thaliana possess an innate immune system that shares important similarities with its mammalian counterpart. In fact, some human pathogens infect Arabidopsis and cause overt disease with human symptomology. In such cases, decisive elements of the plant's immune system are likely to be targeted by the same microbial factors that are necessary for causing disease in humans. These similarities can be exploited to identify elementary microbial pathogenicity factors and their corresponding targets in a green host. This circumvents important cost aspects that often frustrate studies in humans or animal models and, in addition, results in facile ethical clearance.

  5. Microbial ecology studies at two coal mine refuse sites in Illinois

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, R. M.; Cameron, R. E.

    1978-01-01

    An investigation was made of the microflora associated with coal refuse at two abandoned mines in the midwestern United States. Information was gathered for both the edaphic and the biotic composition of the refuse material. Emphasis was placed on heterotrophic and autotrophic components as to numbers, kinds, and physiological groups. The presence of chemolithotrophs was also investigated. The relationship between abiotic and biotic components in regard to distribution of bacteria, fungi, and algae is discussed. Information presented in this report will be utilized in assessing trends and changes in microbial numbers and composition related to manipulations of the edaphic and biotic ecosystem components associated with reclamation of the refuse piles.

  6. The Hidden World within Plants: Ecological and Evolutionary Considerations for Defining Functioning of Microbial Endophytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Overbeek, Leonard S.; Berg, Gabriele; Pirttilä, Anna Maria; Compant, Stéphane; Campisano, Andrea; Döring, Matthias; Sessitsch, Angela

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY All plants are inhabited internally by diverse microbial communities comprising bacterial, archaeal, fungal, and protistic taxa. These microorganisms showing endophytic lifestyles play crucial roles in plant development, growth, fitness, and diversification. The increasing awareness of and information on endophytes provide insight into the complexity of the plant microbiome. The nature of plant-endophyte interactions ranges from mutualism to pathogenicity. This depends on a set of abiotic and biotic factors, including the genotypes of plants and microbes, environmental conditions, and the dynamic network of interactions within the plant biome. In this review, we address the concept of endophytism, considering the latest insights into evolution, plant ecosystem functioning, and multipartite interactions. PMID:26136581

  7. Effects of Subsurface Microbial Ecology on Geochemical Evolution of a Crude-Oil Contaminated Aquifer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bekins, B. A.; Cozzarelli, I. M.; Godsy, E. M.; Warren, E.; Hostettler, F. D.

    2001-12-01

    We have identified several subsurface habitats for microorganisms in a crude oil contaminated located near Bemidji, Minnesota. These aquifer habitats include: 1) the unsaturated zone contaminated by hydrocarbon vapors, 2) the zones containing separate-phase crude oil, and 3) the aqueous-phase contaminant plume. The surficial glacial outwash aquifer was contaminated when a crude oil pipeline burst in 1979. We analyzed sediment samples from the contaminated aquifer for the most probable numbers of aerobes, iron reducers, fermenters, and three types of methanogens. The microbial data were then related to gas, water, and oil chemistry, sediment extractable iron, and permeability. The microbial populations in the various contaminated subsurface habitats each have special characteristics and these affect the aquifer and contaminant chemistry. In the eight-meter-thick, vapor-contaminated vadose zone, a substantial aerobic population has developed that is supported by hydrocarbon vapors and methane. Microbial numbers peak in locations where access to both hydrocarbons and nutrients infiltrating from the surface is maximized. The activity of this population prevents hydrocarbon vapors from reaching the land surface. In the zone where separate-phase crude oil is present, a consortium of methanogens and fermenters dominates the populations both above and below the water table. Moreover, gas concentration data indicate that methane production has been active in the oily zone since at least 1986. Analyses of the extracted separate-phase oil show that substantial degradation of C15 -C35 n-alkanes has occurred since 1983, raising the possibility that significant degradation of C15 and higher n-alkanes has occurred under methanogenic conditions. However, lab and field data suggest that toxic inhibition by crude oil results in fewer acetate-utilizing methanogens within and adjacent to the separate-phase oil. Data from this and other sites indicate that toxic inhibition of

  8. Chemical Investigations of Marine Filamentous and Zoosporic Fungi and Studies in Marine Microbial Chemical Ecology

    OpenAIRE

    Jenkins, Kelly M.

    1998-01-01

    The natural products chemistry of marine microorganisms is an emerging area of organic chemistry with the aim of discovering novel secondary metabolites exhibiting both biomedical and ecological activities. While marine bacteria have proven to be a productive source of new natural products, there are many groups of marine microorganisms which have not been fully investigated. In particular, marine fungi represent an untapped and potentially novel source of bioactive secondary metabolites. Whi...

  9. Host Ecology Rather Than Host Phylogeny Drives Amphibian Skin Microbial Community Structure in the Biodiversity Hotspot of Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bletz, Molly C; Archer, Holly; Harris, Reid N; McKenzie, Valerie J; Rabemananjara, Falitiana C E; Rakotoarison, Andolalao; Vences, Miguel

    2017-01-01

    Host-associated microbiotas of vertebrates are diverse and complex communities that contribute to host health. In particular, for amphibians, cutaneous microbial communities likely play a significant role in pathogen defense; however, our ecological understanding of these communities is still in its infancy. Here, we take advantage of the fully endemic and locally species-rich amphibian fauna of Madagascar to investigate the factors structuring amphibian skin microbiota on a large scale. Using amplicon-based sequencing, we evaluate how multiple host species traits and site factors affect host bacterial diversity and community structure. Madagascar is home to over 400 native frog species, all of which are endemic to the island; more than 100 different species are known to occur in sympatry within multiple rainforest sites. We intensively sampled frog skin bacterial communities, from over 800 amphibians from 89 species across 30 sites in Madagascar during three field visits, and found that skin bacterial communities differed strongly from those of the surrounding environment. Richness of bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and phylogenetic diversity differed among host ecomorphs, with arboreal frogs exhibiting lower richness and diversity than terrestrial and aquatic frogs. Host ecomorphology was the strongest factor influencing microbial community structure, with host phylogeny and site parameters (latitude and elevation) explaining less but significant portions of the observed variation. Correlation analysis and topological congruency analyses revealed little to no phylosymbiosis for amphibian skin microbiota. Despite the observed geographic variation and low phylosymbiosis, we found particular OTUs that were differentially abundant between particular ecomorphs. For example, the genus Pigmentiphaga (Alcaligenaceae) was significantly enriched on arboreal frogs, Methylotenera (Methylophilaceae) was enriched on aquatic frogs, and Agrobacterium (Rhizobiaceae

  10. Host Ecology Rather Than Host Phylogeny Drives Amphibian Skin Microbial Community Structure in the Biodiversity Hotspot of Madagascar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bletz, Molly C.; Archer, Holly; Harris, Reid N.; McKenzie, Valerie J.; Rabemananjara, Falitiana C. E.; Rakotoarison, Andolalao; Vences, Miguel

    2017-01-01

    Host-associated microbiotas of vertebrates are diverse and complex communities that contribute to host health. In particular, for amphibians, cutaneous microbial communities likely play a significant role in pathogen defense; however, our ecological understanding of these communities is still in its infancy. Here, we take advantage of the fully endemic and locally species-rich amphibian fauna of Madagascar to investigate the factors structuring amphibian skin microbiota on a large scale. Using amplicon-based sequencing, we evaluate how multiple host species traits and site factors affect host bacterial diversity and community structure. Madagascar is home to over 400 native frog species, all of which are endemic to the island; more than 100 different species are known to occur in sympatry within multiple rainforest sites. We intensively sampled frog skin bacterial communities, from over 800 amphibians from 89 species across 30 sites in Madagascar during three field visits, and found that skin bacterial communities differed strongly from those of the surrounding environment. Richness of bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and phylogenetic diversity differed among host ecomorphs, with arboreal frogs exhibiting lower richness and diversity than terrestrial and aquatic frogs. Host ecomorphology was the strongest factor influencing microbial community structure, with host phylogeny and site parameters (latitude and elevation) explaining less but significant portions of the observed variation. Correlation analysis and topological congruency analyses revealed little to no phylosymbiosis for amphibian skin microbiota. Despite the observed geographic variation and low phylosymbiosis, we found particular OTUs that were differentially abundant between particular ecomorphs. For example, the genus Pigmentiphaga (Alcaligenaceae) was significantly enriched on arboreal frogs, Methylotenera (Methylophilaceae) was enriched on aquatic frogs, and Agrobacterium (Rhizobiaceae

  11. Host Ecology Rather Than Host Phylogeny Drives Amphibian Skin Microbial Community Structure in the Biodiversity Hotspot of Madagascar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Molly C. Bletz

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Host-associated microbiotas of vertebrates are diverse and complex communities that contribute to host health. In particular, for amphibians, cutaneous microbial communities likely play a significant role in pathogen defense; however, our ecological understanding of these communities is still in its infancy. Here, we take advantage of the fully endemic and locally species-rich amphibian fauna of Madagascar to investigate the factors structuring amphibian skin microbiota on a large scale. Using amplicon-based sequencing, we evaluate how multiple host species traits and site factors affect host bacterial diversity and community structure. Madagascar is home to over 400 native frog species, all of which are endemic to the island; more than 100 different species are known to occur in sympatry within multiple rainforest sites. We intensively sampled frog skin bacterial communities, from over 800 amphibians from 89 species across 30 sites in Madagascar during three field visits, and found that skin bacterial communities differed strongly from those of the surrounding environment. Richness of bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs and phylogenetic diversity differed among host ecomorphs, with arboreal frogs exhibiting lower richness and diversity than terrestrial and aquatic frogs. Host ecomorphology was the strongest factor influencing microbial community structure, with host phylogeny and site parameters (latitude and elevation explaining less but significant portions of the observed variation. Correlation analysis and topological congruency analyses revealed little to no phylosymbiosis for amphibian skin microbiota. Despite the observed geographic variation and low phylosymbiosis, we found particular OTUs that were differentially abundant between particular ecomorphs. For example, the genus Pigmentiphaga (Alcaligenaceae was significantly enriched on arboreal frogs, Methylotenera (Methylophilaceae was enriched on aquatic frogs, and Agrobacterium

  12. Ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kalusche, D.

    1978-01-01

    The book turns to the freshment, the teacher, for preparation of ecological topics for lessons, but also to pupils of the secondary stage II, and the main course ecology. The book was knowingly held simple with the restriction to: the ecosystem and its abiotic basic functions, simple articles on population biology, bioceonotic balance ith the questions of niche formation and the life form types coherent with it, of the substance and energy household, the production biology and space-wise and time-wise differentations within an ecological system form the main points. A central role in the volume is given to the illustrations. Their variety is to show and deepen the coherences shown. (orig./HP) [de

  13. A systems biology approach to predict and characterize human gut microbial metabolites in colorectal cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, QuanQiu; Li, Li; Xu, Rong

    2018-04-18

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths. It is estimated that about half the cases of CRC occurring today are preventable. Recent studies showed that human gut microbiota and their collective metabolic outputs play important roles in CRC. However, the mechanisms by which human gut microbial metabolites interact with host genetics in contributing CRC remain largely unknown. We hypothesize that computational approaches that integrate and analyze vast amounts of publicly available biomedical data have great potential in better understanding how human gut microbial metabolites are mechanistically involved in CRC. Leveraging vast amount of publicly available data, we developed a computational algorithm to predict human gut microbial metabolites for CRC. We validated the prediction algorithm by showing that previously known CRC-associated gut microbial metabolites ranked highly (mean ranking: top 10.52%; median ranking: 6.29%; p-value: 3.85E-16). Moreover, we identified new gut microbial metabolites likely associated with CRC. Through computational analysis, we propose potential roles for tartaric acid, the top one ranked metabolite, in CRC etiology. In summary, our data-driven computation-based study generated a large amount of associations that could serve as a starting point for further experiments to refute or validate these microbial metabolite associations in CRC cancer.

  14. From Field to Laboratory: A New Database Approach for Linking Microbial Field Ecology with Laboratory Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bebout, Leslie; Keller, R.; Miller, S.; Jahnke, L.; DeVincenzi, D. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The Ames Exobiology Culture Collection Database (AECC-DB) has been developed as a collaboration between microbial ecologists and information technology specialists. It allows for extensive web-based archiving of information regarding field samples to document microbial co-habitation of specific ecosystem micro-environments. Documentation and archiving continues as pure cultures are isolated, metabolic properties determined, and DNA extracted and sequenced. In this way metabolic properties and molecular sequences are clearly linked back to specific isolates and the location of those microbes in the ecosystem of origin. Use of this database system presents a significant advancement over traditional bookkeeping wherein there is generally little or no information regarding the environments from which microorganisms were isolated. Generally there is only a general ecosystem designation (i.e., hot-spring). However within each of these there are a myriad of microenvironments with very different properties and determining exactly where (which microenvironment) a given microbe comes from is critical in designing appropriate isolation media and interpreting physiological properties. We are currently using the database to aid in the isolation of a large number of cyanobacterial species and will present results by PI's and students demonstrating the utility of this new approach.

  15. Microbial ecology of corals, sponges, and algae in mesophotic coral environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Julie B.; Kellogg, Christina A.

    2010-01-01

    Mesophotic coral ecosystems that occur at depths from 30 to 200 m have historically been understudied and yet appear to support a diverse biological community. The microbiology of these systems is particularly poorly understood, especially with regard to the communities associated with corals, sponges, and algae. This lack of information is partly due to the problems associated with gaining access to these environments and poor reproducibility across sampling methods. To summarize what is known about the microbiology of these ecosystems and to highlight areas where research is urgently needed, an overview of the current state of knowledge is presented. Emphasis is placed on the characterization of microbial populations, both prokaryotic and eukaryotic, associated with corals, sponges, and algae and the factors that influence microbial community structure. In topic areas where virtually nothing is known from mesophotic environments, the knowledge pertaining to shallow-water ecosystems is summarized to provide a starting point for a discussion on what might be expected in the mesophotic zone.

  16. Study of the microbial ecology of wild and aquacultured Tunisian fresh fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulares, Mouna; Mejri, Lobna; Hassouna, Mnasser

    2011-10-01

    Eighty samples of fresh fish were collected in Tunisia and analyzed for microbial load. Quality and hygienic safety of the meat and intestines of wild and aquacultured fresh fish were determined. The mesophilic aerobic plate count and populations of psychrotrophic lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and other psychrotrophic bacteria ranged from 5.67 to 7.29, 4.51 to 6, and 5.07 to 6.21 log CFU/g, respectively. For all microbiological determinations, bacterial counts were lower in meat than in the intestines of fresh fish. For all samples lower microbial populations were found in most of the wild fish than in the aquacultured fish. No isolates of the pathogenic genera Salmonella and Listeria were detected in any sample. Among the 160 strains of biopreservative psychrotrophic LAB and the 150 strains of spoilage psychrotrophic gram-negative bacteria identified by biochemical and molecular methods, Lactobacillus (six species) and Pseudomonas (six species) predominated. Lactococcus, Leuconostoc, Carnobacterium (C. piscicola and C. divergens), Aeromonas, and Photobacterium were the most common genera, and Lactococcus lactis, Lactobacillus plantarum, Pseudomonas fluorescens, and Aeromonas hydrophila were the most common species. These findings indicate that the microbiological quality of fresh fish in Tunisia can be preserved by controlling pathogenic and psychrotrophic bacteria.

  17. Effect of different fertilizers on the microbial activity and productivity ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Jane

    2011-07-18

    Jul 18, 2011 ... randomized block design in four replications at the experimental field of the Biotechnical Faculty,. Podgorica in ..... (plants, animals and humans) through the food chain. In general, the ... Microbial ecology of the rhizosphere.

  18. Bacteriocins: molecules of fundamental impact on the microbial ecology and potential food biopreservatives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evandro Leite de Souza

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available Bacteriocins are proteic molecules synthesized for various lineages of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria when exposed to stressful conditions. Bacteriocins have been characterized as molecules of high antimicrobial property even at low concentrations, provoking the microbial survival inhibition by antibiosis. These substances have their synthesis mediated for genetic mechanisms and develop their lethal action on the microbial cell by multiples mechanisms that can act of isolated or concomitant way culminating with microbial cell killing. This molecules class presents characteristic of stability to heat, low pH, refrigeration and freezing, and resistance to weak organics solvents, salts and enzymes. On the other hand, they are very sensitive to proteolytic enzymes action. Bacteriocins could appear as potential agents to be applied in food conservation systems in order to provide microbiologically stable foods.Bacteriocinas são moléculas protéicas sintetizadas por várias linhagens de bactérias Gram-positivas e Gram-negativas quando submetidas a condições de stress. São ainda caracterizadas como moléculas de alto poder antimicrobiano mesmo em baixas concentrações, provocando a inibição da sobrevivência microbiana através de uma ação de antibiose. As bacteriocinas têm seu processo de síntese mediado por mecanismos genéticos, e desenvolvem sua ação letal sobre a célula microbiana por intermédio de múltiplos mecanismos que podem agir de forma isolada ou concomitante culminando com a morte da célula microbiana. Estas moléculas apresentam características de estabilidade ao calor, baixo pH, refrigeração, congelamento, resistência a ácidos orgânicos fracos, sais e enzimas, porém são muito sensíveis à enzimas proteolíticas. Assim, as bacteriocinas podem aparecer como potenciais agentes para serem aplicados em sistemas de conservação de alimentos com objetivo de prover alimentos microbiologicamente estáveis.

  19. Microbial ecology of soda lakes: investigating sulfur and nitrogen cycling at Mono Lake, CA, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fairbanks, D.; Phillips, A. A.; Wells, M.; Bao, R.; Fullerton, K. M.; Stamps, B. W.; Speth, D. R.; Johnson, H.; Sessions, A. L.

    2017-12-01

    Soda lakes represent unique ecosystems characterized by extremes of pH, salinity and distinct geochemical cycling. Despite these extreme conditions, soda lakes are important repositories of biological adaptation and have a highly functional microbial system. We investigated the biogeochemical cycling of sulfur and nitrogen compounds in Mono Lake, California, located east of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Mono lake is characterized by hyperalkaline, hypersaline and high sulfate concentrations and can enter prolonged periods of meromixis due to freshwater inflow. Typically, the microbial sulfur cycle is highly active in soda lakes with both oxidation and reduction of sulfur compounds. However, the biological sulfur cycle is connected to many other main elemental cycles such as carbon, nitrogen and metals. Here we investigated the interaction between sulfur and nitrogen cycling in Mono lake using a combination of molecular, isotopic, and geochemical observations to explore the links between microbial phylogenetic composition and functionality. Metagenomic and 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing were determined at two locations and five depths in May 2017. 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing analysis revealed organisms capable of both sulfur and nitrogen cycling. The relative abundance and distribution of functional genes (dsrA, soxAB, nifH, etc) were also determined. These genetic markers indicate the potential in situ relevance of specific carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur pathways in the water column prior to the transition to meromictic stratification. However, genes for sulfide oxidation, denitrification, and ammonification were present. Genome binning guided by the most abundant dsrA sequences, GC content, and abundance with depth identified a Thioalkalivibrio paradoxus bin containing genes capable of sulfur oxidation, denitrification, and nitrate reduction. The presence of a large number of sulfur and nitrogen cycling genes associated with Thioalkalivibrio paradoxus

  20. Early Human Evolution in the Western Palaearctic: Ecological Scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrión, José S.; Rose, James; Stringer, Chris

    2011-06-01

    This review presents the themes of a special issue dealing with environmental scenarios of human evolution during the Early Pleistocene (2.6-0.78 Ma; MIS 103-MIS 19) and early Middle Pleistocene (0.78-0.47 Ma; MIS 19-base of MIS 12) within the western Palaearctic. This period is one of dramatic changes in the climates and the distribution of Palaearctic biota. These changes have played their role in generating adaptive and phyletic patterns within the human ancestry, involving several species such as Homo habilis, "Homo georgicus", Homo erectus, Homo antecessor and Homo heidelbergensis. In the archaeological record, these species include the Oldowan (Mode 1) and Acheulian (Mode 2) lithic technologies. Taphonomic considerations of palaeoecological research in hominin-bearing sites are provided and evaluated. Syntheses are provided for north Africa, western Asia, the Mediterranean Basin, Britain, and continental Europe. Palaeoenvironmental reconstructions based on multidisciplinary data are given for Ain Boucherit, Ain Hanech and El-Kherba in Algeria, Dmanisi in Georgia, Atapuerca, Cueva Negra, and the Orce Basin in Spain, Monte Poggiolo and Pirro Nord in Italy, Pont-de-Lavaud in France, and Mauer in Germany. The state of the art with the Out of Africa 1 dispersal model is reviewed. A source-sink dynamics model for Palaeolithic Europe is described to explain the morphological disparity of H. heidelbergensis (we will sometimes use the informal name "Heidelbergs") and early Neanderthals. Other aspects debated here are the selective value of habitat mosaics including reconstructions based on mammal and avian databases, and the role of geological instability combined with topographic complexity. This review is completed by addressing the question of whether the appearance of evolutionary trends within hominins is concentrated in regions of highest worldwide biological diversity (biodiversity hotspots). It is concluded that the keys for the activation of evolutionary

  1. Apple replant disease: role of microbial ecology in cause and control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzola, Mark; Manici, Luisa M

    2012-01-01

    Replant disease of apple is common to all major apple growing regions of the world. Difficulties in defining disease etiology, which can be exacerbated by abiotic factors, have limited progress toward developing alternatives to soil fumigation for disease control. However, the preponderance of data derived from studies of orchard soil biology employing multidisciplinary approaches has defined a complex of pathogens/parasites as causal agents of the disease. Approaches to manipulate microbial resources endemic to the orchard soil system have been proposed to induce a state of general soil suppressiveness to replant disease. Such a long-term strategy may benefit the existing orchard through extending the period of economic viability and reduce overall disease pressure to which young trees are exposed during establishment of successive plantings on the site. Alternatively, more near-term methods have been devised to achieve specific quantitative and qualitative changes in soil biology during the period of orchard renovation that may lead to effective disease suppression.

  2. Microbial ecology of the skin in the era of metagenomics and molecular microbiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannigan, Geoffrey D; Grice, Elizabeth A

    2013-12-01

    The skin is the primary physical barrier between the body and the external environment and is also a substrate for the colonization of numerous microbes. Previously, dermatological microbiology research was dominated by culture-based techniques, but significant advances in genomic technologies have enabled the development of less-biased, culture-independent approaches to characterize skin microbial communities. These molecular microbiology approaches illustrate the great diversity of microbiota colonizing the skin and highlight unique features such as site specificity, temporal dynamics, and interpersonal variation. Disruptions in skin commensal microbiota are associated with the progression of many dermatological diseases. A greater understanding of how skin microbes interact with each other and with their host, and how we can therapeutically manipulate those interactions, will provide powerful tools for treating and preventing dermatological disease.

  3. Ecological patterns, diversity and core taxa of microbial communities in groundwater-fed rapid gravity filters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gülay, Arda; Musovic, Sanin; Albrechtsen, Hans-Jørgen

    2016-01-01

    Here, we document microbial communities in rapid gravity filtration units, specifically serial rapid sand filters (RSFs), termed prefilters (PFs) and after- filters (AFs), fed with anoxic groundwaters low in organic carbon to prepare potable waters. A comprehensive 16S rRNA-based amplicon...... sequencing survey revealed a core RSF microbiome comprising few bacterial taxa (29–30 genera) dominated by Nitrospirae, Proteobacteria and Acidobacteria, with a strikingly high abundance (75–87±18%) across five examined waterworks in Denmark. Lineages within the Nitrospira genus consistently comprised...... the second most and most abundant fraction in PFs (27±23%) and AFs (45.2±23%), respectively, and were far more abundant than typical proteobacterial ammonium-oxidizing bacteria, suggesting a physiology beyond nitrite oxidation for Nitrospira. Within the core taxa, sequences closely related to types...

  4. The Hidden World within Plants: Ecological and Evolutionary Considerations for Defining Functioning of Microbial Endophytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardoim, Pablo R; van Overbeek, Leonard S; Berg, Gabriele; Pirttilä, Anna Maria; Compant, Stéphane; Campisano, Andrea; Döring, Matthias; Sessitsch, Angela

    2015-09-01

    All plants are inhabited internally by diverse microbial communities comprising bacterial, archaeal, fungal, and protistic taxa. These microorganisms showing endophytic lifestyles play crucial roles in plant development, growth, fitness, and diversification. The increasing awareness of and information on endophytes provide insight into the complexity of the plant microbiome. The nature of plant-endophyte interactions ranges from mutualism to pathogenicity. This depends on a set of abiotic and biotic factors, including the genotypes of plants and microbes, environmental conditions, and the dynamic network of interactions within the plant biome. In this review, we address the concept of endophytism, considering the latest insights into evolution, plant ecosystem functioning, and multipartite interactions. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  5. Competitive Traits Are More Important than Stress-Tolerance Traits in a Cadmium-Contaminated Rhizosphere: A Role for Trait Theory in Microbial Ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Jennifer L; Tang, Caixian; Franks, Ashley E

    2018-01-01

    Understanding how biotic and abiotic factors govern the assembly of rhizosphere-microbial communities is a long-standing goal in microbial ecology. In phytoremediation research, where plants are used to remediate heavy metal-contaminated soils, a deeper understanding of rhizosphere-microbial ecology is needed to fully exploit the potential of microbial-assisted phytoremediation. This study investigated whether Grime's competitor/stress-tolerator/ruderal (CSR) theory could be used to describe the impact of cadmium (Cd) and the presence of a Cd-accumulating plant, Carpobrotus rossii (Haw.) Schwantes, on the assembly of soil-bacterial communities using Illumina 16S rRNA profiling and the predictive metagenomic-profiling program, PICRUSt. Using predictions based on CSR theory, we hypothesized that Cd and the presence of a rhizosphere would affect community assembly. We predicted that the additional resource availability in the rhizosphere would enrich for competitive life strategists, while the presence of Cd would select for stress-tolerators. Traits identified as competitive followed CSR predictions, discriminating between rhizosphere and bulk-soil communities whilst stress-tolerance traits increased with Cd dose, but only in bulk-soil communities. These findings suggest that a bacterium's competitive attributes are critical to its ability to occupy and proliferate in a Cd-contaminated rhizosphere. Ruderal traits, which relate to community re-colonization potential, were synergistically decreased by the presence of the rhizosphere and Cd dose. Taken together this microcosm study suggests that the CSR theory is broadly applicable to microbial communities. Further work toward developing a simplified and robust strategy for microbial CSR classification will provide an ecologically meaningful framework to interpret community-level changes across a range of biomes.

  6. Adaptive long-term monitoring of soil health in metal phytostabilization: ecological attributes and ecosystem services based on soil microbial parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epelde, Lur; Becerril, José M; Alkorta, Itziar; Garbisu, Carlos

    2014-01-01

    Phytostabilization is a promising option for the remediation of metal contaminated soils which requires the implementation of long-term monitoring programs. We here propose to incorporate the paradigm of "adaptive monitoring", which enables monitoring programs to evolve iteratively as new information emerges and research questions change, to metal phytostabilization. Posing good questions that cover the chemical, toxicological and ecological concerns associated to metal contaminated soils is critical for an efficient long-term phytostabilization monitoring program. Regarding the ecological concerns, soil microbial parameters are most valuable indicators of the effectiveness of metal phytostabilization processes in terms of recovery of soil health. We suggest to group soil microbial parameters in higher-level categories such as "ecological attributes" (vigor, organization, stability) or "ecosystem services" in order to facilitate interpretation and, most importantly, to provide long-term phytostabilization monitoring programs with the required stability through time against changes in techniques, methods, interests, etc. that will inevitably occur during the monitoring program. Finally, a Phytostabilization Monitoring Card, based on both ecological attributes and ecosystem services, for soil microbial properties is provided.

  7. Incorporating the gut microbiota into models of human and non-human primate ecology and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amato, Katherine R

    2016-01-01

    The mammalian gut is home to a diverse community of microbes. Advances in technology over the past two decades have allowed us to examine this community, the gut microbiota, in more detail, revealing a wide range of influences on host nutrition, health, and behavior. These host-gut microbe interactions appear to shape host plasticity and fitness in a variety of contexts, and therefore represent a key factor missing from existing models of human and non-human primate ecology and evolution. However, current studies of the gut microbiota tend to include limited contextual data or are clinical, making it difficult to directly test broad anthropological hypotheses. Here, I review what is known about the animal gut microbiota and provide examples of how gut microbiota research can be integrated into the study of human and non-human primate ecology and evolution with targeted data collection. Specifically, I examine how the gut microbiota may impact primate diet, energetics, disease resistance, and cognition. While gut microbiota research is proliferating rapidly, especially in the context of humans, there remain important gaps in our understanding of host-gut microbe interactions that will require an anthropological perspective to fill. Likewise, gut microbiota research will be an important tool for filling remaining gaps in anthropological research. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Can the black box be cracked? The augmentation of microbial ecology by high-resolution, automated sensing technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shade, Ashley; Carey, Cayelan C; Kara, Emily; Bertilsson, Stefan; McMahon, Katherine D; Smith, Matthew C

    2009-08-01

    Automated sensing technologies, 'ASTs,' are tools that can monitor environmental or microbial-related variables at increasingly high temporal resolution. Microbial ecologists are poised to use AST data to couple microbial structure, function and associated environmental observations on temporal scales pertinent to microbial processes. In the context of aquatic microbiology, we discuss three applications of ASTs: windows on the microbial world, adaptive sampling and adaptive management. We challenge microbial ecologists to push AST potential in helping to reveal relationships between microbial structure and function.

  9. Interpreting ecological diversity indices applied to terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism data: insights from simulated microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackwood, Christopher B; Hudleston, Deborah; Zak, Donald R; Buyer, Jeffrey S

    2007-08-01

    Ecological diversity indices are frequently applied to molecular profiling methods, such as terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP), in order to compare diversity among microbial communities. We performed simulations to determine whether diversity indices calculated from T-RFLP profiles could reflect the true diversity of the underlying communities despite potential analytical artifacts. These include multiple taxa generating the same terminal restriction fragment (TRF) and rare TRFs being excluded by a relative abundance (fluorescence) threshold. True community diversity was simulated using the lognormal species abundance distribution. Simulated T-RFLP profiles were generated by assigning each species a TRF size based on an empirical or modeled TRF size distribution. With a typical threshold (1%), the only consistently useful relationship was between Smith and Wilson evenness applied to T-RFLP data (TRF-E(var)) and true Shannon diversity (H'), with correlations between 0.71 and 0.81. TRF-H' and true H' were well correlated in the simulations using the lowest number of species, but this correlation declined substantially in simulations using greater numbers of species, to the point where TRF-H' cannot be considered a useful statistic. The relationships between TRF diversity indices and true indices were sensitive to the relative abundance threshold, with greatly improved correlations observed using a 0.1% threshold, which was investigated for comparative purposes but is not possible to consistently achieve with current technology. In general, the use of diversity indices on T-RFLP data provides inaccurate estimates of true diversity in microbial communities (with the possible exception of TRF-E(var)). We suggest that, where significant differences in T-RFLP diversity indices were found in previous work, these should be reinterpreted as a reflection of differences in community composition rather than a true difference in community diversity.

  10. The microbial ecology of anaerobic cellulose degradation in municipal waste landfill sites: evidence of a role for fibrobacters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, James E; Houghton, James N I; Rooks, David J; Allison, Heather E; McCarthy, Alan J

    2012-04-01

    Cellulose is reputedly the most abundant organic polymer in the biosphere, yet despite the fundamental role of cellulolytic microorganisms in global carbon cycling and as potential sources of novel enzymes for biotechnology, their identity and ecology is not well established. Cellulose is a major component of landfill waste and its degradation is therefore a key feature of the anaerobic microbial decomposition process. Here, we targeted a number of taxa containing known cellulolytic anaerobes (members of the bacterial genus Fibrobacter, lineages of Clostridium clusters I, III, IV and XIV, and anaerobic fungi of the Neocallimastigales) in landfill leachate and colonized cellulose 'baits' via PCR and quantitative PCR (qPCR). Fibrobacter spp. and Clostridium clusters III, IV and XIV were detected in almost all leachate samples and cluster III and XIV clostridia were the most abundant (1-6% and 1-17% of total bacterial 16S rRNA gene copies respectively). Two landfill leachate microcosms were constructed to specifically assess those microbial communities that colonize and degrade cellulose substrates in situ. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of colonized cotton revealed extensive cellulose degradation in one microcosm, and Fibrobacter spp. and Clostridium cluster III represented 29% and 17%, respectively, of total bacterial 16S rRNA gene copies in the biofilm. Visible cellulose degradation was not observed in the second microcosm, and this correlated with negligible relative abundances of Clostridium cluster III and Fibrobacter spp. (≤ 0.1%), providing the first evidence that the novel fibrobacters recently detected in landfill sites and other non-gut environments colonize and degrade cellulose substrates in situ. © 2012 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  11. Microbial ecology involved in the ripening of naturally fermented llama meat sausages. A focus on lactobacilli diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontana, Cecilia; Bassi, Daniela; López, Constanza; Pisacane, Vincenza; Otero, Maria Claudia; Puglisi, Edoardo; Rebecchi, Annalisa; Cocconcelli, Pier Sandro; Vignolo, Graciela

    2016-11-07

    Llama represents for the Andean regions a valid alternative to bovine and pork meat and thanks to the high proteins and low fat content; it can constitute a good product for the novel food market. In this study, culture-dependent and independent methods were applied to investigate the microbial ecology of naturally fermented llama sausages produced in Northwest Argentina. Two different production technologies of llama sausage were investigated: a pilot-plant scale (P) and an artisanal one (A). Results obtained by High-Throughput Sequencing (HTS) of 16S rRNA amplicons showed that the production technologies influenced the development of microbial communities with a different composition throughout the entire fermentation process. Both sequencing and microbiological counts demonstrated that Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) contributed largely to the dominant microbiota. When a total of 230 isolates were approached by RAPD-PCR, presumptive LAB strains from P production exhibited an initial variability in RAPD fingerprints switching to a single profile at the final of ripening, while A production revealed a more heterogeneous RAPD pattern during the whole fermentation process. The constant presence of Lactobacillus sakei along the fermentation in both productions was revealed by HTS and confirmed by species-specific PCR from isolated strains. The technological characterization of Lb. sakei isolates evidenced their ability to grow at 15°C, pH4.5 and 5% NaCl (95%). Most strains hydrolyzed myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic proteins. Bacteriocins encoding genes and antimicrobial resistance were found in 35% and 42.5% of the strains, respectively. An appropriate choice of a combination of autochthonous strains in a starter formulation is fundamental to improve and standardize llama sausages safety and quality. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Impact of microbial count distributions on human health risk estimates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ribeiro Duarte, Ana Sofia; Nauta, Maarten

    2015-01-01

    Quantitative microbiological risk assessment (QMRA) is influenced by the choice of the probability distribution used to describe pathogen concentrations, as this may eventually have a large effect on the distribution of doses at exposure. When fitting a probability distribution to microbial...... enumeration data, several factors may have an impact on the accuracy of that fit. Analysis of the best statistical fits of different distributions alone does not provide a clear indication of the impact in terms of risk estimates. Thus, in this study we focus on the impact of fitting microbial distributions...... on risk estimates, at two different concentration scenarios and at a range of prevalence levels. By using five different parametric distributions, we investigate whether different characteristics of a good fit are crucial for an accurate risk estimate. Among the factors studied are the importance...

  13. Microbial ecology of extreme environments: Antarctic dry valley yeasts and growth in substrate-limited habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vishniac, H. S.

    1982-01-01

    The success of the Antarctic Dry Valley yeasts presumeably results from adaptations to multiple stresses, to low temperatures and substrate-limitation as well as prolonged resting periods enforced by low water availability. Previous investigations have suggested that the crucial stress is substrate limitation. Specific adaptations may be pinpointed by comparing the physiology of the Cryptococcus vishniacii complex, the yeasts of the Tyrol Valley, with their congeners from other habitats. Progress was made in methods of isolation and definition of ecological niches, in the design of experiments in competition for limited substrate, and in establishing the relationships of the Cryptococcus vishniacii complex with other yeasts. In the course of investigating relationships, a new method for 25SrRNA homology was developed. For the first time it appears that 25SrRNA homology may reflect parallel or convergent evolution.

  14. On the use of antibiotics to reduce rhizoplane microbial populations in root physiology and ecology investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smart, D. R.; Ferro, A.; Ritchie, K.; Bugbee, B. G.

    1995-01-01

    No straightforward method exists for separating the proportion of ion exchange and respiration due to rhizoplane microbial organisms from that of root ion exchange and respiration. We examined several antibiotics that might be used for the temporary elimination of rhizoplane bacteria from hydroponically grown wheat roots (Triticum aestivum cv. Veery 10). Each antibiotic was tested for herbicidal activity and plate counts were used to enumerate bacteria and evaluate antibiotic kinetics. Only lactam antibiotics (penicillins and cephalosporins) did not reduce wheat growth rates. Aminoglycosides, the pyrimidine trimethoprim, colistin and rifampicin reduced growth rates substantially. Antibiotics acted slowly, with maximum reductions in rhizoplane bacteria occurring after more than 48 h of exposure. Combinations of nonphytotoxic antibiotics reduced platable rhizoplane bacteria by as much as 98%; however, this was generally a reduction from about 10(9) to 10(6) colony forming units per gram of dry root mass, so that many viable bacteria remained on root surfaces. We present evidence which suggests that insufficient bacterial biomass exists on root surfaces of nonstressed plants grown under well-aerated conditions to quantitatively interfere with root nitrogen absorption measurements.

  15. Deep sequencing and ecological characterization of gut microbial communities of diverse bumble bee species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haw Chuan Lim

    Full Text Available Gut bacterial communities of bumble bees are correlated with defense against pathogens. Further understanding this host-microbe association is vitally important as bumble bees are currently experiencing global population declines, potentially due in part to emergent diseases. In this study, we used pyrosequencing and community fingerprinting (ARISA to characterize the gut microbial communities of nine bumble species from across the Bombus phylogeny. Overall, we delimited 74 bacterial taxa (operational taxonomic units or OTUs belonging to Betaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Bacilli, Actinobacteria, Flavobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria. Each bacterial community was taxonomically simple, containing an average of 1.9 common (relative abundance per sample > 5% bacterial OTUs. The most abundant and prevalent (occurring in 92% of the samples bacterial OTU, based on 16S rRNA sequences, closely matched that of the previously described Betaproteobacteria species Snodgrassella alvi. Bacteria that were first described in bee-related external environments dominated a number of gut bacterial communities, suggesting that they are not strictly dependent on the internal gut environment. The ARISA data showed a correlation between bacterial community structures and the geographic locations where the bees were sampled, suggesting that at least a subset of the bacterial species may be transmitted environmentally. Using light and fluorescent microscopy, we demonstrated that the gut bacteria form a biofilm on the internal epithelial surface of the ileum, corroborating results obtained from Apis mellifera.

  16. Microbial diversity in ikaite tufa columns: an alkaline, cold ecological niche in Greenland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stougaard, Peter; Jørgensen, Flemming; Johnsen, Mads G; Hansen, Ole C

    2002-08-01

    Ikaite tufa columns from the Ikka Fjord in south-western Greenland constitute a natural, stable environment at low temperature and with a pH ranging from neutral at the exterior to very alkaline (pH 10.4) at the interior of the column. Phylogenetic analysis of culturable organisms revealed ten different isolates representing three of the major bacterial divisions. Nine of the isolates showed 94-99% similarity to known sequences, whereas one isolate displayed a low degree of similarity (less than 90%) to a Cyclobacterium species. Seven of the isolates were shown to be cold active alkaliphiles, whereas three isolates showed optimal growth at neutral pH. Phylogenetic analysis of DNA isolated directly from the ikaite material demonstrated the presence of a microbial flora more diverse than the culturable isolates. Whereas approximately half of the phylotypes showed 90-99% similarity to known meso- or thermophilic alkaliphiles, the rest of the sequences displayed less than 90% similarity when compared to known 16S rRNA gene sequences in databases. Thus, in the present paper, we demonstrate that ikaite columns that host a specialized macroscopic flora and fauna also contain a unique, cold active, alkaliphilic microflora.

  17. Antibody against Microbial Neuraminidases Recognizes Human Sialidase 3 (NEU3: the Neuraminidase/Sialidase Superfamily Revisited

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiguang Feng

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Neuraminidases (NAs are critical virulence factors for several microbial pathogens. With a highly conserved catalytic domain, a microbial NA “superfamily” has been proposed. We previously reported that murine polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMN sialidase activity was important in leukocyte trafficking to inflamed sites and that antibodies to Clostridium perfringens NA recognized a cell surface molecule(s, presumed to be a sialidase of eukaryotic origin on interleukin-8-stimulated human and murine PMNs. These antibodies also inhibited cell sialidase activity both in vitro and, in the latter instance, in vivo. We therefore hypothesized that mammalian sialidases share structural homology and epitopes with microbial NAs. We now report that antibodies to one of the isoforms of C. perfringens NA, as well as anti-influenza virus NA serum, recognize human NEU3 but not NEU1 and that antibodies to C. perfringens NA inhibit NEU3 enzymatic activity. We conclude that the previously described microbial NA superfamily extends to human sialidases. Strategies designed to therapeutically inhibit microbial NA may need to consider potential compromising effects on human sialidases, particularly those expressed in cells of the immune system.

  18. Human ecology. Foundations of preventive environmental policy. Humanoekologie. Grundlagen praeventiver Umweltpolitik

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Glaeser, B [ed.

    1989-01-01

    Can human ecology contribute towards originating a preventive environmental policy. Following a discussion of the demands of preventive environmental policy between theory and practice, the book presents the scientific approach 'human ecology' from a social-scientific angle. Then the question of the foundation in environmentally-related ethics is dealt with. The application and realizability of human-ecological considerations are tested with reference to different sectors of politics, and positive and negative indications of the chances of realization of a preventive environmental policy are discussed. (orig.).

  19. Review of vegetable fermentations with particular emphasis on processing modifications, microbial ecology, and spoilage

    Science.gov (United States)

    The consumption of vegetables is widespread in the world and represents a major component of the human diet. Microorganisms (mainly lactic acid bacteria, yeasts, Enterobacteriaceae, Propionibacterium and Clostridium species) play a significant role in vegetable fermentations, affecting the quality a...

  20. EPA2011 Microbial & nutrient database - Evaluating the ecological health of Puget Sound's pelagic foodweb

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To evaluate effects of human influence on the health of Puget Sound's pelagic ecosystems, we propose a sampling program across multiple oceanographic basins...

  1. Confluence of arts, humanities, and science at sites of long-term ecological inquiry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frederick J. Swanson

    2015-01-01

    Over the past century, ecology, the arts, and humanities diverged, but are now converging again, especially at sites of long-term, place-based ecological inquiry. This convergence has been inspired in part by the works of creative, boundary-spanning individuals and the long-standing examples of artshumanities programs in intriguing landscapes, such as artist and writer...

  2. Going from Microbial Ecology to Genome Data and Back: Studies on a Haloalkaliphilic Bacterium Isolated from Soap Lake, Washington State

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie R. Mormile

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Soap Lake is a meromictic, alkaline (~pH 9.8 and saline (~14 to 140 g liter-1 lake located in the semiarid area of eastern Washington State. Of note is the length of time it has been meromictic (at least 2000 years and the extremely high sulfide level (~140 mM in its monimolimnion. As expected, the microbial ecology of this lake is greatly influenced by these conditions. A bacterium, Halanaerobium hydrogeniformans, was isolated from the mixolimnion region of this lake. H. hydrogeniformans is a haloalkaliphilic bacterium capable of forming hydrogen from 5- and 6-carbon sugars derived from hemicellulose and cellulose. Due to its ability to produce hydrogen under saline and alkaline conditions, in amounts that rival genetically modified organisms, its genome was sequenced. This sequence data provides an opportunity to explore the unique metabolic capabilities of this organism, including the mechanisms for tolerating the extreme conditions of both high salinity and alkalinity of its environment.

  3. Application and microbial ecology of psychrotrophs in domestic wastewater treatment at low temperature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zhenzhen; Ben, Yue; Chen, Zhonglin; Jiang, Anxi; Shen, Jimin; Han, Xiaoyun

    2018-01-01

    The feasibility of a bunch of screened psychrotrophs being applied to low-temperature wastewater treatment was investigated. The screened psychrophillic strains are capable of growth at a broad temperature-range from 0 to 40 °C and exhibit a preferable TTC-dehydrogenase activity at low temperature (4-10 °C). Along the sharply fluctuant temperatures (25-4-25 °C), the screened psychrotrophs (compared with the indigenous mesophiles) demonstrate less fluctuations of COD removal and more rapid recovery after temperature shocks. COD removal of approximate 80% was recorded by single psychrotrophs (while only 10% by single mesophiles) at low temperature (4 °C). Soft polyurethane foam showed better performance for psychrotrophs immobilization, with the optimal filling rate of 30% (v/v) in the bioreactor. The observation shows that the immobilized psychrotrophs demonstrated a relatively high performance on both conventional and emerging organic contaminants removals at low temperature. In order to check the feasibility of the screened psychrotrophs in treating actual domestic wastewater, a pilot-scale ICABR bioreactor was operated firstly at low temperature (4 °C) and then at seasonal varying temperatures (0-30 °C) for one year, the influent COD of 150-600 mg L -1 was efficiently reduced to 40 ± 18 mg L -1 under the conditions of an overall hydraulic retention time of 10 h. Furthermore, psychrotrophs performed stably as the predominant bacteria family during the whole operation. This study provides evidence that microbial intensification with psychrotrophs was a feasible strategy to improve the efficiency of conventional wastewater treatment process at low temperature. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Coastal California's Fog Aerobiology and Ecology: A Local-Scale Survey on Atmospheric Microbial Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gentry, D.; Arismendi, D.; Alvarez, J.; Ouandji, C.; Guarro, M.; Demachkie, I. S.; Crosbie, E.; Dadashazar, H.; MacDonald, A. B.; Wang, Z.; Sorooshian, A.; Jonsson, H.; Dahlgren, R. P.

    2017-12-01

    Microorganisms play a ubiquitous role in our environment. Although Earth's aero-biosphere is a minimally researched area, it is known that viable airborne microbes are found throughout the troposphere and into the stratosphere. Previously identified airborne microbes act as cloud condensation nuclei, and can alter water, carbon and other geochemical cycles, making them crucial to understanding local and global ecosystems. Research shows that some atmospheric regions provide environments conducive to growth and reproduction. However, we do not know if there are airborne populations that metabolize or reproduce. In coastal California, where dense fog is common, a sampling campaign is underway using autonomous aerial vehicles (UAVs) fit with a multi-sensor package, and passive impactor water collection system to allow 4D point sampling within a single fog bank. This small-scale (medium, incubated at room temperature, and counted when colonies first appeared, and again after two weeks. Four flights did not yield enough water for analysis, however the remaining twelve are consistent with generally reported colony-forming unit (CFU) values for terrestrial fog water. The PCA assay showed 22 samples with no growth, and the remainder ranging from 100 to 244,000 CFU/mL. The R-2A assay showed 18 samples with no growth, with the remainder between 100 and 241,000 CFU/mL. These results validate the presence of viable microorganisms in fog at levels easily detectable by our sampling system. ATP quantification via bioluminescence assays will be conducted to assess total bioavailable energy; samples will also be analyzed for live/dead population ratios via fluorescent staining. To assess efficacy for future DNA extraction, both GenElute and EZNA assays were conducted using ground water, fog water, and low-biomass filtered water for comparison data. In flight samples collected, qPCR will be conducted for future community identification of several microbial classes of interest.

  5. Microbial and genetic ecology of tropical Vertisols under intensive chemical farming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malhotra, Jaya; Aparna, K; Dua, Ankita; Sangwan, Naseer; Trimurtulu, N; Rao, D L N; Lal, Rup

    2015-01-01

    There are continued concerns on unscientific usage of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, particularly in many developing countries leading to adverse consequences for soil biological quality and agricultural sustainability. In farmers' fields in tropical Vertisols of peninsular India, "high" fertilizer and pesticide usage at about 2.3 times the recommended rates in black gram (Vigna mungo) did not have a deleterious effect on the abundance of culturable microorganisms, associative nitrogen fixers, nitrifiers, and 16S rRNA gene diversity compared to normal rates. However, "very high" application at about five times the fertilizers and 1.5 times pesticides in chilies (Capsicum annuum) adversely affected the populations of fungi, actinomycetes, and ammonifiers, along with a drastic change in the eubacterial community profile and diversity over normal rates. Actinobacteria were dominant in black gram normal (BG1) (47%), black gram high (BG2) (36%), and chili normal (CH1) (30%) and were least in chili very high (CH2) (14%). Geodermatophilus formed 20% of Actinobacteria in BG1 but disappeared in BG2, CH1, and CH2. Asticcacaulis dominated at "very high" input site (CH2). Diversity of nitrogen fixers was completely altered; Dechloromonas and Anaeromyxobacter were absent in BG1 but proliferated well in BG2. There was reduction in rhizobial nifH sequences in BG2 by 46%. Phylogenetic differences characterized by UniFrac and principal coordinate analysis showed that BG2 and CH2 clustered together depicting a common pattern of genetic shift, while BG1 and CH1 fell at different axis. Overall, there were adverse consequences of "very high" fertilizer and pesticide usage on soil microbial diversity and function in tropical Vertisols.

  6. Understanding and Modulating Mammalian-Microbial Communication for Improved Human Health

    OpenAIRE

    Mani, Sridhar; Boelsterli, Urs A.; Redinbo, Matthew R.

    2013-01-01

    The fact that the bacteria in the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract play a symbiotic role was noted as early as 1885, well before we began to manage microbial infections using antibiotics. However, even with the first antimicrobial compounds used in humans, the sulfa drugs, microbes were recognized to be critically involved in the biotransformation of these therapeutics. Thus, the roles played by the microbiota in physiology and in the management of human health have long been appreciated. De...

  7. Impact of high-pressure processing on the microbial ecology of foods

    Science.gov (United States)

    A new report released by the USDA’s Economic Research Service estimates the cost of foodborne illnesses in the U.S. tops $15.6 billion (USDA, 2014). Food can be contaminated by human pathogens anywhere in the farm to table continuum. Thermal processing is the most common intervention technology pra...

  8. Patterns of ecological specialization among microbial populations in the Red Sea and diverse oligotrophic marine environments

    KAUST Repository

    Thompson, Luke R

    2013-05-11

    Authors. Ecology and Evolution.

  9. Radical Transformation in the Human - Nature Perception: Deep Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hasan YAYLI

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available There have been numerous endeavors to date the green thought. As the environmental problems have begun to be apparent in the aftermath of the second world war, the year of 1952, a traumatic incident is noted where more than four thousand people have died d ue to air pollution in London, while in 1970, Rome Club have initiated within the Project of Predicament of Mankind in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, in which zero growth thesis put forward in its famed report. Both the for mer and the latter ignited environmental awareness and regarded as the point of origins for the green thought. Regardless of where it begins from, ecological movements have mainly followed the paths of two movements of thought and tried to develop their p aradigms on the basis of these two main thoughts. The environmentalists that named as socialist or Marxist asserts that only through a radical transformation where capitalist way of production is abandoned, the prevention of environmental degradation cou ld be achieved. Whereas the environmentalists who follow the capitalist paradigm believed the protection of environment could be achieved by means of the sustainability in terms of natural resource pool and waste - disposal practices. If we look closely, both of these two movements of thought are anthropocentric. An alternative ecological movement of thought has proposed in 1973 by Norwegian philosopher, Arne Naess, in his work named, “The Shallow and the Deep, Long - Range Ecology Moveme nt: A Summary”. This Deep Ecology approach moves through the commitment to the inner value of the nature aside from mankind and by this way, differs from anthropocentric approaches. Within forty two years, Deep Ecology has led various discussions. The the mes as “ecosophy” which has proposed to define itself and the “bio - regions” conception which put forward to actualize its philosophy could be counted among the reference points of the

  10. Presentation: Human and Ecological Health Impacts Associated with Water Reuse and Conservation Practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    This presentation was given by Dr. James Johnson at the STAR Human and Ecological Health Impacts Associated with Water Reuse and Conservation Practices Kick-off Meeting and Webinar held on Oct. 26-27, 2016.

  11. Microbial DNA fingerprinting of human fingerprints: dynamic colonization of fingertip microflora challenges human host inferences for forensic purposes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tims, Sebastian; van Wamel, Willem; Endtz, Hubert P; van Belkum, Alex; Kayser, Manfred

    2010-09-01

    Human fingertip microflora is transferred to touched objects and may provide forensically relevant information on individual hosts, such as on geographic origins, if endogenous microbial skin species/strains would be retrievable from physical fingerprints and would carry geographically restricted DNA diversity. We tested the suitability of physical fingerprints for revealing human host information, with geographic inference as example, via microbial DNA fingerprinting. We showed that the transient exogenous fingertip microflora is frequently different from the resident endogenous bacteria of the same individuals. In only 54% of the experiments, the DNA analysis of the transient fingertip microflora allowed the detection of defined, but often not the major, elements of the resident microflora. Although we found microbial persistency in certain individuals, time-wise variation of transient and resident microflora within individuals was also observed when resampling fingerprints after 3 weeks. While microbial species differed considerably in their frequency spectrum between fingerprint samples from volunteers in Europe and southern Asia, there was no clear geographic distinction between Staphylococcus strains in a cluster analysis, although bacterial genotypes did not overlap between both continental regions. Our results, though limited in quantity, clearly demonstrate that the dynamic fingerprint microflora challenges human host inferences for forensic purposes including geographic ones. Overall, our results suggest that human fingerprint microflora is too dynamic to allow for forensic marker developments for retrieving human information.

  12. How to save the earth planet. Ecology and human spirit

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al Gore.

    1993-01-01

    The author has undertaken for 25 years in all the struggles for the environment protection. His ecology competences are worldwide recognized. With ''HOW TO SAVE THE EARTH PLANET'' AL GORE calls for help facing a great importance economic crisis, the consequences of which are dramatic. Beyond the exhaustive report, very well documented on the scientific topics, he proposes a true ecologic ''Marshall PLAN'' at the planet level, and a global reflection followed by precise and concrete measures. In the beginning of the XXIst century the challenge taken up by AL GORE is also a true defence plea for the future. We are all concerned and our children too. 27 refs

  13. Microbial Eco-Physiology of the human intestinal tract: a flow cytometric approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Amor, Ben K.

    2004-01-01

    This thesis describes a multifaceted approach to further enhance our view of the complex human intestinal microbial ecosystem. This approach combines me advantages of flow cyrometry (FCM), a single cell and high-throughput technology, and molecular techniques that have proven themselves to be

  14. Microbial DNA fingerprinting of human fingerprints: dynamic colonization of fingertip microflora challenges human host inferences for forensic purposes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S. Tims (Sebastian); W.J.B. van Wamel (Willem); H.P. Endtz (Hubert); A.F. van Belkum (Alex); M.H. Kayser (Manfred)

    2009-01-01

    textabstractHuman fingertip microflora is transferred to touched objects and may provide forensically relevant information on individual hosts, such as on geographic origins, if endogenous microbial skin species/strains would be retrievable from physical fingerprints and would carry geographically

  15. Urban Transit System Microbial Communities Differ by Surface Type and Interaction with Humans and the Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Tiffany; Joice, Regina; Vallarino, Jose; Abu-Ali, Galeb; Hartmann, Erica M; Shafquat, Afrah; DuLong, Casey; Baranowski, Catherine; Gevers, Dirk; Green, Jessica L; Morgan, Xochitl C; Spengler, John D; Huttenhower, Curtis

    2016-01-01

    Public transit systems are ideal for studying the urban microbiome and interindividual community transfer. In this study, we used 16S amplicon and shotgun metagenomic sequencing to profile microbial communities on multiple transit surfaces across train lines and stations in the Boston metropolitan transit system. The greatest determinant of microbial community structure was the transit surface type. In contrast, little variation was observed between geographically distinct train lines and stations serving different demographics. All surfaces were dominated by human skin and oral commensals such as Propionibacterium , Corynebacterium , Staphylococcus , and Streptococcus . The detected taxa not associated with humans included generalists from alphaproteobacteria, which were especially abundant on outdoor touchscreens. Shotgun metagenomics further identified viral and eukaryotic microbes, including Propionibacterium phage and Malassezia globosa . Functional profiling showed that Propionibacterium acnes pathways such as propionate production and porphyrin synthesis were enriched on train holding surfaces (holds), while electron transport chain components for aerobic respiration were enriched on touchscreens and seats. Lastly, the transit environment was not found to be a reservoir of antimicrobial resistance and virulence genes. Our results suggest that microbial communities on transit surfaces are maintained from a metapopulation of human skin commensals and environmental generalists, with enrichments corresponding to local interactions with the human body and environmental exposures. IMPORTANCE Mass transit environments, specifically, urban subways, are distinct microbial environments with high occupant densities, diversities, and turnovers, and they are thus especially relevant to public health. Despite this, only three culture-independent subway studies have been performed, all since 2013 and all with widely differing designs and conclusions. In this study, we

  16. Microbial Community Profiling of Human Saliva Using Shotgun Metagenomic Sequencing

    OpenAIRE

    Hasan, Nur A.; Young, Brian A.; Minard-Smith, Angela T.; Saeed, Kelly; Li, Huai; Heizer, Esley M.; McMillan, Nancy J.; Isom, Richard; Abdullah, Abdul Shakur; Bornman, Daniel M.; Faith, Seth A.; Choi, Seon Young; Dickens, Michael L.; Cebula, Thomas A.; Colwell, Rita R.

    2014-01-01

    Human saliva is clinically informative of both oral and general health. Since next generation shotgun sequencing (NGS) is now widely used to identify and quantify bacteria, we investigated the bacterial flora of saliva microbiomes of two healthy volunteers and five datasets from the Human Microbiome Project, along with a control dataset containing short NGS reads from bacterial species representative of the bacterial flora of human saliva. GENIUS, a system designed to identify and quantify ba...

  17. Automated Annotation of Microbial and Human Flavonoid-Derived Metabolites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mihaleva, V.V.; Ünlü, F.; Vervoort, J.J.M.; Ridder, L.O.

    2015-01-01

    Flavonoids are a class of natural compounds essentially produced by plants that are part of animal and human diets and have assumed health-promoting benefits. Upon human consumption, these flavonoids are to a modest extent absorbed in the small intestines. The major part arrives in the colon where

  18. Different land use intensities in grassland ecosystems drive ecology of microbial communities involved in nitrogen turnover in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Schöning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Marhan, Sven; Kandeler, Ellen; Schloter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM), intensely used mown pastures (IP) and extensively used pastures (EP), respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK). The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation) might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity.

  19. Different land use intensities in grassland ecosystems drive ecology of microbial communities involved in nitrogen turnover in soil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annabel Meyer

    Full Text Available Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM, intensely used mown pastures (IP and extensively used pastures (EP, respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK. The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity.

  20. Different Land Use Intensities in Grassland Ecosystems Drive Ecology of Microbial Communities Involved in Nitrogen Turnover in Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Schöning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Marhan, Sven; Kandeler, Ellen; Schloter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM), intensely used mown pastures (IP) and extensively used pastures (EP), respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK). The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation) might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity. PMID:24039974

  1. Improving the quality of rice straw by urea and calcium hydroxide on rumen ecology, microbial protein synthesis in beef cattle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polyorach, S; Wanapat, M

    2015-06-01

    Four rumen-fistulated beef cattle were randomly assigned to four treatments according to a 4 × 4 Latin square design to study the influence of urea and calcium hydroxide [Ca(OH)2 ] treatment of rice straw to improve the nutritive value of rice straw. Four dietary treatments were as follows: untreated rice straw, 50 g/kg urea-treated rice straw, 20 g/kg urea + 20 g/kg calcium hydroxide-treated rice straw and 30 g/kg urea + 20 g/kg calcium hydroxide-treated rice straw. All animals were kept in individual pens and fed with concentrate at 0.5 g/kg of BW (DM), rice straw was fed ad libitum. The experiment was conducted for four periods, and each period lasted for 21 days. During the first 14 days, DM feed intake measurements were made while during the last 7 days, all cattle were moved to metabolism crates for total faeces and urine collections. The results revealed that 20 g/kg urea + 20 g/kg calcium hydroxide-treated rice straw improved the nutritive value of rice straw, in terms of dry matter intake, digestibility, ruminal volatile fatty acids, population of bacteria and fungi, nitrogen retention and microbial protein synthesis. Based on this study, it could be concluded that using urea plus calcium hydroxide was one alternative method to improve the nutritive value of rice straw, rumen ecology and fermentation and thus a reduction of treatment cost. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition © 2014 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  2. Carbohydrate-free peach (Prunus persica and plum (Prunus domestica juice affects fecal microbial ecology in an obese animal model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuliana D Noratto

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Growing evidence shows the potential of nutritional interventions to treat obesity but most investigations have utilized non-digestible carbohydrates only. Peach and plum contain high amounts of polyphenols, compounds with demonstrated anti-obesity effects. The underlying process of successfully treating obesity using polyphenols may involve an alteration of the intestinal microbiota. However, this phenomenon is not well understood. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Obese Zucker rats were assigned to three groups (peach, plum, and control, n = 10 each, wild-type group was named lean (n = 10. Carbohydrates in the fruit juices were eliminated using enzymatic hydrolysis. Fecal samples were obtained after 11 weeks of fruit or control juice administration. Real-time PCR and 454-pyrosequencing were used to evaluate changes in fecal microbiota. Over 1,500 different Operational Taxonomic Units at 97% similarity were detected in all rats. Several bacterial groups (e.g. Lactobacillus and members of Ruminococcacea were found to be more abundant in the peach but especially in the plum group (plum juice contained 3 times more total polyphenolics compared to peach juice. Principal coordinate analysis based on Unifrac-based unweighted distance matrices revealed a distinct separation between the microbiota of control and treatment groups. These changes in fecal microbiota occurred simultaneously with differences in fecal short-chain acids concentrations between the control and treatment groups as well as a significant decrease in body weight in the plum group. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that consumption of carbohydrate-free peach and plum juice has the potential to modify fecal microbial ecology in an obese animal model. The separate contribution of polyphenols and non-polyphenols compounds (vitamins and minerals to the observed changes is unknown.

  3. Nitrate and inhibition of ruminal methanogenesis: microbial ecology, obstacles and opportunities for lowering methane emissions from ruminant livestock

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chengjian eYang

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Ruminal methane production is among the main targets for greenhouse gas (GHG mitigation for the animal agriculture industry. Many compounds have been evaluated for their efficacy to suppress enteric methane production by ruminal microorganisms. Of these, nitrate as an alternative hydrogen sink has been among the most promising, but it suffers from variability in efficacy for reasons that are not understood. The accumulation of nitrite, which is poisonous when absorbed into the animal’s circulation, is also variable and poorly understood. This review identifies large gaps in our knowledge of rumen microbial ecology that handicap the further development and safety of nitrate as a dietary additive. Three main bacterial species have been associated historically with ruminal nitrate reduction, namely Wolinella succinogenes, Veillonella parvula and Selenomonas ruminantium, but others almost certainly exist in the largely uncultivated ruminal microbiota. Indications are strong that ciliate protozoa can reduce nitrate, but the significance of their role relative to bacteria is not known. The metabolic fate of the reduced nitrate has not been studied in detail. It is important to be sure that nitrate metabolism and efforts to enhance rates of nitrite reduction do not lead to the evolution of the much more potent GHG, nitrous oxide. The relative importance of direct inhibition of archaeal methanogenic enzymes by nitrite or the efficiency of capture of hydrogen by nitrate reduction in lowering methane production is also not known, nor are nitrite effects on other members of the microbiota. How effective would combining mitigation methods be, based on our understanding of the effects of nitrate and nitrite on the microbiome? Answering these fundamental microbiological questions is essential in assessing the potential of dietary nitrate to limit methane emissions from ruminant livestock.

  4. Search for microbial signatures within human and microbial calcifications using soft x-ray spectromicroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benzerara, Karim; Miller, Virginia M; Barell, Gerard; Kumar, Vivek; Miot, Jennyfer; Brown, Gordon E; Lieske, John C

    2006-11-01

    The origin of advanced arterial and renal calcification remains poorly understood. Self-replicating, calcifying entities have been detected and isolated from calcified human tissues, including blood vessels and kidney stones, and are referred to as nanobacteria. However, the microbiologic nature of putative nanobacteria continues to be debated, in part because of the difficulty in discriminating biomineralized microbes from minerals nucleated on anything else (eg, macromolecules, cell membranes). To address this controversy, the use of techniques capable of characterizing the organic and mineral content of these self-replicated structures at the submicrometer scale would be beneficial. Calcifying gram-negative bacteria (Caulobacter crescentus, Ramlibacter tataouinensis) used as references and self-replicating calcified nanoparticles cultured from human samples of calcified aneurysms were examined using a scanning transmission x-ray microscope (STXM) at the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. This microscope uses a monochromated and focused synchrotron x-ray beam (80-2,200 eV) to yield microscopic and spectroscopic information on both organic compounds and minerals at the 25 nm scale. High-spatial and energy resolution near-edge x-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) spectra indicative of elemental speciation acquired at the C K-edge, N K-edge, and Ca L(2,3)-edge on a single-cell scale from calcified C. crescentus and R. tataouinensis displayed unique spectral signatures different from that of nonbiologic hydroxyapatite (Ca(10)(PO(4))(6)(OH)(2)). Further, preliminary NEXAFS measurements of calcium, carbon, and nitrogen functional groups of cultured calcified nanoparticles from humans revealed evidence of organics, likely peptides or proteins, specifically associated with hydroxyapatite minerals. Using NEXAFS at the 25 nm spatial scale, it is possible to define a biochemical signature for cultured calcified bacteria, including proteins

  5. Effect of lineage-specific metabolic traits of Lactobacillus reuteri on sourdough microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Xiaoxi B; Gänzle, Michael G

    2014-09-01

    This study determined the effects of specific metabolic traits of Lactobacillus reuteri on its competitiveness in sourdoughs. The competitiveness of lactobacilli in sourdough generally depends on their growth rate; acid resistance additionally contributes to competitiveness in sourdoughs with long fermentation times. Glycerol metabolism via glycerol dehydratase (gupCDE) accelerates growth by the regeneration of reduced cofactors; glutamate metabolism via glutamate decarboxylase (gadB) increases acid resistance by generating a proton motive force. Glycerol and glutamate metabolisms are lineage-specific traits in L. reuteri; therefore, this study employed glycerol dehydratase-positive sourdough isolates of human-adapted L. reuteri lineage I, glutamate decarboxylase-positive strains of rodent-adapted L. reuteri lineage II, as well as mutants with deletions in gadB or gupCDE. The competitivenesses of the strains were quantified by inoculation of wheat and sorghum sourdoughs with defined strains, followed by propagation of doughs with a 10% inoculum and 12-h or 72-h fermentation cycles. Lineage I L. reuteri strains dominated sourdoughs propagated with 12-h fermentation cycles; lineage II L. reuteri strains dominated sourdoughs propagated with 72-h fermentation cycles. L. reuteri 100-23ΔgadB was outcompeted by its wild-type strain in sourdoughs fermented with 72-h fermentation cycles; L. reuteri FUA3400ΔgupCDE was outcompeted by its wild-type strain in sourdoughs fermented with both 12-h and 72-h fermentation cycles. Competition experiments with isogenic pairs of strains resulted in a constant rate of strain displacement of the less competitive mutant strain. In conclusion, lineage-specific traits of L. reuteri determine the competitiveness of this species in sourdough fermentations. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  6. Revising ecological assumptions about Human papillomavirus interactions and type replacement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murall, Carmen Lía; McCann, Kevin S; Bauch, Chris T

    2014-06-07

    The controversy over whether vaccine-targeted HPV types will be replaced by other oncogenic, non-vaccine-targeted types remains unresolved. This is in part because little is known about the ecology of HPV types. Patient data has been interpreted to suggest independence or facilitative interactions between types and therefore replacement is believed to be unlikely. With a novel mathematical model, we investigated which HPV type interactions and their immune responses gave qualitatively similar patterns frequently observed in patients. To assess the possibility of type replacement, vaccination was added to see if non-vaccine-targeted types increased their 'niche'. Our model predicts that independence and facilitation are not necessary for the coexistence of types inside hosts, especially given the patchy nature of HPV infection. In fact, independence and facilitation inadequately represented co-infected patients. We found that some form of competition is likely in natural co-infections. Hence, non-vaccine-targeted types that are not cross-reactive with the vaccine could spread to more patches and can increase their viral load in vaccinated hosts. The degree to which this happens will depend on replication and patch colonization rates. Our results suggest that independence between types could be a fallacy, and so without conclusively untangling HPV within-host ecology, type replacement remains theoretically viable. More ecological thinking is needed in future studies. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. An assessment of the hypervariable domains of the 16S rRNA genes for their value in determining microbial community diversity: the paradox of traditional ecological indices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, DeEtta K; Entry, James A; Voss, Joshua D; Gillevet, Patrick M; Mathee, Kalai

    2006-09-01

    Amplicon length heterogeneity PCR (LH-PCR) was investigated for its ability to distinguish between microbial community patterns from the same soil type under different land management practices. Natural sagebrush and irrigated mouldboard-ploughed soils from Idaho were queried as to which hypervariable domains, or combinations of 16S rRNA gene domains, were the best molecular markers. Using standard ecological indices to measure richness, diversity and evenness, the combination of three domains, V1, V3 and V1+V2, or the combined V1 and V3 domains were the markers that could best distinguish the undisturbed natural sagebrush communities from the mouldboard-ploughed microbial communities. Bray-Curtis similarity and multidimensional scaling were found to be better metrics to ordinate and cluster the LH-PCR community profiling data. The use/misuse of traditional ecological indices such as diversity and evenness to study microbial community profiles will remain a major point to consider when performing metagenomic studies.

  8. Microbial dynamics during production of lesser mealworms (Alphitobius diaperinus) for human consumption at industrial scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wynants, E; Crauwels, S; Verreth, C; Gianotten, N; Lievens, B; Claes, J; Van Campenhout, L

    2018-04-01

    In this study, the microbial dynamics during an industrial production cyle of lesser mealworms (Alphitobius diaperinus), sold for human consumption, were characterised. The microbial numbers as well as the microbial diversity were generally higher for the substrate, existing of remaining feed, faeces and exuviae, than for the larvae. Most of the species-level operational taxonomic units, identified using Illumina MiSeq sequencing, that were present in the feed were also detected in the larvae and vice versa. However, bacterial diversity decreased in the larvae during rearing. These results suggested that the feed is an important determinant of the insect bacterial community, but that some bacterial species show a competitive advantage inside the insect gut and become dominant. A blanching treatment of the larvae after harvest reduced most microbial counts, but the number of aerobic endospores remained at 4.0 log cfu/g. Whereas food pathogens Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, Bacillus cereus or coagulase-positive staphylococci were not detected in our study, fungal isolates corresponding to the genera Aspergillus and Fusarium were recovered. Therefore, it cannot be excluded that mycotoxins were present. The results of this study contribute to a better understanding of the microbial dynamics and food safety aspects during the production of edible insects. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Microbial community profiling of human saliva using shotgun metagenomic sequencing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nur A Hasan

    Full Text Available Human saliva is clinically informative of both oral and general health. Since next generation shotgun sequencing (NGS is now widely used to identify and quantify bacteria, we investigated the bacterial flora of saliva microbiomes of two healthy volunteers and five datasets from the Human Microbiome Project, along with a control dataset containing short NGS reads from bacterial species representative of the bacterial flora of human saliva. GENIUS, a system designed to identify and quantify bacterial species using unassembled short NGS reads was used to identify the bacterial species comprising the microbiomes of the saliva samples and datasets. Results, achieved within minutes and at greater than 90% accuracy, showed more than 175 bacterial species comprised the bacterial flora of human saliva, including bacteria known to be commensal human flora but also Haemophilus influenzae, Neisseria meningitidis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Gamma proteobacteria. Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLASTn analysis in parallel, reported ca. five times more species than those actually comprising the in silico sample. Both GENIUS and BLAST analyses of saliva samples identified major genera comprising the bacterial flora of saliva, but GENIUS provided a more precise description of species composition, identifying to strain in most cases and delivered results at least 10,000 times faster. Therefore, GENIUS offers a facile and accurate system for identification and quantification of bacterial species and/or strains in metagenomic samples.

  10. Meta genome-wide network from functional linkages of genes in human gut microbial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Yan; Shi, Yixiang; Wang, Chuan; Dai, Jianliang; Li, Yixue

    2013-03-01

    The human gut microbial ecosystem (HGME) exerts an important influence on the human health. In recent researches, meta-genomics provided deep insights into the HGME in terms of gene contents, metabolic processes and genome constitutions of meta-genome. Here we present a novel methodology to investigate the HGME on the basis of a set of functionally coupled genes regardless of their genome origins when considering the co-evolution properties of genes. By analyzing these coupled genes, we showed some basic properties of HGME significantly associated with each other, and further constructed a protein interaction map of human gut meta-genome to discover some functional modules that may relate with essential metabolic processes. Compared with other studies, our method provides a new idea to extract basic function elements from meta-genome systems and investigate complex microbial environment by associating its biological traits with co-evolutionary fingerprints encoded in it.

  11. Microbe Profile: Mycobacterium tuberculosis: Humanity's deadly microbial foe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Stephen V; Parish, Tanya

    2018-04-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis is an expert and deadly pathogen, causing the disease tuberculosis (TB) in humans. It has several notable features: the ability to enter non-replicating states for long periods and cause latent infection; metabolic remodelling during chronic infection; a thick, waxy cell wall; slow growth rate in culture; and intrinsic drug resistance and antibiotic tolerance. As a pathogen, M. tuberculosis has a complex relationship with its host, is able to replicate inside macrophages, and expresses diverse immunomodulatory molecules. M. tuberculosis currently causes over 1.8 million deaths a year, making it the world's most deadly human pathogen.

  12. Science and Ecological Economics: Integrating of the Study of Humans and the Rest of Nature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costanza, Robert

    2009-01-01

    Ecological economics is a transdisciplinary field that seeks to integrate the study of humans and the rest of nature as the basis for the creation of a sustainable and desirable future. It seeks to dissolve the barriers between the traditional disciplines and achieve a true "consilience" of all the sciences and humanities. This consilient,…

  13. COMPARING THE UTILITY OF MULTIMEDIA MODELS FOR HUMAN AND ECOLOGICAL EXPOSURE ANALYSIS: TWO CASES

    Science.gov (United States)

    A number of models are available for exposure assessment; however, few are used as tools for both human and ecosystem risks. This discussion will consider two modeling frameworks that have recently been used to support human and ecological decision making. The study will compare ...

  14. The Socio-ecological Fit of Human Responses to Environmental Degradation: An Integrated Assessment Methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briassoulis, Helen

    2015-12-01

    The scientific and policy interest in the human responses to environmental degradation usually focuses on responses sensu stricto and 'best practices' that potentially abate degradation in affected areas. The transfer of individual, discrete instruments and 'best practices' to different contexts is challenging, however, because socio-ecological systems are complex and environmental degradation is contextual and contingent. To sensibly assess the effectiveness of formal and informal interventions to combat environmental degradation, the paper proposes an integrative, non-reductionist analytic, the 'response assemblage', for the study of 'responses-in-context,' i.e., products of human decisions to utilize environmental resources to satisfy human needs in socio-ecological systems. Response assemblages are defined as geographically and historically unique, provisional, open, territorial wholes, complex compositions emerging from processes of assembling biophysical and human components, including responses sensu stricto, from affected focal and other socio-ecological systems, to serve human goals, one of which may be combatting environmental degradation. The degree of match among the components, called the socio-ecological fit of the response assemblage, indicates how effectively their contextual and contingent interactions maintain the socio-ecological resilience, promote sustainable development, and secure the continuous provision of ecosystem services in a focal socio-ecological system. The paper presents a conceptual approach to the analysis of the socio-ecological fit of response assemblages and details an integrated assessment methodology synthesizing the resilience, assemblage, and 'problem of fit' literature. Lastly, it summarizes the novelty, value, and policy relevance of conceptualizing human responses as response assemblages and of the integrated assessment methodology, reconsiders 'best practices' and suggests selected future research directions.

  15. The Socio-ecological Fit of Human Responses to Environmental Degradation: An Integrated Assessment Methodology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briassoulis, Helen

    2015-12-01

    The scientific and policy interest in the human responses to environmental degradation usually focuses on responses sensu stricto and `best practices' that potentially abate degradation in affected areas. The transfer of individual, discrete instruments and `best practices' to different contexts is challenging, however, because socio-ecological systems are complex and environmental degradation is contextual and contingent. To sensibly assess the effectiveness of formal and informal interventions to combat environmental degradation, the paper proposes an integrative, non-reductionist analytic, the `response assemblage', for the study of `responses-in-context,' i.e., products of human decisions to utilize environmental resources to satisfy human needs in socio-ecological systems. Response assemblages are defined as geographically and historically unique, provisional, open, territorial wholes, complex compositions emerging from processes of assembling biophysical and human components, including responses sensu stricto, from affected focal and other socio-ecological systems, to serve human goals, one of which may be combatting environmental degradation. The degree of match among the components, called the socio- ecological fit of the response assemblage, indicates how effectively their contextual and contingent interactions maintain the socio-ecological resilience, promote sustainable development, and secure the continuous provision of ecosystem services in a focal socio-ecological system. The paper presents a conceptual approach to the analysis of the socio-ecological fit of response assemblages and details an integrated assessment methodology synthesizing the resilience, assemblage, and `problem of fit' literature. Lastly, it summarizes the novelty, value, and policy relevance of conceptualizing human responses as response assemblages and of the integrated assessment methodology, reconsiders `best practices' and suggests selected future research directions.

  16. The first microbial colonizers of the human gut

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Milani, Christian; Duranti, Sabrina; Bottacini, Francesca; Casey, Eoghan; Turroni, Francesca; Mahony, Jennifer; Belzer, Clara; Palacio, Susana Delgado; Montes, Silvia Arboleya; Mancabelli, Leonardo; Lugli, Gabriele Andrea; Rodriguez, Juan Miguel; Bode, Lars; Vos, De Willem; Gueimonde, Miguel; Margolles, Abelardo; Sinderen, Van Douwe; Ventura, Marco

    2017-01-01

    The human gut microbiota is engaged in multiple interactions affecting host health during the host's entire life span. Microbes colonize the neonatal gut immediately following birth. The establishment and interactive development of this early gut microbiota are believed to be (at least partially)

  17. Appraisal of Microbial Evolution to Commensalism and Pathogenicity in Humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Asit Ranjan Ghosh

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The human body is host to a number of microbes occurring in various forms of host-microbe associations, such as commensals, mutualists, pathogens and opportunistic symbionts. While this association with microbes in certain cases is beneficial to the host, in many other cases it seems to offer no evident benefit or motive. The emergence and re-emergence of newer varieties of infectious diseases with causative agents being strains that were once living in the human system makes it necessary to study the environment and the dynamics under which this host microbe relationship thrives. The present discussion examines this interaction while tracing the origins of this association, and attempts to hypothesize a possible framework of selective pressures that could have lead microbes to inhabit mammalian host systems.

  18. Microbial ecology measurement system

    Science.gov (United States)

    1972-01-01

    The sensitivity and potential rapidity of the PIA test that was demonstrated during the feasibility study warranted continuing the effort to examine the possibility of adapting this test to an automated procedure that could be used during manned missions. The effort during this program has optimized the test conditions for two important respiratory pathogens, influenza virus and Mycoplasma pneumoniae, developed a laboratory model automated detection system, and investigated a group antigen concept for virus detection. Preliminary tests on the handling of oropharygeal clinical samples for PIA testing were performed using the adenovirus system. The results obtained indicated that the PIA signal is reduced in positive samples and is increased in negative samples. Treatment with cysteine appeared to reduce nonspecific agglutination in negative samples but did not maintain the signal in positive samples.

  19. Microbial Ecology in Vineyards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil health affects grapevine health, which, in turn, affects fruit quality. Soil health has chemical, physical, and biological components. The chemical components are the best understood, and there are relatively convenient methods to both evaluate and amend chemical soil fertility. The physical...

  20. Bioreporters in microbial ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leveau, J.H.J.; Lindow, S.E.

    2002-01-01

    Bioreporters are effective research tools for gaining an understanding of a microbe's perception of the world. Fitted with a fusion of an environmentally responsive promoter to a suitable reporter gene, a bacterial or fungal bioreporter is able to communicate its metabolic or transcriptional

  1. Microbial metaproteomics for characterizing the range of metabolic functions and activities of human gut microbiota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Weili; Abraham, Paul E; Li, Zhou; Pan, Chongle; Hettich, Robert L

    2015-10-01

    The human gastrointestinal tract is a complex, dynamic ecosystem that consists of a carefully tuned balance of human host and microbiota membership. The microbiome is not merely a collection of opportunistic parasites, but rather provides important functions to the host that are absolutely critical to many aspects of health, including nutrient transformation and absorption, drug metabolism, pathogen defense, and immune system development. Microbial metaproteomics provides the ability to characterize the human gut microbiota functions and metabolic activities at a remarkably deep level, revealing information about microbiome development and stability as well as their interactions with their human host. Generally, microbial and human proteins can be extracted and then measured by high performance MS-based proteomics technology. Here, we review the field of human gut microbiome metaproteomics, with a focus on the experimental and informatics considerations involved in characterizing systems ranging from low-complexity model gut microbiota in gnotobiotic mice, to the emerging gut microbiome in the GI tract of newborn human infants, and finally to an established gut microbiota in human adults. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  2. CMEIAS color segmentation: an improved computing technology to process color images for quantitative microbial ecology studies at single-cell resolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, Colin A; Reddy, Chandan K; Dazzo, Frank B

    2010-02-01

    Quantitative microscopy and digital image analysis are underutilized in microbial ecology largely because of the laborious task to segment foreground object pixels from background, especially in complex color micrographs of environmental samples. In this paper, we describe an improved computing technology developed to alleviate this limitation. The system's uniqueness is its ability to edit digital images accurately when presented with the difficult yet commonplace challenge of removing background pixels whose three-dimensional color space overlaps the range that defines foreground objects. Image segmentation is accomplished by utilizing algorithms that address color and spatial relationships of user-selected foreground object pixels. Performance of the color segmentation algorithm evaluated on 26 complex micrographs at single pixel resolution had an overall pixel classification accuracy of 99+%. Several applications illustrate how this improved computing technology can successfully resolve numerous challenges of complex color segmentation in order to produce images from which quantitative information can be accurately extracted, thereby gain new perspectives on the in situ ecology of microorganisms. Examples include improvements in the quantitative analysis of (1) microbial abundance and phylotype diversity of single cells classified by their discriminating color within heterogeneous communities, (2) cell viability, (3) spatial relationships and intensity of bacterial gene expression involved in cellular communication between individual cells within rhizoplane biofilms, and (4) biofilm ecophysiology based on ribotype-differentiated radioactive substrate utilization. The stand-alone executable file plus user manual and tutorial images for this color segmentation computing application are freely available at http://cme.msu.edu/cmeias/ . This improved computing technology opens new opportunities of imaging applications where discriminating colors really matter most

  3. Microbial Diversity and Ecology in the Interfaces of the Deep-sea Anoxic Brine Pools in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Hikmawan, Tyas I.

    2015-05-01

    Deep-sea anoxic brine pools are one of the most extreme ecosystems on Earth, which are characterized by drastic changes in salinity, temperature, and oxygen concentration. The interface between the brine and overlaying seawater represents a boundary of oxic-anoxic layer and a steep gradient of redox potential that would initiate favorable conditions for divergent metabolic activities, mainly methanogenesis and sulfate reduction. This study aimed to investigate the diversity of Bacteria, particularly sulfate-reducing communities, and their ecological roles in the interfaces of five geochemically distinct brine pools in the Red Sea. Performing a comprehensive study would enable us to understand the significant role of the microbial groups in local geochemical cycles. Therefore, we combined culture-dependent approach and molecular methods, such as 454 pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene, phylogenetic analysis of functional marker gene encoding for the alpha subunits of dissimilatory sulfite reductase (dsrA), and single-cell genomic analysis to address these issues. Community analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences demonstrated high bacterial diversity and domination of Bacteria over Archaea in most locations. In the hot and multilayered Atlantis II Deep, the bacterial communities were stratified and hardly overlapped. Meanwhile in the colder brine pools, sulfatereducing Deltaproteobacteria were the most prominent bacterial groups inhabiting the interfaces. Corresponding to the bacterial community profile, the analysis of dsrA gene sequences revealed collectively high diversity of sulfate-reducing communities. Desulfatiglans-like dsrA was the prevalent group and conserved across the Red Sea brine pools. In addition to the molecular studies, more than thirty bacterial strains were successfully isolated and remarkably were found to be cytotoxic against the cancer cell lines. However, none of them were sulfate reducers. Thus, a single-cell genomic analysis was used to study

  4. Soil microbial community as a proxy for the ecological service condition in karst soils of SW China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Sophie M.; Dungait, Jennifer A. J.; Zhang, Xinyu; Hawkes, Simon; Donovan, Neil; Barrows, Tim; Buss, Heather; Liu, Taoze; Evershed, Richard; Wen, Xuefa; Hartley, Iain; Song, Zhaoliang; Liu, Hongyan; Tu, Chenglong; Johnes, Penny J.; Meersmans, Jeroen; Guo, Dali; Quine, Tim

    2017-04-01

    Karst is a key landscape covering extensive areas of Southwest China that has undergone rapid intensive land use change and degradation over the last 50 years. Clear evidence of environmental degradation and its damaging consequences for the reduction of intrinsic value of the land for local human populations has led to an increasing focus on landscape rehabilitation. This has included unmanaged abandonment and attempts to re-vegetate denuded surfaces. However, this has achieved limited success and there is a clear need to develop restoration strategies underpinned by robust quantitative and mechanistic understanding of critical zone (CZ) functioning. Thus, a karst Critical Zone Observatory (CZO) was established in June 2016 in Chenqi, Guizhou Province, along a gradient through three levels of human perturbed landscapes: sloping farmland; recovery phase 1 (recently abandoned, within 5 years); and, recovery phase 2 (secondary forest, abandoned > 5 years). We hypothesise that there is a tipping point along the degradation gradient beyond which key biological controls over CZ function are lost, resulting in declining nutrient cycling and rock weathering rates, and increased soil erosion rates. This paper will present preliminary data from the application of the CZ approach using space-for-time substitution. We characterised soil microbial community dynamics along the degradation gradient using geochemical biomarkers and soil properties measured in soil profiles (soil microbes, and pools of soil carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), with estimations of soil erosion rates using radionuclide 137Cs/Pb210, within the karst ecosystem to evaluate the status of key ecosystem functions (e.g. nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, soil stabilisation).

  5. Human ecology and environmentalism: Two different approaches to the relationships ecosystem/culture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leon Sicard, Tomas

    2001-01-01

    A comparative analysis of the human ecology focus versus the environmental dimension analysis, emphasizing that the first one does not have theoretical instruments to adequately consider the human action inside the ecosystems, while the second one considers the concept of culture as an explanation of the human niche and then of the environmental problem. It ends with thoughts about the environmental or ecologist conception that is discussed in the Colombian peace negotiations

  6. Targeting Unknowns Just Underfoot: Microbial Ecology and Community Genomics of C Cycling in Soil Informed and Enabled with DNA-SIP

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pepe-Ranney, C. P.; Campbell, A.; Buckley, D. H.

    2015-12-01

    Microorganisms drive biogeochemical cycles and because soil is a large global carbon (C) reservoir (soil contains more C than plants and the atmosphere combined), soil microorganisms are important players in the global C-cycle. Frustratingly, however, many soil microorganisms resist cultivation and soil communities are astoundingly complex. This makes soil microbiology difficult to study and without a solid understanding of soil microbial ecology, models of soil C feedbacks to climate change are under-informed. Stable isotope probing (SIP) is a useful approach for establishing identity-function connections in microbial communities but has been challenging to employ in soil due to the inadequate resolution of microbial community fingerprinting techniques. High throughput DNA sequencing improves SIP resolving power transforming it into a powerful tool for studying the soil C cycle. We conducted a DNA-SIP experiment to track flow of xylose-C, a labile component of plant biomass, and cellulose-C, the most abundant global biopolymer, through a soil microbial community. We could track 13C into microbial DNA even when added 13C amounted to less than 5% of native C and found Spartobacteria, Chloroflexi, and Planctomycetes taxa were among those that assimilated 13C cellulose. These lineages are cosmopolitan in soil but little is known of their ecophysiology. By profiling SSU rRNA genes across entire DNA-SIP density gradients, we assessed relative DNA atom % 13C per taxon in 13C treatments and found cellulose degraders exhibited signal consistent with a specialist lifestyle with respect to C preference. Further, DNA-SIP enriches DNA of targeted microorganisms (Verrucomicrobia cellulose degraders were enriched by nearly two orders of magnitude) and this enriched DNA can serve as template for community genomics. We produced draft genomes from soil cellulose degraders including microorganisms belonging to Verrucomicrobia, Chloroflexi, and Planctomycetes from SIP enriched DNA

  7. The Impact of Human Activities on Microbial Quality of Rivers in the Vhembe District, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Afsatou N. Traoré

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Water quality testing is dictated by microbial agents found at the time of sampling in reference to their acceptable risk levels. Human activities might contaminate valuable water resources and add to the microbial load present in water bodies. Therefore, the effects of human activities on the microbial quality of rivers collected from twelve catchments in the Vhembe District in South Africa were investigated, with samples analyzed for total coliform (TC and Eschericha coli (E. coli contents. Methods: Physical parameters and various human activities were recorded for each sampling site. The Quanti-Tray® method was adopted for the assessment of TC and E. coli contents in the rivers over a two-year period. A multiplex polymerase chain (PCR method was used to characterize the strains of E. coli found. Results: The microbial quality of the rivers was poor with both TC and E. coli contents found to be over acceptable limits set by the South African Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS. No significant difference (p > 0.05 was detected between TC and E. coli risks in dry and wet seasons. All six pathogenic E. coli strains were identified and Enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC, atypical Enteropathogenic E. coli (a-EPEC and Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC were the most prevalent E. coli strains detected (respectively, 87%, 86% and 83%. Conclusions: The study indicated that contamination in the majority of sampling sites, due to human activities such as car wash, animal grazing and farming, poses health risks to communities using the rivers for various domestic chores. It is therefore recommended that more education by the respective departments is done to avert pollution of rivers and prevent health risks to the communities in the Vhembe District.

  8. Nucleic acid probes in the diagnosis of human microbial pathogens

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hyypia, T.; Huovinen, P.; Holmberg, M.; Pettersson, U.

    1989-01-01

    The development of effective vaccines and antimicrobial drugs against infectious diseases has been among the most successful achievements in modern medicine. The control of these diseases requires efficient diagnostic methods for the evaluation of the prevalence of diseases and for initiation of specific treatment. Virtually all known microbes can be specifically identified today but in many cases further development is needed for more accurate, rapid, easy-to-use, and inexpensive diagnostic assays. Cell culture facilities are needed for the isolation of viruses in clinical specimens. Any gene of any known microorganism can be cloned in a vector and produced in large amounts economically and then used in diagnostic assays for the identification of the pathogen. The application of the nucleic acid hybridization methods in detection of human pathogens has received considerable attention during the past few years. This paper presents examples of this application of gene technology

  9. Nutritional ecology of entomophagy in humans and other primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raubenheimer, David; Rothman, Jessica M

    2013-01-01

    Entomophagy is widespread among nonhuman primates and is common among many human communities. However, the extent and patterns of entomophagy vary substantially both in humans and nonhuman primates. Here we synthesize the literature to examine why humans and other primates eat insects and what accounts for the variation in the extent to which they do so. Variation in the availability of insects is clearly important, but less understood is the role of nutrients in entomophagy. We apply a multidimensional analytical approach, the right-angled mixture triangle, to published data on the macronutrient compositions of insects to address this. Results showed that insects eaten by humans spanned a wide range of protein-to-fat ratios but were generally nutrient dense, whereas insects with high protein-to-fat ratios were eaten by nonhuman primates. Although suggestive, our survey exposes a need for additional, standardized, data.

  10. Profiles of microbial fatty acids in the human metabolome are disease-specific

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhanna A Ktsoyan

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The human gastrointestinal tract is inhabited by a diverse and dense symbiotic microbiota, the composition of which is the result of host-microbe co-evolution and co-adaptation. This tight integration creates intense crosstalk and signalling between the host and microbiota at the cellular and metabolic levels. In many genetic or infectious diseases the balance between host and microbiota may be compromised resulting in erroneous communication. Consequently, the composition of the human metabolome, which includes the gut metabolome, may be different in health and disease states in terms of microbial products and metabolites entering systemic circulation. To test this hypothesis, we measured the level of hydroxy, branched, cyclopropyl and unsaturated fatty acids, aldehydes, and phenyl derivatives in blood of patients with a hereditary autoinflammatory disorder, familial Mediterranean fever (FMF, and in patients with peptic ulceration (PU resulting from Helicobacter pylori infection. Discriminant function analysis of a data matrix consisting of 94 cases as statistical units (37 FMF patients, 14 PU patients, and 43 healthy controls and the concentration of 35 microbial products in the blood as statistical variables revealed a high accuracy of the proposed model (all cases were correctly classified. This suggests that the profile of microbial products and metabolites in the human metabolome is specific for a given disease and may potentially serve as a biomarker for disease.

  11. Comparative analysis of pyrosequencing and a phylogenetic microarray for exploring microbial community structures in the human distal intestine

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Claesson, M.J.; O'Sullivan, O.; Wang, Q.; Nikkilä, J.; Marchesi, J.R.; Smidt, H.; Vos, de W.M.; Ross, R.P.; O'Toole, P.W.

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Variations in the composition of the human intestinal microbiota are linked to diverse health conditions. High-throughput molecular technologies have recently elucidated microbial community structure at much higher resolution than was previously possible. Here we compare two such

  12. Antibiotic, Pesticide, and Microbial Contaminants of Honey: Human Health Hazards

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noori Al-Waili

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural contamination with pesticides and antibiotics is a challenging problem that needs to be fully addressed. Bee products, such as honey, are widely consumed as food and medicine and their contamination may carry serious health hazards. Honey and other bee products are polluted by pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria and radioactive materials. Pesticide residues cause genetic mutations and cellular degradation and presence of antibiotics might increase resistant human or animal's pathogens. Many cases of infant botulisms have been attributed to contaminated honey. Honey may be very toxic when produced from certain plants. Ingestion of honey without knowing its source and safety might be problematic. Honey should be labeled to explore its origin, composition, and clear statement that it is free from contaminants. Honey that is not subjected for analysis and sterilization should not be used in infants, and should not be applied to wounds or used for medicinal purposes. This article reviews the extent and health impact of honey contamination and stresses on the introduction of a strict monitoring system and validation of acceptable minimal concentrations of pollutants or identifying maximum residue limits for bee products, in particular, honey.

  13. Microbial and geochemical investigations of dissolved organic carbon and microbial ecology of native waters from the Biscayne and Upper Floridan Aquifers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisle, John T.; Harvey, Ron W.; Aiken, George R.; Metge, David W.

    2010-01-01

    Groundwater resources in the United States are under ever-increasing demands for potable, irrigation, and recreational uses. Additionally, aquifer systems are being used or targeted for use as storage areas for treated surface waters and (or) groundwaters via injection (for example, aquifer storage and recovery). To date, the influence that the nutrients, including carbon, in the injected water have on native microbial communities and the biogeochemistry in the subsurface zones used for storage of the injectate has not been determined. In this report, we describe a series of experiments that establishes a baseline dataset for the quantity and quality of organic and inorganic carbon and nutrients in the Biscayne Aquifer (BA) and Upper Floridan Aquifer (UFA) in south Florida. The most significant differences between the BA (26 meters below surface) and UFA (366 meters below surface) are the average specific conductance (0.552 and 6.12 microsiemens per centimeter, respectively), dissolved oxygen (1.6 and 0 milligrams per liter, respectively), and oxidation-reduction potential (40.3 and -358 millivolts, respectively). The dissolved organic carbon from the BA is characterized by carbon originating from terrestrial sources and microbial activities, while the UFA has a distinctive microbial signature. Acetate and lactate are the dominant carbon constituents in both aquifers. Additionally, components of the dissolved organic carbon from the UFA have a total trihalomethane-formation potential that is approximately threefold greater than the maximum contaminat level of 80 micrograms per liter established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The average native bacterial abundances in the aquifers are similar with 4.69x10^4 cells per milliliter in the BA and 1.33x10^4 cells per milliliter in the UFA. The average bacteriophage abundances are also similar with 1.15x10^5 virus-like particles in the BA and 1.92x10^5 virus-like particles in the UFA. Interestingly, ciliated

  14. Comparison of models used for ecological risk assessment and human health risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ryti, R.T.; Gallegos, A.F.

    1994-01-01

    Models are used to derive action levels for site screening, or to estimate potential ecological or human health risks posed by potentially hazardous sites. At the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), which is RCRA-regulated, the human-health screening action levels are based on hazardous constituents described in RCRA Subpart S and RESRAD-derived soil guidelines (based on 10 mRem/year) for radiological constituents. Also, an ecological risk screening model was developed for a former firing site, where the primary constituents include depleted uranium, beryllium and lead. Sites that fail the screening models are evaluated with site-specific human risk assessment (using RESRAD and other approaches) and a detailed ecological effect model (ECOTRAN). ECOTRAN is based on pharmacokinetics transport modeling within a multitrophic-level biological-growth dynamics model. ECOTRAN provides detailed temporal records of contaminant concentrations in biota, and annual averages of these body burdens are compared to equivalent site-specific runs of the RESRAD model. The results show that thoughtful interpretation of the results of these models must be applied before they can be used for evaluation of current risk posed by sites and the benefits of various remedial options. This presentation compares the concentrations of biological media in the RESRAD screening runs to the concentrations in ecological endpoints predicted by the ecological screening model. The assumptions and limitations of these screening models and the decision process where these are screening models are applied are discussed

  15. Integrating human and natural systems in community psychology: an ecological model of stewardship behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moskell, Christine; Allred, Shorna Broussard

    2013-03-01

    Community psychology (CP) research on the natural environment lacks a theoretical framework for analyzing the complex relationship between human systems and the natural world. We introduce other academic fields concerned with the interactions between humans and the natural environment, including environmental sociology and coupled human and natural systems. To demonstrate how the natural environment can be included within CP's ecological framework, we propose an ecological model of urban forest stewardship action. Although ecological models of behavior in CP have previously modeled health behaviors, we argue that these frameworks are also applicable to actions that positively influence the natural environment. We chose the environmental action of urban forest stewardship because cities across the United States are planting millions of trees and increased citizen participation in urban tree planting and stewardship will be needed to sustain the benefits provided by urban trees. We used the framework of an ecological model of behavior to illustrate multiple levels of factors that may promote or hinder involvement in urban forest stewardship actions. The implications of our model for the development of multi-level ecological interventions to foster stewardship actions are discussed, as well as directions for future research to further test and refine the model.

  16. Earth in the balance - ecology and the human spirit

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gore, A.

    1992-01-01

    This book by Senator Albert Gore presents a global prospective on the environmental crisis facing the Earth. The chapters are framed in the twin ideas of the threat posed by human civilization to the global environment and the threat to human civilization posed by changes in the global environment. Gore first looks at evidence of risk in the environment: historical aspects of climate and civilization; ozone layer; water; land use; food supply; waste disposal. In Part II different aspects of our current approaches to the environment are described: politics; economics; technology; social problems; environmentalism of the human spirit. Finally in Part III, Gore presents his approach to the global environmental crisis, first presenting a section about a global sense of responsibility and purpose and then describing his ideas for A Global Marshal Plan. 169 refs., 4 figs

  17. The ecologic products and the importance of their consumption for the human health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Corina Constanța Sîrbu

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available This study intends to analyze the perception of young people regarding the ecologic products, their consumption and implicitly the awareness of their effect on the human health. The geographic area where we realized the study wasTimisoaraby distributing a questionnaire in different places: universities, super-markets, mall. After analyzing the results, we noticed that 80% of the young people consider that the food is very important for a healthy life. The majority of the young people questioned, even knowing the characteristics of the bio products, consumed fruits and vegetables bought from stores specialized in ecologic products. From our study, we can say that the young people are interested in the ecologic products sold inTimisoaraand they are aware about their impact on the human health.

  18. Effects of hydraulic retention time on anaerobic hydrogenation performance and microbial ecology of bioreactors fed with glucose-peptone and starch-peptone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Shiue-Lin; Chao, Yu-Chieh; Wang, Yu-Hsuan; Hsiao, Chia-Jung; Bai, Ming-Der [Department of Environmental Engineering, National Cheng-Kung University, No. 1, University Road, Tainan 701 (China); Whang, Liang-Ming; Wang, Yung-Fu; Cheng, Sheng-Shung [Department of Environmental Engineering, National Cheng-Kung University, No. 1, University Road, Tainan 701 (China); Sustainable Environment Research Center (SERC), National Cheng-Kung University, No. 1, University Road, Tainan 701 (China); Tseng, I.-Cheng [Sustainable Environment Research Center (SERC), National Cheng-Kung University, No. 1, University Road, Tainan 701 (China); Department of Life Science, National Cheng-Kung University, No. 1, University Road, Tainan 701 (China)

    2010-01-15

    This study evaluated anaerobic hydrogenation performance and microbial ecology in bioreactors operated at different hydraulic retention time (HRT) conditions and fed with glucose-peptone (GP) and starch-peptone (SP). The maximum hydrogen production rates for GP- and SP-fed bioreactors were found to be 1247 and 412 mmol-H{sub 2}/L/d at HRT of 2 and 3 h, respectively. At HRT > 8 h, hydrogen consumption due to peptone fermentation could occur and thus reduced hydrogen yield from carbohydrate fermentation. Results of cloning/sequencing and denaturant gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) indicated that Clostridium sporogenes and Clostridium celerecrescens were dominant hydrogen-producing bacteria in the GP-fed bioreactor, presumably due to their capability on protein hydrolysis. In the SP-fed bioreactor, Lactobacillus plantarum, Propionispira arboris, and Clostridium butyricum were found to be dominant populations, but the presence of P. arboris at HRT > 3 h might be responsible for a lower hydrogen yield from starch fermentation. As a result, optimizing HRT operation for bioreactors was considered an important asset in order to minimize hydrogen-consuming activities and thus maximize net hydrogen production. The limitation of simple parameters such as butyrate to acetate ratio (B/A ratio) in predicting hydrogen production was recognized in this study for bioreactors fed with multiple substrates. It is suggested that microbial ecology analysis, in addition to chemical analysis, should be performed when complex substrates and mixed cultures are used in hydrogen-producing bioreactors. (author)

  19. Microbial Degradation of Forensic Samples of Biological Origin: Potential Threat to Human DNA Typing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dash, Hirak Ranjan; Das, Surajit

    2018-02-01

    Forensic biology is a sub-discipline of biological science with an amalgam of other branches of science used in the criminal justice system. Any nucleated cell/tissue harbouring DNA, either live or dead, can be used as forensic exhibits, a source of investigation through DNA typing. These biological materials of human origin are rich source of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, trace elements as well as water and, thus, provide a virtuous milieu for the growth of microbes. The obstinate microbial growth augments the degradation process and is amplified with the passage of time and improper storage of the biological materials. Degradation of these biological materials carriages a huge challenge in the downstream processes of forensic DNA typing technique, such as short tandem repeats (STR) DNA typing. Microbial degradation yields improper or no PCR amplification, heterozygous peak imbalance, DNA contamination from non-human sources, degradation of DNA by microbial by-products, etc. Consequently, the most precise STR DNA typing technique is nullified and definite opinion can be hardly given with degraded forensic exhibits. Thus, suitable precautionary measures should be taken for proper storage and processing of the biological exhibits to minimize their decaying process by micro-organisms.

  20. Ecological and human exposure assessment to PBDEs in Adige River.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giulivo, Monica; Suciu, Nicoleta Alina; Eljarrat, Ethel; Gatti, Marina; Capri, Ettore; Barcelo, Damia

    2018-07-01

    The interest for environmental issues and the concern resulting from the potential exposure to contaminants were the starting point to develop methodologies in order to evaluate the consequences that those might have over both the environment and human health. Considering the feature of POPs, including PBDEs, such as bioaccumulation, biomagnification, long-range transport and adverse effects even long time after exposure, risk assessment of POPs requires specific approaches and tools. In this particular context, the MERLIN-Expo tool was used to assess the aquatic environmental exposure of Adige River to PBDEs and the accumulation of PBDEs in humans through the consumption of possible contaminated local aquatic food. The aquatic food web models provided as output of the deterministic simulation the time trend of concentrations for twenty years of BDE-47 and total PBDEs, expressed using the physico-chemical properties of BDE-47, in aquatic organisms of the food web of Adige River. For BDE-47, the highest accumulated concentrations were detected for two benthic species: Thymallus thymallus and Squalius cephalus whereas the lowest concentrations were obtained for the pelagic specie Salmo trutta marmoratus. The trend obtained for the total PBDEs, calculated using the physico-chemical properties of BDE-47, follows the one of BDE-47. For human exposure, different BDE-47 and total PBDEs concentration trends between children, adolescent, adults and elderly were observed, probably correlated with the human intake of fish products in the daily diet and the ability to metabolize these contaminants. In detail, for the adolescents, adults and elderly a continuous accumulation of the target contaminants during the simulation's years was observed, whereas for children a plateau at the end of the simulation period was perceived. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. The ecological effects of different loading rates of metalaxyl on microbial biomass in unplanted and planted soils under field conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Mansourzadeh

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Fungicides are most widely used pesticides in Iran and the world. Application of fungicides may affect the populations and activity of soil microorganisms, particularly fungi, with a consequence for soil fertility and crop growth. In the current study, the effects of different levels of metalaxyl on soil microbial biomass carbon (C and nitrogen (N, microbial biomass C/N ratio and metabolic quotient under field conditions were assessed. Two levels of metalaxyl (30 and 60 kg.ha-1 were applied in planted soils with corn and unplanted calcareous soils, using a split-plots experiment in a completely randomized design with three replications. The C and N contents in soil microbial biomass as well as metabolic quotient were measured at 30 and 90 days after the onset of the experiment. Results showed that in cultivated soils metalaxyl application at 30 kg.ha-1 increased (15-80% significantly (p≤0.01 the amounts of microbial biomass C and N at both intervals (except microbial biomass C at 90 days compared to the control soil (0 kg.ha-1, while in uncultivated soils both microbial biomass C and N reduced by almost 1-34%. Microbial biomass C/N ratios in unplanted soils decreased (15 and 53% with increasing loading rates of metalaxyl, without a clear effect in cultivated soils. On the other hand, metabolic quotient values reduced (48% at 30 and 60 kg.ha-1 metalaxyl in corn-cultivated soils when compared to untreated soils while in uncultivated soils metalaxyl rate at 30 kg.a-1 had the greatest values at 30 days, and increased with increasing the levels of metalaxyl at 90 days. In summary, application of metalaxyl can either reduce or increase soil biological indices, and the direction and changes are depended upon the application rate of metalaxyl, time elapsed since metalaxyl application and the presence or absence of plant.

  2. Winter ecology of a subalpine grassland: Effects of snow removal on soil respiration, microbial structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavazov, Konstantin; Ingrisch, Johannes; Hasibeder, Roland; Mills, Robert T E; Buttler, Alexandre; Gleixner, Gerd; Pumpanen, Jukka; Bahn, Michael

    2017-07-15

    Seasonal snow cover provides essential insulation for mountain ecosystems, but expected changes in precipitation patterns and snow cover duration due to global warming can influence the activity of soil microbial communities. In turn, these changes have the potential to create new dynamics of soil organic matter cycling. To assess the effects of experimental snow removal and advanced spring conditions on soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) dynamics, and on the biomass and structure of soil microbial communities, we performed an in situ study in a subalpine grassland in the Austrian Alps, in conjunction with soil incubations under controlled conditions. We found substantial winter C-mineralisation and high accumulation of inorganic and organic N in the topsoil, peaking at snowmelt. Soil microbial biomass doubled under the snow, paralleled by a fivefold increase in its C:N ratio, but no apparent change in its bacteria-dominated community structure. Snow removal led to a series of mild freeze-thaw cycles, which had minor effects on in situ soil CO 2 production and N mineralisation. Incubated soil under advanced spring conditions, however, revealed an impaired microbial metabolism shortly after snow removal, characterised by a limited capacity for C-mineralisation of both fresh plant-derived substrates and existing soil organic matter (SOM), leading to reduced priming effects. This effect was transient and the observed recovery in microbial respiration and SOM priming towards the end of the winter season indicated microbial resilience to short-lived freeze-thaw disturbance under field conditions. Bacteria showed a higher potential for uptake of plant-derived C substrates during this recovery phase. The observed temporary loss in microbial C-mineralisation capacity and the promotion of bacteria over fungi can likely impede winter SOM cycling in mountain grasslands under recurrent winter climate change events, with plausible implications for soil nutrient availability and

  3. Hazard identification for human and ecological effects of sodium chloride road salt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-07-01

    The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) requested an evaluation of : the human and ecological risks associated with the application of sodium chloride (NaCl) road : salt to roadways. NaCl is the major de-icing agent used in NH to...

  4. The Human Ecology of the American Educational Research Association. Report No. 261.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, James M., Jr.

    The concepts and methods of human ecology are applied to the geographic distribution of members of the American Educational Research Association. State characteristics are measured by five factors: (1) large-scale agriculture; (2) population size; (3) affluence-urbanization; (4) white predominance; (5) emphasis on specialized agriculture. City…

  5. A Feminist Posthumanist Political Ecology of Education for Theorizing Human-Animal Relations/Relationships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lloro-Bidart, Teresa

    2017-01-01

    This paper contributes to a nascent conversation in environmental education (EE) research by using ethnographic data and extant theory to develop a feminist posthumanist political ecology of education for theorizing human-animal relations/relationships. Specifically, I (1) engage feminist methodologies and theories; (2) give epistemological and…

  6. Studying the neurobiology of human social interaction : Making the case for ecological validity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hogenelst, Koen; Schoevers, Robert A.; Rot, Marije Aan Het

    2015-01-01

    With this commentary we make the case for an increased focus on the ecological validity of the measures used to assess aspects of human social functioning. Impairments in social functioning are seen in many types of psychopathology, negatively affecting the lives of psychiatric patients and those

  7. Change: Threat or opportunity for human progress? V. 5. Ecological change: Environment, development and poverty linkages

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kirdar, U.

    1992-01-01

    This volume consists of 18 articles that examine the changing ecological balance of the world and its effect on human prosperity. The problems caused by global warning, climate change and environmental degradation will have serious effects in both the short and the long term. Two of the 18 articles fall within INIS scope: these have been indexed separately. Tabs

  8. Human health and ecological risks from environmental restoration and waste management activities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pehlman, P.A.; Wollert, D.A.; Phillippi, R.H.

    1994-01-01

    This paper summarizes the methodologies for estimating human health and ecological risks resulting from Environmental Restoration and Waste Management activities across the Department of Energy (DOE) complex. DOE is currently assessing these activities as part of the Environmental Restoration and Waste Management Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EM-PEIS)

  9. Chapter 6. Modeling human impacts to the Borderlands environment from a fire ecology perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzanne K. Fish

    2006-01-01

    Theoretical and topical orientations in current archaeology address the interaction between past human populations and their environment. These themes reflect ecological frameworks that were incorporated into the social sciences by the 1950s, as exemplified by the influential publication, Man?s Role in Changing the Face of the Earth (Thomas 1956). Cultural practices...

  10. Spinoza, Deep Ecology and Education Informed by a (Post)Human Sensibility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Grange, Lesley

    2018-01-01

    This article explores the influence of Spinozism on the deep ecology movement (DEM) and on new materialism. It questions the stance of supporters of the DEM because their ecosophies unwittingly anthropomorphise the more-than-human-world. It suggests that instead of humanising the 'natural' world, morality should be naturalised, that is, that the…

  11. Change: Threat or opportunity for human progress V. 5. Ecological change: Environment, development and poverty linkages

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kirdar, U [ed.

    1992-01-01

    This volume consists of 18 articles that examine the changing ecological balance of the world and its effect on human prosperity. The problems caused by global warning, climate change and environmental degradation will have serious effects in both the short and the long term. Two of the 18 articles fall within INIS scope: these have been indexed separately. Tabs.

  12. Annual Research Review: What is Resilience within the Social Ecology of Human Development?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ungar, Michael; Ghazinour, Mehdi; Richter, Jorg

    2013-01-01

    Background: The development of Bronfenbrenner's bio-social-ecological systems model of human development parallels advances made to the theory of resilience that progressively moved from a more individual (micro) focus on traits to a multisystemic understanding of person-environment reciprocal processes. Methods: This review uses…

  13. Examining Lives in Context: Perspectives on the Ecology of Human Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moen, Phyllis, Ed.; And Others

    Extending the work of behavioral scientist Urie Bronfenbrenner on the social and contextual factors influencing human development, this collection of essays, from scholars in a range of disciplines, shows how Bronfenbrenner's ecological theory and research have transformed the way many social and behavioral scientists approach, think about, and…

  14. Genetic Engineering and Human Mental Ecology: Interlocking Effects and Educational Considerations

    OpenAIRE

    Affifi, Ramsey

    2017-01-01

    This paper describes some likely semiotic consequences of genetic engineering on what Gregory Bateson has called ?the mental ecology? (1979) of future humans, consequences that are less often raised in discussions surrounding the safety of GMOs (genetically modified organisms). The effects are as follows: an increased 1) habituation to the presence of GMOs in the environment, 2) normalization of empirically false assumptions grounding genetic reductionism, 3) acceptance that humans are capabl...

  15. Nutritional ecology of obesity: from humans to companion animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raubenheimer, David; Machovsky-Capuska, Gabriel E; Gosby, Alison K; Simpson, Stephen

    2015-01-01

    We apply nutritional geometry, a framework for modelling the interactive effects of nutrients on animals, to help understand the role of modern environments in the obesity pandemic. Evidence suggests that humans regulate the intake of protein energy (PE) more strongly than non-protein energy (nPE), and consequently will over- and under-ingest nPE on diets with low or high PE, respectively. This pattern of macronutrient regulation has led to the protein leverage hypothesis, which proposes that the rise in obesity has been caused partly by a shift towards diets with reduced PE:nPE ratios relative to the set point for protein regulation. We discuss potential causes of this mismatch, including environmentally induced reductions in the protein density of the human diet and factors that might increase the regulatory set point for protein and hence exacerbate protein leverage. Economics--the high price of protein compared with fats and carbohydrates--is one factor that might contribute to the reduction of dietary protein concentrations. The possibility that rising atmospheric CO₂ levels could also play a role through reducing the PE:nPE ratios in plants and animals in the human food chain is discussed. Factors that reduce protein efficiency, for example by increasing the use of ingested amino acids in energy metabolism (hepatic gluconeogenesis), are highlighted as potential drivers of increased set points for protein regulation. We recommend that a similar approach is taken to understand the rise of obesity in other species, and identify some key gaps in the understanding of nutrient regulation in companion animals.

  16. The Rise of the Anthroposphere since 50,000 Years: An Ecological Replacement of Megaherbivores by Humans in Terrestrial Ecosystems?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hervé Bocherens

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Megaherbivores fulfilled a number of important ecological functions in terrestrial ecosystems and behaved as ecological engineers since 300 million years until around 12,000 years ago. These essential ecological functions include opening vegetation cover, selective seed dispersal and nutrient recycling and spreading. Thanks to these effects, megaherbivores change the vegetation structure where they live, with cascading effects on smaller herbivores and also on climate. The late Pleistocene extinction strongly impacted the megaherbivores almost all over the world and led to the loss of these important ecological functions in terrestrial ecosystems. These functions were partially restored by agriculturist humans through an ecological replacement that occurred through an ecological shift within the species Homo sapiens. A better understanding of the differences and similarities between the ecological impacts of megaherbivores and those of agricultural humans should help to predict the future of terrestrial ecosystems.

  17. The human microbiota: the role of microbial communities in health and disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luz Elena Botero Palacio

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available During the last decade, there has been increasing awareness of the massive number of microorganisms, collectively known as the human microbiota, that are associated with humans. This microbiota outnumbers the host cells by approximately a factor of ten and contains a large repertoire of microbial genome-encoded metabolic processes. The diverse human microbiota and its associated metabolic potential can provide the host with novel functions that can influence host health and disease status in ways that still need to be analyzed. The microbiota varies with age, with features that depend on the body site, host lifestyle and health status. The challenge is therefore to identify and characterize these microbial communities and use this information to learn how they function and how they can influence the host in terms of health and well-being. Here we provide an overview of some of the recent studies involving the human microbiota and about how these communities might affect host health and disease. A special emphasis is given to studies related to tuberculosis, a disease that claims over one million lives each year worldwide and still represents a challenge for control in many countries, including Colombia.

  18. [Ecology and ecologies].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valera, Luca

    2011-01-01

    Ecology (from the Greek words οιχοσ, "house" and λογια "study of") is the science of the "house", since it studies the environments where we live. There are three main ways of thinking about Ecology: Ecology as the study of interactions (between humans and the environment, between humans and living beings, between all living beings, etc.), Ecology as the statistical study of interactions, Ecology as a faith, or rather as a science that requires a metaphysical view. The history of Ecology shows us how this view was released by the label of "folk sense" to gain the epistemological status of science, a science that strives to be interdisciplinary. So, the aim of Ecology is to study, through a scientific methodology, the whole natural world, answering to very different questions, that arise from several fields (Economics, Biology, Sociology, Philosophy, etc.). The plurality of issues that Ecology has to face led, during the Twentieth-century, to branch off in several different "ecologies". As a result, each one of these new approaches chose as its own field a more limited and specific portion of reality.

  19. Human drivers of ecological and evolutionary dynamics in emerging and disappearing infectious disease systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogalski, Mary A; Gowler, Camden D; Shaw, Clara L; Hufbauer, Ruth A; Duffy, Meghan A

    2017-01-19

    Humans have contributed to the increased frequency and severity of emerging infectious diseases, which pose a significant threat to wild and domestic species, as well as human health. This review examines major pathways by which humans influence parasitism by altering (co)evolutionary interactions between hosts and parasites on ecological timescales. There is still much to learn about these interactions, but a few well-studied cases show that humans influence disease emergence every step of the way. Human actions significantly increase dispersal of host, parasite and vector species, enabling greater frequency of infection in naive host populations and host switches. Very dense host populations resulting from urbanization and agriculture can drive the evolution of more virulent parasites and, in some cases, more resistant host populations. Human activities that reduce host genetic diversity or impose abiotic stress can impair the ability of hosts to adapt to disease threats. Further, evolutionary responses of hosts and parasites can thwart disease management and biocontrol efforts. Finally, in rare cases, humans influence evolution by eradicating an infectious disease. If we hope to fully understand the factors driving disease emergence and potentially control these epidemics we must consider the widespread influence of humans on host and parasite evolutionary trajectories.This article is part of the themed issue 'Human influences on evolution, and the ecological and societal consequences'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  20. Architecture and functional ecology of the human gastrocnemius muscle-tendon unit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Erin E; Dominy, Nathaniel J

    2016-04-01

    The gastrocnemius muscle-tendon unit (MTU) is central to human locomotion. Structural variation in the human gastrocnemius MTU is predicted to affect the efficiency of locomotion, a concept most often explored in the context of performance activities. For example, stiffness of the Achilles tendon varies among individuals with different histories of competitive running. Such a finding highlights the functional variation of individuals and raises the possibility of similar variation between populations, perhaps in response to specific ecological or environmental demands. Researchers often assume minimal variation in human populations, or that industrialized populations represent the human species as well as any other. Yet rainforest hunter-gatherers, which often express the human pygmy phenotype, contradict such assumptions. Indeed, the human pygmy phenotype is a potential model system for exploring the range of ecomorphological variation in the architecture of human hindlimb muscles, a concept we review here. © 2015 Anatomical Society.

  1. Microbial ecology, bacterial pathogens, and antibiotic resistant genes in swine manure as influenced by three swine management systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    The environmental influence of farm management in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) can yield vastly different microbial constituents in both the pig and the manure lagoons used to treat the fecal waste of the operation. While some of these changes may not be negative, it is possible th...

  2. Microbial communities associated with human decomposition and their potential use as postmortem clocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finley, Sheree J; Benbow, M Eric; Javan, Gulnaz T

    2015-05-01

    Most forensic research that is used to better understand how to estimate the postmortem interval (PMI) entails the study of the physiochemical characteristics of decomposition and the effects that environmental factors have on the decomposition process. Forensic entomology exploits the life cycles of arthropods like Diptera (blow flies or flesh flies) and Coleoptera (beetles) deposited on the decaying carcass to determine PMI. Forensic taphonomy, from the Greek word taphos meaning burial, studies the creation of the fossils of decomposed cadavers to ascertain information as to the nature and time of death. Compared to other areas of taphonomy, there have been relatively few forensic science studies that have investigated the impact of human decomposition on the microbial changes occurring on or in a corpse or in the soil communities underneath a body. Such research may facilitate the critical determination of PMI. Therefore, the scope of this review is to provide a concise summary of the current progress in the newly emerging field of microbial diversity and the next-generation metagenomic sequencing approaches for assessing these communities in humans and in the soil beneath decomposing human.

  3. The missing link between human ecology and public health: the case of cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Modonesi, Carlo; Oddone, Enrico; Panizza, Celestino; Imbriani, Marcello

    2017-11-01

    The primary role played by the 'ecological context' in clarifying the causes and dynamics of human health and disease is the topic of this article. It emphasizes that the challenging incidence of cancer and other diseases can be charged primarily to the effects of the worldwide dominant economic model. Human culture may act as a powerful force affecting the environment, biology and health of humans and other species. Human culture can be viewed as a special and extreme case of 'niche construction', where human-specific traits, technologies and beliefs act together. The feedback between human activities and the environment can promote different trends in public health. This should provide the opportunity to rethink the consequences that our economic model produces both on the environment and on physical, mental and social health of our species. Copyright© by Aracne Editrice, Roma, Italy.

  4. Studying the neurobiology of human social interaction: Making the case for ecological validity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogenelst, Koen; Schoevers, Robert A; aan het Rot, Marije

    2015-01-01

    With this commentary we make the case for an increased focus on the ecological validity of the measures used to assess aspects of human social functioning. Impairments in social functioning are seen in many types of psychopathology, negatively affecting the lives of psychiatric patients and those around them. Yet the neurobiology underlying abnormal social interaction remains unclear. As an example of human social neuroscience research with relevance to biological psychiatry and clinical psychopharmacology, this commentary discusses published experimental studies involving manipulation of the human brain serotonin system that included assessments of social behavior. To date, these studies have mostly been laboratory-based and included computer tasks, observations by others, or single-administration self-report measures. Most laboratory measures used so far inform about the role of serotonin in aspects of social interaction, but the relevance for real-life interaction is often unclear. Few studies have used naturalistic assessments in real life. We suggest several laboratory methods with high ecological validity as well as ecological momentary assessment, which involves intensive repeated measures in naturalistic settings. In sum, this commentary intends to stimulate experimental research on the neurobiology of human social interaction as it occurs in real life.

  5. The painted turtle, Chrysemys picta: a model system for vertebrate evolution, ecology, and human health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valenzuela, Nicole

    2009-07-01

    Painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) are representatives of a vertebrate clade whose biology and phylogenetic position hold a key to our understanding of fundamental aspects of vertebrate evolution. These features make them an ideal emerging model system. Extensive ecological and physiological research provide the context in which to place new research advances in evolutionary genetics, genomics, evolutionary developmental biology, and ecological developmental biology which are enabled by current resources, such as a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library of C. picta, and the imminent development of additional ones such as genome sequences and cDNA and expressed sequence tag (EST) libraries. This integrative approach will allow the research community to continue making advances to provide functional and evolutionary explanations for the lability of biological traits found not only among reptiles but vertebrates in general. Moreover, because humans and reptiles share a common ancestor, and given the ease of using nonplacental vertebrates in experimental biology compared with mammalian embryos, painted turtles are also an emerging model system for biomedical research. For example, painted turtles have been studied to understand many biological responses to overwintering and anoxia, as potential sentinels for environmental xenobiotics, and as a model to decipher the ecology and evolution of sexual development and reproduction. Thus, painted turtles are an excellent reptilian model system for studies with human health, environmental, ecological, and evolutionary significance.

  6. Evaluating the microbial diversity of an in vitro model of the human large intestine by phylogenetic microarray analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rajilic-Stojanovic, M.; Maathuis, A.; Heilig, G.H.J.; Venema, K.; Vos, de W.M.; Smidt, H.

    2010-01-01

    A high-density phylogenetic microarray targeting small subunit rRNA (SSU rRNA) sequences of over 1000 microbial phylotypes of the human gastrointestinal tract, the HITChip, was used to assess the impact of faecal inoculum preparation and operation conditions on an in vitro model of the human large

  7. Ecological and human health risks associated with abandoned gold mine tailings contaminated soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ngole-Jeme, Veronica Mpode; Fantke, Peter

    2017-01-01

    of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), and zinc (Zn) in soil samples from the area varied with the highest contamination factors (expressed as ratio of metal or metalloid concentration in the tailings contaminated soil......Gold mining is a major source of metal and metalloid emissions into the environment. Studies were carried out in Krugersdorp, South Africa, to evaluate the ecological and human health risks associated with exposure to metals and metalloids in mine tailings contaminated soils. Concentrations......×10−2 for As and Ni respectively among children, and 5×10−3 and 4×10−3 for As and Ni respectively among adults. There is significant potential ecological and human health risk associated with metal and metalloid exposure from contaminated soils around gold mine tailings dumps. This could be a potential contributing...

  8. Ecology and life history of an amoebomastigote, Paratetramitus jugosus, from a microbial mat: new evidence for multiple fission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enzien, M.; McKhann, H. I.; Margulis, L.

    1989-01-01

    Five microbial habitats (gypsum crust, gypsum photosynthetic community, Microcoleus mat, Thiocapsa scum, and black mud) were sampled for the presence of the euryhaline, rapidly growing amoebomastigote, Paratetramitus jugosus. Field investigations of microbial mats from Baja California Norte, Mexico, and Salina Bido near Matanzas, Cuba, reveal that P. jugosus is most frequently found in the Thiocapsa layer of microbial mats. Various stages of the life history were studied using phase-contrast, differential-interference, and transmission electron microscopy. Mastigote stages were induced and studied by electron microscopy; mastigotes that actively feed on bacteria bear two or more undulipodia. A three-dimensional drawing of the kinetid ("basal apparatus") based on electron micrographs is presented. Although promitoses were occasionally observed, it is unlikely that they can account for the rapid growth of P. jugosus populations on culture media. Dense, refractile, spherical, and irregular-shaped bodies were seen at all times in all cultures along with small mononucleate (approximately 2-7 micrometers diameter) amoebae. Cytochemical studies employing two different fluorescent stains for DNA (DAPI, mithramycin) verified the presence of DNA in these small bodies. Chromatin-like material seen in electron micrographs within the cytoplasm and blebbing off nuclei were interpreted to the chromatin bodies. Our interpretation, consistent with the data but not proven, is that propagation by multiple fission of released chromatin bodies that become small amoebae may occur in Paratetramitus jugosus. These observations are consistent with descriptions of amoeba propagules in the early literature (Hogue, 1914).

  9. Effects of the photodynamic therapy on microbial reduction of diabetic ulcers in humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrinho Aureliano, Patrícia Michelassi; Andreani, Dora Inés. Kozusny; Morete, Vislaine de Aguiar; Iseri Giraldeli, Shizumi; Baptista, Alessandra; Navarro, Ricardo Scarparo; Villaverde, Antonio Balbin

    2018-02-01

    Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic disease that can lead to lower-limb ulceration. The photodynamic therapy (PDT) is based on light interaction with a photosensitizer capable to promote bacterial death and tissue repair acceleration. This study analyzed the effects of PDT in the repair of human diabetic ulcers, by means of microbiological assessment. The clinical study was composed of 12 patients of both sexes with diabetic ulcers in lower limbs that were divided into two groups, control group (n=6) and PDT group (n=6). All patients were treated with collagenase/chloramphenicol during the experimental period, in which 6 of them have received PDT with methylene blue dye (0.01%) associated with laser therapy (660 nm), dose of 6 J/cm2¨ and 30 mW laser power. PDT group received ten treatment sessions. Wounds were evaluated for micro-organisms analysis. It was found a reduction in the occurrence of Staphylococcus aureus in both groups, being that reduction more pronounced in the PDT group. Microbial count was performed on PDT group, showing a statistical difference reduction (p<0.05) when compared before and after the treatment. It is concluded that PDT seems to be effective in microbial reduction of human diabetic wounds, promoting acceleration and improvement of tissue repair quality.ty.

  10. A morphogenetic survey on ciliate plankton from a mountain lake pinpoints the necessity of lineage-specific barcode markers in microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoeck, Thorsten; Breiner, Hans-Werner; Filker, Sabine; Ostermaier, Veronika; Kammerlander, Barbara; Sonntag, Bettina

    2014-02-01

    Analyses of high-throughput environmental sequencing data have become the 'gold-standard' to address fundamental questions of microbial diversity, ecology and biogeography. Findings that emerged from sequencing are, e.g. the discovery of the extensive 'rare microbial biosphere' and its potential function as a seed-bank. Even though applied since several years, results from high-throughput environmental sequencing have hardly been validated. We assessed how well pyrosequenced amplicons [the hypervariable eukaryotic V4 region of the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) gene] reflected morphotype ciliate plankton. Moreover, we assessed if amplicon sequencing had the potential to detect the annual ciliate plankton stock. In both cases, we identified significant quantitative and qualitative differences. Our study makes evident that taxon abundance distributions inferred from amplicon data are highly biased and do not mirror actual morphotype abundances at all. Potential reasons included cell losses after fixation, cryptic morphotypes, resting stages, insufficient sequence data availability of morphologically described species and the unsatisfying resolution of the V4 SSU rRNA fragment for accurate taxonomic assignments. The latter two underline the necessity of barcoding initiatives for eukaryotic microbes to better and fully exploit environmental amplicon data sets, which then will also allow studying the potential of seed-bank taxa as a buffer for environmental changes. © 2013 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Ecology and evolution in microbial systems: the generation and maintenance of diversity in phage-host interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jessup, Christine M; Forde, Samantha E

    2008-06-01

    Insights gained from studying the interactions between viruses and bacteria have important implications for the ecology and evolution of virus-host interactions in many environments and for pathogen-host and predator-prey interactions in general. Here, we focus on the generation and maintenance of diversity, highlighting recent laboratory and field experiments with microorganisms.

  12. An intelligent human-machine system based on an ecological interface design concept

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Naito, N.

    1995-01-01

    It seems both necessary and promising to develop an intelligent human-machine system, considering the objective of the human-machine system and the recent advance in cognitive engineering and artificial intelligence together with the ever-increasing importance of human factor issues in nuclear power plant operation and maintenance. It should support human operators in their knowledge-based behaviour and allow them to cope with unanticipated abnormal events, including recovery from erroneous human actions. A top-down design approach has been adopted based on cognitive work analysis, and (1) an ecological interface, (2) a cognitive model-based advisor and (3) a robust automatic sequence controller have been established. These functions have been integrated into an experimental control room. A validation test was carried out by the participation of experienced operators and engineers. The results showed the usefulness of this system in supporting the operator's supervisory plant control tasks. ((orig.))

  13. The ecology of insect-yeast relationships and its relevance to human industry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madden, Anne A; Epps, Mary Jane; Fukami, Tadashi; Irwin, Rebecca E; Sheppard, John; Sorger, D Magdalena; Dunn, Robert R

    2018-03-28

    Many species of yeast are integral to human society. They produce many of our foods, beverages and industrial chemicals, challenge us as pathogens, and provide models for the study of our own biology. However, few species are regularly studied and much of their ecology remains unclear, hindering the development of knowledge that is needed to improve the relationships between humans and yeasts. There is increasing evidence that insects are an essential component of ascomycetous yeast ecology. We propose a 'dispersal-encounter hypothesis' whereby yeasts are dispersed by insects between ephemeral, spatially disparate sugar resources, and insects, in turn, obtain the benefits of an honest signal from yeasts for the sugar resources. We review the relationship between yeasts and insects through three main examples: social wasps, social bees and beetles, with some additional examples from fruit flies. Ultimately, we suggest that over the next decades, consideration of these ecological and evolutionary relationships between insects and yeasts will allow prediction of where new yeast diversity is most likely to be discovered, particularly yeasts with traits of interest to human industry. © 2018 The Author(s).

  14. Conserving social-ecological systems in Indonesia: human-nonhuman primate interconnections in Bali and Sulawesi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riley, Erin P; Fuentes, Agustín

    2011-01-01

    An important question asked by primatologists and conservationists alike is: what is the relevance of primates and primate conservation for ecosystem conservation? The goal of this article is to contribute to this dialogue by advocating the use of a research perspective that focuses on the dynamics of human-nonhuman primate sympatry and interaction (i.e., ethnoprimatology) in order to better understand complex social-ecological systems and to inform their conservation management. This perspective/approach is based largely on the recognition that human primates are important components of all ecological systems and that niche construction is a fundamental feature of their adaptive success. To demonstrate the relevance of the human-nonhuman primate interface for ecosystem conservation, we provide examples from our research from two islands in the Indonesian archipelago: Bali and Sulawesi. In Bali, humans and long-tail macaques coexist in a system that creates favorable environments for the macaques. This anthropogenic landscape and the economic and ecological relationships between humans and monkeys on Bali provide insight into sustainable systems of human/nonhuman primate coexistence. In Lore Lindu National Park in Central Sulawesi, villagers and Tonkean macaques overlap in their use of both forest and cultivated resources. The finding that the Arenga pinnata palm is extremely important for both villagers and macaques points to a conservation management recommendation that may help protect the overall ecosystem; the cultivation and propagation of mutually important tree species at forest-agricultural ecotone as a means to curb crop raiding and to alleviate farmer's perceived need to clear additional forest.

  15. A Conceptual Model for Teaching the Relationship of Daily Life and Human Environmental Impact to Ecological Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyner, Yael

    2013-01-01

    In the general activity of daily life, it is easy to miss our dependency on the Earth's ecology. At the same time that people are living apparently separate from the environment, our impact on the Earth is increasing. This study seeks to understand how teachers can bridge this persistent disconnect of daily life from ecology and human impact.…

  16. Seagrass meadows globally as a coupled social-ecological system: implications for human wellbeing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cullen-Unsworth, Leanne C; Nordlund, Lina Mtwana; Paddock, Jessica; Baker, Susan; McKenzie, Len J; Unsworth, Richard K F

    2014-06-30

    Seagrass ecosystems are diminishing worldwide and repeated studies confirm a lack of appreciation for the value of these systems. In order to highlight their value we provide the first discussion of seagrass meadows as a coupled social-ecological system on a global scale. We consider the impact of a declining resource on people, including those for whom seagrass meadows are utilised for income generation and a source of food security through fisheries support. Case studies from across the globe are used to demonstrate the intricate relationship between seagrass meadows and people that highlight the multi-functional role of seagrasses in human wellbeing. While each case underscores unique issues, these examples simultaneously reveal social-ecological coupling that transcends cultural and geographical boundaries. We conclude that understanding seagrass meadows as a coupled social-ecological system is crucial in carving pathways for social and ecological resilience in light of current patterns of local to global environmental change. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopic methods for microbial ecology: analysis of bacteria, bacteria-polymer mixtures and biofilms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, P. D.; Henson, J. M.; Guckert, J. B.; Nivens, D. E.; White, D. C.

    1985-01-01

    Fourier transform-infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy has been used to rapidly and nondestructively analyze bacteria, bacteria-polymer mixtures, digester samples and microbial biofilms. Diffuse reflectance FT-IR (DRIFT) analysis of freeze-dried, powdered samples offered a means of obtaining structural information. The bacteria examined were divided into two groups. The first group was characterized by a dominant amide I band and the second group of organisms displayed an additional strong carbonyl stretch at approximately 1740 cm-1. The differences illustrated by the subtraction spectra obtained for microbes of the two groups suggest that FT-IR spectroscopy can be utilized to recognize differences in microbial community structure. Calculation of specific band ratios has enabled the composition of bacteria and extracellular or intracellular storage product polymer mixtures to be determined for bacteria-gum arabic (amide I/carbohydrate C-O approximately 1150 cm-1) and bacteria-poly-beta-hydroxybutyrate (amide I/carbonyl approximately 1740 cm-1). The key band ratios correlate with the compositions of the material and provide useful information for the application of FT-IR spectroscopy to environmental biofilm samples and for distinguishing bacteria grown under differing nutrient conditions. DRIFT spectra have been obtained for biofilms produced by Vibrio natriegens on stainless steel disks. Between 48 and 144 h, an increase in bands at approximately 1440 and 1090 cm-1 was seen in FT-IR spectra of the V. natriegens biofilm. DRIFT spectra of mixed culture effluents of anaerobic digesters show differences induced by shifts in input feedstocks. The use of flow-through attenuated total reflectance has permitted in situ real-time changes in biofilm formation to be monitored and provides a powerful tool for understanding the interactions within adherent microbial consortia.

  18. Final Technical Report: DOE-Biological Ocean Margins Program. Microbial Ecology of Denitrifying Bacteria in the Coastal Ocean.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee Kerkhof

    2013-01-01

    The focus of our research was to provide a comprehensive study of the bacterioplankton populations off the coast of New Jersey near the Rutgers University marine field station using terminal restriction fragment polymorphism analysis (TRFLP) coupled to 16S rRNA genes for large data set studies. Our three revised objectives to this study became: (1) to describe bacterioplankton population dynamics in the Mid Atlantic Bight using TRFLP analysis of 16S rRNA genes. (2) to determine whether spatial and temporal factors are driving bacterioplankton community dynamics in the MAB using monthly samping along our transect line over a 2-year period. (3) to identify dominant members of a coastal bacterioplankton population by clonal library analysis of 16S rDNA genes and sequencing of PCR product corresponding to specific TRFLP peaks in the data set. Although open ocean time-series sites have been areas of microbial research for years, relatively little was known about the population dynamics of bacterioplankton communities in the coastal ocean on kilometer spatial and seasonal temporal scales. To gain a better understanding of microbial community variability, monthly samples of bacterial biomass were collected in 1995-1996 along a 34-km transect near the Long-Term Ecosystem Observatory (LEO-15) off the New Jersey coast. Surface and bottom sampling was performed at seven stations along a transect line with depths ranging from 1 to 35m (n=178). The data revealed distinct temporal patterns among the bacterioplankton communities in the Mid-Atlantic Bight rather than grouping by sample location or depth (figure 2-next page). Principal components analysis models supported the temporal patterns. In addition, partial least squares regression modeling could not discern a significant correlation from traditional oceanographic physical and phytoplankton nutrient parameters on overall bacterial community variability patterns at LEO-15. These results suggest factors not traditionally

  19. Human and ecological determinants of the spatial structure of local breed diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colino-Rabanal, Victor J; Rodríguez-Díaz, Roberto; Blanco-Villegas, María José; Peris, Salvador J; Lizana, Miguel

    2018-04-24

    Since domestication, a large number of livestock breeds adapted to local conditions have been created by natural and artificial selection, representing one of the most powerful ways in which human groups have constructed niches to meet their need. Although many authors have described local breeds as the result of culturally and environmentally mediated processes, this study, located in mainland Spain, is the first aimed at identifying and quantifying the environmental and human contributions to the spatial structure of local breed diversity, which we refer to as livestock niche. We found that the more similar two provinces were in terms of human population, ecological characteristics, historical ties, and geographic distance, the more similar the composition of local breeds in their territories. Isolation by human population distance showed the strongest effect, followed by isolation by the environment, thus supporting the view of livestock niche as a socio-cultural product adapted to the local environment, in whose construction humans make good use of their ecological and cultural inheritances. These findings provide a useful framework to understand and to envisage the effects of climate change and globalization on local breeds and their livestock niches.

  20. The ecological imperative and its application to ethical issues in human genetic technology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Malcolm Byrnes

    2003-08-01

    Full Text Available As a species, we are on the cusp of being able to alter that which makes us uniquely human, our genome. Two new genetic technologies, embryo selection and germline engineering, are either in use today or may be developed in the future. Embryo selection acts to alter the human gene pool, reducing genetic diversity, while germline engineering will have the ability to alter directly the genomes of engineered individuals. Our genome has come to be what it is through an evolutionary process extending over millions of years, a process that has involved exceedingly complex and unpredictable interactions between ourselves or our ancestors and myriad other life forms within Earth's biosphere. In this paper, the ecological imperativ e, which states that we must not alter the human genome or the collective human genetic inheritance, will be introduced. It will be argued based on ecological principles that embryo selection and germline engineering are unethical and unwise because they will diminish our survivability as a species, will disrupt our relationship with the natural world, and will destroy the very basis of that which makes us human.

  1. Microbial ecology of the stratified water column of the Black Sea as revealed by a comprehensive biomarker study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wakeham, Stuart G.; Amann, Rudi; Freemann, Katherine H.

    2007-01-01

    The stratified water column of the Black Sea is partitioned into oxic, suboxic, and euxinic zones, each characterized by different biogeochemical processes and by distinct microbial communities. In 2003, we collected particulate matter by large volume in situ filtration at the highest resolution...... reduction, and sulfide oxidation at the chemocline, and bacterial sulfate reduction and anaerobic oxidation of methane by archaea in the anoxic zone. Cell densities for archaea and sulfate reducing bacteria are estimated based on water column biomarker concentrations and compared with CARD-FISH results....

  2. Polyhydroxyalkanoate synthesis by mixed microbial consortia cultured on fermented dairy manure: Effect of aeration on process rates/yields and the associated microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coats, Erik R; Watson, Benjamin S; Brinkman, Cynthia K

    2016-12-01

    Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are biodegradable polymers that can substitute for petroleum-based plastics in a variety of applications. One avenue to commercial PHA production involves coupling waste-based synthesis with the use of mixed microbial consortia (MMC). In this regard, production requires maximizing the enrichment of a MMC capable of feast-famine PHA synthesis, with the metabolic response induced through imposition of aerobic-dynamic feeding (ADF) conditions. However, the concept of PHA production in complex matrices remains unrefined; process operational improvements are needed, along with an enhanced understanding of the MMC. Research presented herein investigated the effect of aeration on feast-famine PHA synthesis, with four independent aeration state systems studied; MMC were fed volatile fatty acid (VFA)-rich fermented dairy manure. Regardless of the aeration state, all MMC exhibited a feast-famine response based on observed carbon cycling. Moreover, there was no statistical difference in PHA synthesis rates, with q PHA ranging from 0.10 to 0.19 CmmolPHA gVSS -1 min -1 ; VFA uptake rates exhibited similar statistical indifferences. PHA production assessments on the enriched MMC resulted in maximum intracellular concentrations ranging from 22.5 to 90.7% (mgPHA mgVSS -1 ); at maximum concentration, the mean hydroxyvalerate mol content was 73 ± 0.6%. While a typical feast-famine dissolved oxygen (DO) pattern was observed at maximum aeration, less resolution was observed at decreasing aeration rates, suggesting that DO may not be an optimal process monitoring parameter. At lower aeration states, nitrogen cycling patterns, supported by molecular investigations targeting AOBs and NOBs, indicate that NO 2 and NO 3 sustained feast-famine PHA synthesis. Next-generation sequencing analysis of the respective MMC revealed numerous and diverse genera exhibiting the potential to achieve PHA synthesis, suggesting functional redundancy embedded in the diverse

  3. Metagenomic analysis of an ecological wastewater treatment plant?s microbial communities and their potential to metabolize pharmaceuticals

    OpenAIRE

    Balcom, Ian N.; Driscoll, Heather; Vincent, James; Leduc, Meagan

    2016-01-01

    Pharmaceuticals and other micropollutants have been detected in drinking water, groundwater, surface water, and soil around the world. Even in locations where wastewater treatment is required, they can be found in drinking water wells, municipal water supplies, and agricultural soils. It is clear conventional wastewater treatment technologies are not meeting the challenge of the mounting pressures on global freshwater supplies. Cost-effective ecological wastewater treatment technologies have ...

  4. A Synthetic Ecology Perspective: How Well Does Behavior of Model Organisms in the Laboratory Predict Microbial Activities in Natural Habitats?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Zheng; Krause, Sascha M B; Beck, David A C; Chistoserdova, Ludmila

    2016-01-01

    In this perspective article, we question how well model organisms, the ones that are easy to cultivate in the laboratory and that show robust growth and biomass accumulation, reflect the dynamics and interactions of microbial communities observed in nature. Today's -omics toolbox allows assessing the genomic potential of microbes in natural environments in a high-throughput fashion and at a strain-level resolution. However, understanding of the details of microbial activities and of the mechanistic bases of community function still requires experimental validation in simplified and fully controlled systems such as synthetic communities. We have studied methane utilization in Lake Washington sediment for a few decades and have identified a number of species genetically equipped for this activity. We have also identified co-occurring satellite species that appear to form functional communities together with the methanotrophs. Here, we compare experimental findings from manipulation of natural communities involved in metabolism of methane in this niche with findings from manipulation of synthetic communities assembled in the laboratory of species originating from the same study site, from very simple (two-species) to rather complex (50-species) synthetic communities. We observe some common trends in community dynamics between the two types of communities, toward representation of specific functional guilds. However, we also identify strong discrepancies between the dominant methane oxidizers in synthetic communities compared to natural communities, under similar incubation conditions. These findings highlight the challenges that exist in using the synthetic community approach to modeling dynamics and species interactions in natural communities.

  5. The debt of nations and the distribution of ecological impacts from human activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivasan, U Thara; Carey, Susan P; Hallstein, Eric; Higgins, Paul A T; Kerr, Amber C; Koteen, Laura E; Smith, Adam B; Watson, Reg; Harte, John; Norgaard, Richard B

    2008-02-05

    As human impacts to the environment accelerate, disparities in the distribution of damages between rich and poor nations mount. Globally, environmental change is dramatically affecting the flow of ecosystem services, but the distribution of ecological damages and their driving forces has not been estimated. Here, we conservatively estimate the environmental costs of human activities over 1961-2000 in six major categories (climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion, agricultural intensification and expansion, deforestation, overfishing, and mangrove conversion), quantitatively connecting costs borne by poor, middle-income, and rich nations to specific activities by each of these groups. Adjusting impact valuations for different standards of living across the groups as commonly practiced, we find striking imbalances. Climate change and ozone depletion impacts predicted for low-income nations have been overwhelmingly driven by emissions from the other two groups, a pattern also observed for overfishing damages indirectly driven by the consumption of fishery products. Indeed, through disproportionate emissions of greenhouse gases alone, the rich group may have imposed climate damages on the poor group greater than the latter's current foreign debt. Our analysis provides prima facie evidence for an uneven distribution pattern of damages across income groups. Moreover, our estimates of each group's share in various damaging activities are independent from controversies in environmental valuation methods. In a world increasingly connected ecologically and economically, our analysis is thus an early step toward reframing issues of environmental responsibility, development, and globalization in accordance with ecological costs.

  6. Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment in Occupational Settings Applied to the Airborne Human Adenovirus Infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annalaura Carducci

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA methodology, which has already been applied to drinking water and food safety, may also be applied to risk assessment and management at the workplace. The present study developed a preliminary QMRA model to assess microbial risk that is associated with inhaling bioaerosols that are contaminated with human adenovirus (HAdV. This model has been applied to air contamination data from different occupational settings, including wastewater systems, solid waste landfills, and toilets in healthcare settings and offices, with different exposure times. Virological monitoring showed the presence of HAdVs in all the evaluated settings, thus confirming that HAdV is widespread, but with different average concentrations of the virus. The QMRA results, based on these concentrations, showed that toilets had the highest probability of viral infection, followed by wastewater treatment plants and municipal solid waste landfills. Our QMRA approach in occupational settings is novel, and certain caveats should be considered. Nonetheless, we believe it is worthy of further discussions and investigations.

  7. Epitopes of microbial and human heat shock protein 60 and their recognition in myalgic encephalomyelitis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amal Elfaitouri

    Full Text Available Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME, also called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a common disease with chronic fatigability, cognitive dysfunction and myalgia of unknown etiology, often starts with an infection. The chaperonin human heat shock protein 60 (HSP60 occurs in mitochondria and in bacteria, is highly conserved, antigenic and a major autoantigen. The anti-HSP60 humoral (IgG and IgM immune response was studied in 69 ME patients and 76 blood donors (BD (the Training set with recombinant human and E coli HSP60, and 136 30-mer overlapping and targeted peptides from HSP60 of humans, Chlamydia, Mycoplasma and 26 other species in a multiplex suspension array. Peptides from HSP60 helix I had a chaperonin-like activity, but these and other HSP60 peptides also bound IgG and IgM with an ME preference, theoretically indicating a competition between HSP60 function and antibody binding. A HSP60-based panel of 25 antigens was selected. When evaluated with 61 other ME and 399 non-ME samples (331 BD, 20 Multiple Sclerosis and 48 Systemic Lupus Erythematosus patients, a peptide from Chlamydia pneumoniae HSP60 detected IgM in 15 of 61 (24% of ME, and in 1 of 399 non-ME at a high cutoff (p<0.0001. IgM to specific cross-reactive epitopes of human and microbial HSP60 occurs in a subset of ME, compatible with infection-induced autoimmunity.

  8. Fundamentals of ecology. Vol. 2. Grundlagen der Oekologie. Bd. 2. Standorte und Anwendung

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Odum, E P

    1980-01-01

    The following topics are discussed: freshwater flora and fauna; marine ecosystems; shelf, krill, mangroves, and coral reefs; terrestrial biota and biogeographic regions; deciduous wood, grassland, desert; microbial-ecological perspectives: taxonomy, efficiency, turnover; aquaculture, agriculture, forestry; types, cost, and phases of environmental pollution; specific population ecology of humans.

  9. The Human Behavioral Ecology of Contemporary World Issues : Applications to Public Policy and International Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, Bram; Rende Taylor, Lisa

    2007-09-01

    Human behavioral ecology (HBE) began as an attempt to explain human economic, reproductive, and social behavior using neodarwinian theory in concert with theory from ecology and economics, and ethnographic methods. HBE has addressed subsistence decision-making, cooperation, life history trade-offs, parental investment, mate choice, and marriage strategies among hunter-gatherers, herders, peasants, and wage earners in rural and urban settings throughout the world. Despite our rich insights into human behavior, HBE has very rarely been used as a tool to help the people with whom we work. This article introduces a special issue of Human Nature which explores the application of HBE to significant world issues through the design and critique of public policy and international development projects. The articles by Tucker, Shenk, Leonetti et al., and Neil were presented at the 104th annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) in Washington, D.C., in December 2005, in the first organized session of the nascent Evolutionary Anthropology Section (EAS). We conclude this introduction by summarizing some theoretical challenges to applying HBE, and ways in which evolutionary anthropologists can contribute to solving tough world issues.

  10. COMPETITIVE METAGENOMIC DNA HYBRIDIZATION IDENTIFIES HOST-SPECIFIC GENETIC MARKERS IN HUMAN FECAL MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Although recent technological advances in DNA sequencing and computational biology now allow scientists to compare entire microbial genomes, the use of these approaches to discern key genomic differences between natural microbial communities remains prohibitively expensive for mo...

  11. Microbial hitchhikers on marine plastic debris: Human exposure risks at bathing waters and beach environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keswani, Anisha; Oliver, David M; Gutierrez, Tony; Quilliam, Richard S

    2016-07-01

    Marine plastic debris is well characterized in terms of its ability to negatively impact terrestrial and marine environments, endanger coastal wildlife, and interfere with navigation, tourism and commercial fisheries. However, the impacts of potentially harmful microorganisms and pathogens colonising plastic litter are not well understood. The hard surface of plastics provides an ideal environment for opportunistic microbial colonisers to form biofilms and might offer a protective niche capable of supporting a diversity of different microorganisms, known as the "Plastisphere". This biotope could act as an important vector for the persistence and spread of pathogens, faecal indicator organisms (FIOs) and harmful algal bloom species (HABs) across beach and bathing environments. This review will focus on the existent knowledge and research gaps, and identify the possible consequences of plastic-associated microbes on human health, the spread of infectious diseases and bathing water quality. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. [Human ecology and interdisciplinary cooperation for primary prevention of environmental risk factors for public health].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobrowolski, Jan W

    2007-01-01

    Human ecology makes a scientific base for more effective prevention against contamination of the air, water and food, and other environmental factors making common risk factors for human health. It integrates interdisciplinary cooperation of experts from natural, technological, socio-economical and other sciences. Complex study is necessary for better estimation of real risk factors for an individual person. This risk is connected with the exposure of people to pollutants in working places, housing environment, areas for recreation and by food (including synergistic effects). Such study implicates real tasks for representatives of different sciences (technological and agricultural in particular) as well as for teachers and journalists. Especially dangerous are environmental risk factors when principles of human ecology are not taking into consideration at the intensification of food production, processing and conservation, as well as at designing of housing environment (where the exposure to harmful physical, chemical and biological factors is the longest) and also while selecting of the main directions of development of technical infrastructure for motorization (e.g. designing of cars, roads and their surrounding). EU recognize study of the human ecology as basis for sustainable development (sponsoring e.g. diploma and doctoral studies in this field at the Free University of Brussels). Author's experiences connected with the participation as a visiting professor taking part in related training activity at this University as well as during study visits in several countries were useful for the introduction of human ecology in linkage with ecotoxicology and environmental biotechnology as the subject of study at environmental engineering at the Faculty of Mining Surveying and Environmental Engineering at AGH-UST. Methodological experience of 40 years of interdisciplinary case studies and problem-oriented education in this field may be useful for modernization of

  13. Application of 16S rDNA-DGGE to examine the microbial ecology associated with a social wasp Vespula germanica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeson, A F; Jankovic, T; Kasper, M L; Rogers, S; Austin, A D

    2003-02-01

    Invertebrates host numerous bacteria, with interactions ranging from pathogenesis to symbiosis. While certain symbiotic relationships have been well studied, little is known about the dynamics of these bacterial communities. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) was used to examine the bacterial microflora associated with the eusocial wasp Vespula germanica. DGGE profiles of larval guts revealed a variable microflora, suggesting that V. germanica is not dependent on a particular suite of mutualists. The variation in profiles was not related to season, nest size or macrohabitat. Sequences corresponding to Lactococcus, Lactobacillus, a novel Leuconostoc and two Rickettsiella grylli strains were obtained. DGGE proved to be a useful technique for characterizing the wasp microflora. Given the importance of microbial communities to invertebrates, there is much to be gained from the application of such techniques.

  14. Phototrophs in high-iron-concentration microbial mats: physiological ecology of phototrophs in an iron-depositing hot spring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierson, B. K.; Parenteau, M. N.; Griffin, B. M.

    1999-01-01

    At Chocolate Pots Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park the source waters have a pH near neutral, contain high concentrations of reduced iron, and lack sulfide. An iron formation that is associated with cyanobacterial mats is actively deposited. The uptake of [(14)C]bicarbonate was used to assess the impact of ferrous iron on photosynthesis in this environment. Photoautotrophy in some of the mats was stimulated by ferrous iron (1.0 mM). Microelectrodes were used to determine the impact of photosynthetic activity on the oxygen content and the pH in the mat and sediment microenvironments. Photosynthesis increased the oxygen concentration to 200% of air saturation levels in the top millimeter of the mats. The oxygen concentration decreased with depth and in the dark. Light-dependent increases in pH were observed. The penetration of light in the mats and in the sediments was determined. Visible radiation was rapidly attenuated in the top 2 mm of the iron-rich mats. Near-infrared radiation penetrated deeper. Iron was totally oxidized in the top few millimeters, but reduced iron was detected at greater depths. By increasing the pH and the oxygen concentration in the surface sediments, the cyanobacteria could potentially increase the rate of iron oxidation in situ. This high-iron-content hot spring provides a suitable model for studying the interactions of microbial photosynthesis and iron deposition and the role of photosynthesis in microbial iron cycling. This model may help clarify the potential role of photosynthesis in the deposition of Precambrian banded iron formations.

  15. Time-specific ecological niche modeling predicts spatial dynamics of vector insects and human dengue cases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, A Townsend; Martínez-Campos, Carmen; Nakazawa, Yoshinori; Martínez-Meyer, Enrique

    2005-09-01

    Numerous human diseases-malaria, dengue, yellow fever and leishmaniasis, to name a few-are transmitted by insect vectors with brief life cycles and biting activity that varies in both space and time. Although the general geographic distributions of these epidemiologically important species are known, the spatiotemporal variation in their emergence and activity remains poorly understood. We used ecological niche modeling via a genetic algorithm to produce time-specific predictive models of monthly distributions of Aedes aegypti in Mexico in 1995. Significant predictions of monthly mosquito activity and distributions indicate that predicting spatiotemporal dynamics of disease vector species is feasible; significant coincidence with human cases of dengue indicate that these dynamics probably translate directly into transmission of dengue virus to humans. This approach provides new potential for optimizing use of resources for disease prevention and remediation via automated forecasting of disease transmission risk.

  16. KAJIAN FILOSOFIS TERHADAP PEMIKIRAN HUMAN- EKOLOGI DALAM PEMANFAATAN SUMBERDAYA ALAM (Philosophical Studies of Human Ecology Thinking on Natual Resource Use

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armaidy Armawi

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRAK Penelitian inibertujuan untuk memberikan alternatif solusi terhadap upaya mengurangi dampak kerusakan lingkungan akibat ekploitasi sumberdaya alam yang dilakukan manusia melalui proses pembangunan dengan pendekatan filosofi apakah hakikat dan esensi dari manusiadan bagaimana kedudukannya di alam semesta ini? Apa yang harus dilakukan manusia untuk menjaga dan mengembangkan kehidupan diri dan lingkungannya?Penelitian merupakan penelitian kepustakaan yang bersifat kualitatif. Metoda yang digunakan adalah  verstehen,interpretasi,  hermeneutika dan heuristik. Hasil  penelitian menunjukkan bahwaproses pembangunan dan upaya manusia dalam melakukan eksploitasi sumberdaya alam yang tidak rasional dan hanya mementingkan “syahwat” keserakahan dan kenikmatan (hedonisme telah memberi andil yang cukup penting dalam membentuk selera konsumtifisme. Eksploitasi sumberdaya alam berdasarkan pandangan yang individualistik-materialistik, telah menyebabkan timbulnya konflik-konflik yang berakibat pada korban manusia dan kerusakan lingkungan serta menciptakan jurang pemisah antara kesejahteraan dan kemiskinan. Oleh karena itu, dalam pembangunan diperlukan kerangka pemikiran yang bersifat antro-ekologis-filsafati (human ecology. Karena dengan kerangka pemikiran atau paradigma tersebut berbagai dimensi dapat terangkum di dalameksistensi manusia dan eksistensi lain menurut ukuran kemanusiandi dalam dirinya. Dengan demikian,apa yang dikatakan pembangunan yang berwajah insani dan lestari lingkungannya dalam pertimbangan dimensi waktu, manusia, alam serta dimensi religius dapat terbawa. Analisa dampak lingkungan dalam perencanaan pembangunan tidak cukup hanya dengan mempertimbangkan aspek teknis seperti analisa kerusakan, pencemaran dan kelestarian lingkungan, akan tetapi aspek non-teknis, yakni nilai etis yang didasarkan pada kearifan manusia dan kearifan lokal juga penting diperhatikan,agar tidak terjadi penolakan-penolakan dan konflik antarunsur ekologi

  17. Ecological Niche Modeling of Risk Factors for H7N9 Human Infection in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Min Xu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available China was attacked by a serious influenza A (H7N9 virus in 2013. The first human infection case was confirmed in Shanghai City and soon spread across most of eastern China. Using the methods of Geographic Information Systems (GIS and ecological niche modeling (ENM, this research quantitatively analyzed the relationships between the H7N9 occurrence and the main environmental factors, including meteorological variables, human population density, bird migratory routes, wetland distribution, and live poultry farms, markets, and processing factories. Based on these relationships the probability of the presence of H7N9 was predicted. Results indicated that the distribution of live poultry processing factories, farms, and human population density were the top three most important determinants of the H7N9 human infection. The relative contributions to the model of live poultry processing factories, farms and human population density were 39.9%, 17.7% and 17.7%, respectively, while the maximum temperature of the warmest month and mean relative humidity had nearly no contribution to the model. The paper has developed an ecological niche model (ENM that predicts the spatial distribution of H7N9 cases in China using environmental variables. The area under the curve (AUC values of the model were greater than 0.9 (0.992 for the training samples and 0.961 for the test data. The findings indicated that most of the high risk areas were distributed in the Yangtze River Delta. These findings have important significance for the Chinese government to enhance the environmental surveillance at multiple human poultry interfaces in the high risk area.

  18. Comparison of DNA extraction methods for human gut microbial community profiling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Mi Young; Song, Eun-Ji; Kim, Sang Ho; Lee, Jangwon; Nam, Young-Do

    2018-03-01

    The human gut harbors a vast range of microbes that have significant impact on health and disease. Therefore, gut microbiome profiling holds promise for use in early diagnosis and precision medicine development. Accurate profiling of the highly complex gut microbiome requires DNA extraction methods that provide sufficient coverage of the original community as well as adequate quality and quantity. We tested nine different DNA extraction methods using three commercial kits (TianLong Stool DNA/RNA Extraction Kit (TS), QIAamp DNA Stool Mini Kit (QS), and QIAamp PowerFecal DNA Kit (QP)) with or without additional bead-beating step using manual or automated methods and compared them in terms of DNA extraction ability from human fecal sample. All methods produced DNA in sufficient concentration and quality for use in sequencing, and the samples were clustered according to the DNA extraction method. Inclusion of bead-beating step especially resulted in higher degrees of microbial diversity and had the greatest effect on gut microbiome composition. Among the samples subjected to bead-beating method, TS kit samples were more similar to QP kit samples than QS kit samples. Our results emphasize the importance of mechanical disruption step for a more comprehensive profiling of the human gut microbiome. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH.. All rights reserved.

  19. Using ATP-driven bioluminescence assay to monitor microbial safety in a contemporary human cadaver laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benninger, Brion; Maier, Thomas

    2015-03-01

    The objective of this study was to utilize a cost-effective method for assessing the levels of bacterial, yeast, and mold activity during a human dissection laboratory course. Nowadays, compliance with safety regulations is policed by institutions at higher standards than ever before. Fear of acquiring an unknown infection is one of the top concerns of professional healthcare students, and it provokes anti-laboratory anxiety. Human cadavers are not routinely tested for bacteria and viruses prior to embalming. Human anatomy dissecting rooms that house embalmed cadavers are normally cleaned after the dissected cadavers have been removed. There is no evidence that investigators have ever assessed bacterial and fungal activities using adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-driven bioluminescence assays. A literature search was conducted on texts, journals, and websites regarding bacterial, yeast, and mold activities in an active cadaver laboratory. Midway into a clinical anatomy course, ATP bioluminescence assays were used to swab various sites within the dissection room, including entrance and exiting door handles, water taps, cadaver tables, counter tops, imaging material, X-ray box switches, and the cadaver surfaces. The results demonstrated very low activities on cadaver tables, washing up areas, and exiting door handles. There was low activity on counter tops and X-ray boxes. There was medium activity on the entrance door handles. These findings suggest an inexpensive and accurate method for monitoring safety compliance and microbial activity. Students can feel confident and safe in the environment in which they work. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Northern Rivers Basins ecological and human health studies : summary, relevance and recommendations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1999-04-01

    Residents in northern Alberta expressed concerns that the original Northern River Basins Study (NRBS) only examined the impacts of contaminants on ecological health and did not include impacts on human health. In response to these concerns, Alberta Health established the Northern River Basins Human Health Monitoring Program in 1994 to investigate the possible relationships between various environmental risk factors and the health of northern residents in the province. This document links the ecological information collected by the original NRBS program with the information provided by the health program. Issues regarding health impacts from pulp mills and oil sand mining were also discussed. The findings of the health program were summarized and recommendations were made for future studies. The contaminants of potential concern (COPC) arising from the original NRBS were described in terms of their sources and any known connections between exposure and human health. The COPCs included arsenic, dioxins, chlorinated furans, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) mercury, chlorinated phenolics, toxaphene, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, ozone, sulphur dioxide, acid sulphates and particulate matter. Examples of Canadian regulatory criteria for these contaminants were also presented. 41 refs., 1 tab

  1. Ecological and human health sediment risk assessment for a hydrocarbon-impacted site in Lake Athabasca

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mcdonald, B.; Wagenaar, A.; LaPorte, J.; Misfeldt, G.; Chatwell, I.

    2009-01-01

    The operation of a public port facility near Uranium City, Saskatchewan has resulted in elevated levels of hydrocarbons in soil, groundwater and sediment. Remedial action in the uplands portion of the site was successful and a risk management approach was initiated for the aquatic portion of the site in order to resolve human health and ecological issues. Ecological risks were assessed using a sediment weight-of-evidence approach involving chemistry, toxicity, bioaccumulation and benthic community structure. Human health risks were assessed via fish consumption, water ingestion and direct contact according to Health Canada guidance. This presentation included an overview of the general risk assessment approach as well as site-specific data and findings. The primary focus was on the challenges confronted during the risk assessment process, such as the need to include alkylated PAHs as a COPC in the human health risk assessment and to evaluate ongoing propeller wash and sediment resuspension for sediment risk management, even though the facility is no longer operational.

  2. ECOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT OF THE HUMAN -TRANSFORMED SYSTEMS OF THE IRPIN RIVER

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Svitlana Madzhd

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: to learn the interaction of natural and anthropogenic factors and their consequences in the system “Natural environment (Irpin river – human-transformed environment (Nyvka river”. Methods: To assess the structural and functional changes of hydroecosystems, transformed under technogenic impact, hydrochemical, toxicological and biological techniques, as well as the methods of mathematical statistics for experimental data processing and summarization of obtained results, were applied. Results: it is proposed to determine the dynamics of the biotic self-regulation mechanism change under impact of the modifying (anthropogenic factors, by the example of the two-component system – “Natural environment (Irpin River – environment, transformed under technogenic impact (Nyvka River, the right-hand tributary of the Irpin River”. It is proposed to extend additionally the opportunities of the ecological assessment due to application of the integrating index – the index of ecological conformity. Discussion: obtained results stipulate necessity of the further investigation of structural and functional patterns of the Irpin River ecosystem in space and time. Assessment of anthropogenic factors impact on hydroecosystem condition will make it possible to correct the nature guard activity concerning the improvement of the fishery object ecological condition and recreation essence of the Irpin River. Integration of the Nyvka and Irpin Rivers into a single system “Natural environment – environment, transformed under technogenic impact” will make it possible to obtain the objective assessment of technogenic changes in hydroecosystems. Implementation of the index of ecological conformity will make it possible to estimate completely the inner processes in the rivers.

  3. Ecological and human health risks associated with abandoned gold mine tailings contaminated soil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veronica Mpode Ngole-Jeme

    Full Text Available Gold mining is a major source of metal and metalloid emissions into the environment. Studies were carried out in Krugersdorp, South Africa, to evaluate the ecological and human health risks associated with exposure to metals and metalloids in mine tailings contaminated soils. Concentrations of arsenic (As, cadmium (Cd, chromium (Cr, cobalt (Co, copper (Cu, lead (Pb, manganese (Mn, nickel (Ni, and zinc (Zn in soil samples from the area varied with the highest contamination factors (expressed as ratio of metal or metalloid concentration in the tailings contaminated soil to that of the control site observed for As (3.5x102, Co (2.8x102 and Ni (1.1x102. Potential ecological risk index values for metals and metalloids determined from soil metal and metalloid concentrations and their respective risk factors were correspondingly highest for As (3.5x103 and Co (1.4x103, whereas Mn (0.6 presented the lowest ecological risk. Human health risk was assessed using Hazard Quotient (HQ, Chronic Hazard Index (CHI and carcinogenic risk levels, where values of HQ > 1, CHI > 1 and carcinogenic risk values > 1×10-4 represent elevated risks. Values for HQ indicated high exposure-related risk for As (53.7, Cr (14.8, Ni (2.2, Zn (2.64 and Mn (1.67. Children were more at risk from heavy metal and metalloid exposure than adults. Cancer-related risks associated with metal and metalloid exposure among children were also higher than in adults with cancer risk values of 3×10-2 and 4×10-2 for As and Ni respectively among children, and 5×10-3 and 4×10-3 for As and Ni respectively among adults. There is significant potential ecological and human health risk associated with metal and metalloid exposure from contaminated soils around gold mine tailings dumps. This could be a potential contributing factor to a setback in the health of residents in informal settlements dominating this mining area as the immune systems of some of these residents are already compromised by high

  4. TLR-dependent human mucosal epithelial cell responses to microbial pathogens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola eMassari

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available AbstractToll-Like Receptor (TLR signaling represents one of the best studied pathways to implement defense mechanisms against invading microbes in humans as well as in animals. TLRs respond to specific microbial ligands and to danger signals produced by the host during infection, and initiate downstream cascades that activate both innate and adaptive immunity. TLRs are expressed by professional immune cells and by the large majority of non-hematopoietic cells, including epithelial cells. In epithelial tissues, TLR functions are particularly important because these sites are constantly exposed to microorganisms, due to their location at the host interface with the environment. While at these sites, specific defense mechanisms and inflammatory responses are initiated via TLR signaling against pathogens, suppression or lack of TLR activation is also observed in response to the commensal microbiota. The mechanisms by which TLR signaling is regulated in mucosal epithelial cells include differential expression and levels of TLRs (and their signaling partners, their cellular localization and positioning within the tissue in a fashion that favors responses to pathogens while dampening responses to commensals and maintaining tissue homeostasis in physiologic conditions. In this review, the expression and activation of TLRs in mucosal epithelial cells of several sites of the human body are examined. Specifically, the oral cavity, the ear canal and eye, the airways, the gut and the reproductive tract are discussed, along with how site-specific host defense mechanisms are implemented via TLR signaling.

  5. Assessment and impact of microbial fecal pollution and human enteric pathogens in a coastal community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipp, E K; Farrah, S A; Rose, J B

    2001-04-01

    The goals of this study were to assess watersheds impacted by high densities of OSDS (onsite sewage disposal systems) for evidence of fecal contamination and evaluate the occurrence of human pathogens in coastal waters off west Florida. Eleven stations (representing six watersheds) were intensively sampled for microbial indicators of fecal pollution (fecal coliform bacteria, enterococci, Clostridium perfringens and coliphage) and the human enteric pathogens, Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and enteroviruses during the summer rainy season (May-September 1996). Levels of all indicators ranged between 4000 CFU/100 ml. Cryptosporidium and Giardia were detected infrequently (6.8% and 2.3% of samples tested positive, respectively). Conversely, infectious enteroviruses were detected at low levels in 5 of the 6 watersheds sampled. Using cluster analysis, sites were grouped into two categories, high and low risks, based on combined levels of indicators. These results suggest that stations of highest pollution risk were located within areas of high OSDS densities. Furthermore, data indicate a subsurface transport of contaminated water to surface waters. The high prevalence of enteroviruses throughout the study area suggests a chronic pollution problem and potential risk to recreational swimmers in and around Sarasota Bay.

  6. Diversity of key players in the microbial ecosystems of the human body.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordán, Ferenc; Lauria, Mario; Scotti, Marco; Nguyen, Thanh-Phuong; Praveen, Paurush; Morine, Melissa; Priami, Corrado

    2015-10-30

    Coexisting bacteria form various microbial communities in human body parts. In these ecosystems they interact in various ways and the properties of the interaction network can be related to the stability and functional diversity of the local bacterial community. In this study, we analyze the interaction network among bacterial OTUs in 11 locations of the human body. These belong to two major groups. One is the digestive system and the other is the female genital tract. In each local ecosystem we determine the key species, both the ones being in key positions in the interaction network and the ones that dominate by frequency. Beyond identifying the key players and discussing their biological relevance, we also quantify and compare the properties of the 11 networks. The interaction networks of the female genital system and the digestive system show totally different architecture. Both the topological properties and the identity of the key groups differ. Key groups represent four phyla of prokaryotes. Some groups appear in key positions in several locations, while others are assigned only to a single body part. The key groups of the digestive and the genital tracts are totally different.

  7. Comparison of partial and full nitrification processes applied for treating high-strength nitrogen wastewaters: microbial ecology through nitrous oxide production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahn, Joon Ho; Kwan, Tiffany; Chandran, Kartik

    2011-04-01

    The goal of this study was to compare the microbial ecology, gene expression, biokinetics, and N2O emissions from a lab-scale bioreactor operated sequentially in full-nitrification and partial-nitrification modes. Based on sequencing of 16S rRNA and ammonia monooxygenase subunit A (amoA) genes, ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) populations during full- and partial-nitrification modes were distinct from one another. The concentrations of AOB (XAOB) and their respiration rates during full- and partial-nitrification modes were statistically similar, whereas the concentrations of nitrite oxidizing bacteria (XNOB) and their respiration rates declined significantly after the switch from full- to partial-nitrification. The transition from full-nitrification to partial nitrification resulted in a protracted transient spike of nitrous oxide (N2O) and nitric oxide (NO) emissions, which later stabilized. The trends in N2O and NO emissions correlated well with trends in the expression of nirK and norB genes that code for the production of these gases in AOB. Both the transient and stabilized N2O and NO emissions during partial nitrification were statistically higher than those during steady-state full-nitrification. Based on these results, partial nitrification strategies for biological nitrogen removal, although attractive for their reduced operating costs and energy demand, may need to be optimized against the higher carbon foot-print attributed to their N2O emissions.

  8. Operation optimization of a photo-sequencing batch reactor for wastewater treatment: Study on influencing factors and impact on symbiotic microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Jianfeng; Liang, Junyu; Wang, Liang; Markou, Giorgos; Jia, Qilong

    2018-03-01

    Wastewater treatment technology with better energy efficiency and recyclability is in urgent demand. Photo-Sequencing batch reactor (SBR), which introduces microalgae into conventional SBR, is considered to have more potential for resource recycling. In this study, a photo-SBR was evaluated through the manipulation of several key operational parameters, i.e., aeration strength, light supply intensity and time per cycle, and solid retention time (SRT). The algal-bacterial symbiotic system had the potential of removing COD, NH 4 + -N and TN with limited aeration, representing the advantage of energy-saving by low aeration requirement. Maintaining appropriate proportion of microalgae in the symbiotic system is critical for good system performance. Introducing microalgae into conventional SBR has obvious impact on the original microbial ecology. When the concentration of microalgae is too high (>4.60 mg Chl/L), the inhibition on certain phyla of bacteria, e.g., Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria, would become prominent and not conducive to the stable operation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Gambling, games of skill and human ecology: a pilot study by a multidimensional analysis approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luca Valera

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The present pilot study aims at analyzing the human activity of playing in the light of an indicator of human ecology (HE. We highlighted the four essential anthropological dimensions (FEAD, starting from the analysis of questionnaires administered to actual gamers. The coherence between theoretical construct and observational data is a remarkable proof-of-concept of the possibility of establishing an experimentally motivated link between a philosophical construct (coming from Huizinga's Homo ludens definition and actual gamers' motivation pattern. The starting hypothesis is that the activity of playing becomes ecological (and thus not harmful when it achieves the harmony between the FEAD, thus realizing HE; conversely, it becomes at risk of creating some form of addiction, when destroying FEAD balance. We analyzed the data by means of variable clustering (oblique principal components so to experimentally verify the existence of the hypothesized dimensions. The subsequent projection of statistical units (gamers on the orthogonal space spanned by principal components allowed us to generate a meaningful, albeit preliminary, clusterization of gamer profiles.

  10. Coping with human errors through system design: Implications for ecological interface design

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Jens; Vicente, Kim J.

    1989-01-01

    Research during recent years has revealed that human errors are not stochastic events which can be removed through improved training programs or optimal interface design. Rather, errors tend to reflect either systematic interference between various models, rules, and schemata, or the effects...... of the adaptive mechanisms involved in learning. In terms of design implications, these findings suggest that reliable human-system interaction will be achieved by designing interfaces which tend to minimize the potential for control interference and support recovery from errors. In other words, the focus should...... be on control of the effects of errors rather than on the elimination of errors per se. In this paper, we propose a theoretical framework for interface design that attempts to satisfy these objectives. The goal of our framework, called ecological interface design, is to develop a meaningful representation...

  11. Ecological Interactions between Humans, Wildlife Viral Reservoirs, and Key Environmental Drivers of Hantaan Virus Transmission

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin Tong

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The occurrence and transmission of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS are closely related to environmental variability, so it is essential to clarify the complex relationships among the environment, hantavirus transmission, and the population dynamics of its wildlife hosts. Tian et al. analyzed a large, long-term dataset describing the circulation of hantavirus in rodents and its spillover into humans. Their article incorporates several mathematical models and argues that the interaction between environmental and human behavioral factors drives the observed seasonality and interannual variations in important zoonotic diseases. The ecological cascade effect of a drought in 2002 is highlighted, and the role of seasonality in agricultural activity is emphasized in that study.

  12. Uncovering stability mechanisms in microbial ecosystems - combining microcosm experiments, computational modelling and ecological theory in a multidisciplinary approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worrich, Anja; König, Sara; Banitz, Thomas; Centler, Florian; Frank, Karin; Kästner, Matthias; Miltner, Anja; Thullner, Martin; Wick, Lukas

    2015-04-01

    Although bacterial degraders in soil are commonly exposed to fluctuating environmental conditions, the functional performance of the biodegradation processes can often be maintained by resistance and resilience mechanisms. However, there is still a gap in the mechanistic understanding of key factors contributing to the stability of such an ecosystem service. Therefore we developed an integrated approach combining microcosm experiments, simulation models and ecological theory to directly make use of the strengths of these disciplines. In a continuous interplay process, data, hypotheses, and central questions are exchanged between disciplines to initiate new experiments and models to ultimately identify buffer mechanisms and factors providing functional stability. We focus on drying and rewetting-cycles in soil ecosystems, which are a major abiotic driver for bacterial activity. Functional recovery of the system was found to depend on different spatial processes in the computational model. In particular, bacterial motility is a prerequisite for biodegradation if either bacteria or substrate are heterogeneously distributed. Hence, laboratory experiments focussing on bacterial dispersal processes were conducted and confirmed this finding also for functional resistance. Obtained results will be incorporated into the model in the next step. Overall, the combination of computational modelling and laboratory experiments identified spatial processes as the main driving force for functional stability in the considered system, and has proved a powerful methodological approach.

  13. Iron Isotope Fractionation in Microbial and Non-Biological Precipitates, and the Human Body

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Blanckenburg, F.; Boettcher, M. E.; Hofmann, B.; Walczyk, T.

    2001-12-01

    represent fossil remnants of microbial mats, have been found as encrustations in chalcedony. Delta57Fe is 3 permil heavier than the associated calcite (representing the Fe-rich fluids). Therefore, the fractionations found in microbial precipitates are not larger than those produced in the abiotic experiments. In contrast, major Fe isotope fractionations are produced by the human body: The major iron compartments in the human body, blood, liver, muscle tissues, and also hair, are all depleted by as much as 6 permil in the 57Fe isotope relative to 54Fe when compared to the average dietary intake. Since feces are similar to the average intake, we conclude that a significant Fe isotope fractionation occurs at the adsorptive stage in the intestine. In conclusion, with respect to the hypothesis that Fe isotope effects might serve as "biosignatures" it appears that microbial and abiotic reactions cause similar isotope effects which essentially depend on redox reactions and the speciation in the aqueous solution. On the other hand, higher organisms bear distinct Fe isotope signatures.

  14. The Ecology of Human Fear: Survival Optimization and the Nervous System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dean eMobbs

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available We propose a Survival Optimization System (SOS to account for the strategies that humans and other animals use to defend against recurring and novel threats. The SOS attempts to merge ecological models that define a repertoire of contextually relevant threat induced survival behaviors with contemporary approaches to human affective science. We first propose that the goal of the nervous system is to reduce surprise and optimize actions by (i predicting the sensory landscape, through simulation of possible encounters with threat, selecting appropriate action by pre-encounter avoidance and (ii prevention strategies in which the organism manufactures safe environments. When a potential threat is encountered the (iii threat orienting system is engaged to determine whether the organism ignores the stimulus or switches into a process of (iv assessment, where the organism monitors the stimulus, weighs the threat value, predicts the actions of the threat, searches for safety, and guides behavioral actions crucial to directed escape. When under imminent attack, (v defensive systems evoke fast reflexive indirect escape behaviors (i.e. fight or flight. This cascade of responses to threat of increasing magnitude are underwritten by an interconnected neural architecture that extends from cortical and hippocampal circuits, to attention, action and threat systems including the amygdala, striatum, and hard-wired defensive systems in the midbrain. The SOS also includes a modulatory feature consisting of cognitive appraisal systems that flexibly guide perception, risk and action. Moreover, personal and vicarious threat encounters fine-tune avoidance behaviors via model-based learning, with higher organisms bridging data to reduce face-to-face encounters with predators. Our theory unifies the divergent field of human affective science, proposing the highly integrated, interconnected nervous systems are optimized to avoid ecological dangers.

  15. Terpenes tell different tales at different scales: glimpses into the Chemical Ecology of conifer - bark beetle - microbial interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raffa, Kenneth F

    2014-01-01

    , biochemical time), relationships among inducible and constitutive defenses, population dynamics, and plastic host-selection behavior (stand level, ecological time), and climate-driven range expansion of a native eruptive species into semi-naïve and potentially naïve habitats (geographical level, evolutionary time). I approach this problem by focusing primarily on one chemical group, terpenes, by emphasizing the curvilinear and threshold-structured basis of most underlying relationships, and by focusing on the system's feedback structure, which can either buffer or amplify relationships across scales.

  16. Antibiotic Resistance in Animal-waste-impacted Farm Soil: From Molecular Mechanisms to Microbial Evolution and Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    You, Y.; Ward, M. J.; Hilpert, M.

    2012-12-01

    Antibiotic resistance is a growing public health problem worldwide and the routine use of antibiotics in industrial animal production has sparked debate on whether this practice might constitute an environmental and public health concern. At a broiler farm, electromagnetic induction (EMI) surveying assisted soil sampling from a chicken-waste-impacted site and a marginally affected site. Consistent with the EMI survey, disparity existed between the two sites with regard to soil pH, tetracycline resistance (TcR) levels among heterotrophic culturable soil bacteria, and the incidence/prevalence of a number of tet and erm genes in the soils. No significant difference was observed in these aspects between the marginally affected site and several sites in a regional state forest that has not been in agricultural use for decades. Shortly after our sampling, the farm closed down and all the waste was removed. This unique change in situation offered us an unusual opportunity to examine the reversibility of any impact of the chicken waste on the soil microbial community. Two years after the event, several antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) were still detected in the waste-impacted soil, and quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) data showed that their relative abundance remained at substantial levels. A mobilizable tet(L)-carrying plasmid, pSU1, was identified in several chicken-waste-exposed soil bacteria of three different genera. Quantification of the plasmid's mobilization gene suggested that pSU1 had contributed to the prevalence and persistence of tet(L) in the waste-impacted soil. A second mobilizable tet(L)-carrying plasmid, pBSDMV9, isolated from the same soil, contained a region with 98.8% nucleotide identity to pSU1. The mosaic structure of the plasmids and the highly conserved nature of the tet(L) genes suggested that plasmid rearrangement favoring the acquisition of tet(L) may have occurred in the soil relatively recently. Additionally, in one chicken

  17. Natural environments, ancestral diets, and microbial ecology: is there a modern "paleo-deficit disorder"? Part I.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Logan, Alan C; Katzman, Martin A; Balanzá-Martínez, Vicent

    2015-01-31

    Famed microbiologist René J. Dubos (1901-1982) was an early pioneer in the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) construct. In the 1960s, he conducted groundbreaking experimental research concerning the ways in which early-life experience with nutrition, microbiota, stress, and other environmental variables could influence later-life health outcomes. He also wrote extensively on potential health consequences of a progressive loss of contact with natural environments (now referred to as green or blue space), arguing that Paleolithic experiences have created needs, particularly in the mental realm, that might not be met in the context of rapid global urbanization. He posited that humans would certainly adapt to modern urban landscapes and high technology, but there might be a toll to be paid in the form of higher psychological distress (symptoms of anxiety and depression) and diminished quality of life. In particular, there might be an erosion of humanness, exemplified by declines in altruism/empathy. Here in the first of a two-part review, we examine contemporary research related to natural environments and question to what extent Dubos might have been correct in some of his 50-year-old assertions.

  18. Socio-Ecological Changes and Human Mobility in Landslide Zones of Chamoli District of Uttarakhand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Desh Deepak

    2017-04-01

    Disaster displacement represents one of the biggest humanitarian challenges of the 21st century. Between 2008 and 2014, 184.6 million people were forced from their homes due to different natural disasters, with 19.3 million newly displaced in 2014, according to the latest available data from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC). In Uttarakhand state in India, hill slopes are known for their instability as they are ecologically fragile, tectonically and seismically active, and geologically sensitive that makes it prone to landslide hazards. Coupled to this, the rapid expansion of human societies often forces people to occupy highly dynamic and unstable environments. Repeated instances of landslide in highly populated areas have now forced many people to out migrate from vulnerable and high risk areas of Uttarakhand. The present study overlays the maps of geology, vegetation, route network, and settlement of Chamoli district of Uttarakhand to find out through overlay analysis, the landslide risk zonation map of Chamoli. Further, through primary survey in the high risk zones, the migration pattern and migration intensity has been analysed and a model for determining long term trend of migration in ecologically changing location has been developed. Keywords: Landslides, Uttarakhand, Migration, Risk Zonation Mapping

  19. Early life history and habitat ecology of estuarine fishes: responses to natural and human induced change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenneth Able

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Our understanding of the early life history of fishes and their habitats has proceeded from basic natural history to ecology, but we often need to return to natural history to address deficiencies in conceptual and quantitative models of ecosystems. This understanding is further limited by the complex life history of fishes and the lack of appreciation of shifting baselines in estuaries. These inadequacies are especially evident when we try to address the effects of human influences, e.g. fishing, urbanization, and climate change. Often our baselines are inadequate or inaccurate. Our work has detected these along the coasts of the U.S. in extensive time series of larval fish ingress into estuaries, studies of the effects of urbanization, and responses to catastrophes such as the BP oil spill. Long-term monitoring, especially, continues to provide critical insights

  20. The Ecology of Human-Machine Systems II: Mediating 'Direct Perception' in Complex Work Domains

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vicente, Kim J.; Rasmussen, Jens

    1990-01-01

    Recently, a new class of artifacts has appeared in our environment: complex, high-technology work domains. An important characteristic of such systems is that their goal-relevant properties cannot be directly observed by the unaided eye. As a result, interface design is a ubiquitous problem in th...... in the design of these work environments. Nevertheless, the problem is one that has yet to be addressed in an adequate manner. An analogy to human perceptual mechanisms suggests that a smart instrument approach to interface design is needed to supplant the rote instrument (single......-sensor-single-indicator) approach that has dominated to this point. Ecological interface design (ED) is a theoretical framework in the smart instrument vein that postulates a set of general, prescriptive principles for design. The goal of E D is twofold: first, to reveal the affordances of the work domain through the interface...

  1. Assessment of human and ecological risks from uranium and gold mining activities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hart, D.; McKee, P.; Garisto, N.

    1995-01-01

    Forecasting of ecological and human health risk has been widely used in the uranium mining industry to support decisions regarding acceptability of proposed mine developments and mine closure plans. Probabilistic assessment has been less frequently used in other mining sectors where radiological issues are less prominent, but is now beginning to be more broadly applied. Case studies are presented to illustrate probabilistic approaches in opening and closing assessments of uranium and gold mines. Risks to man and biota from operational emissions (radionuclides, arsenic, cyanide) and risk reductions following mine closure are forecast using probabilistic models of chemical fate, transport and exposure. These forecasts permit selection of operational and closure alternatives which produce acceptably low risks

  2. Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment Work Plan Mud Pit Release Sites, Amchitka Island, Alaska

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    DOE/NV

    2001-03-12

    This Work Plan describes the approach that will be used to conduct human health and ecological risk assessments for Amchitka Island, Alaska, which was utilized as an underground nuclear test site between 1965 and 1971. During this period, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (now the U.S. Department of Energy) conducted two nuclear tests (known as Long Shot and Milrow) and assisted the U.S. Department of Defense with a third test (known as Cannikin). Amchitka Island is approximately 42 miles long and located 1,340 miles west-southwest of Anchorage, Alaska, in the western end of the Aleutian Island archipelago in a group of islands known as the Rat Islands. Historically including deep drilling operations required large volumes of drilling mud, a considerable amount of which was left on the island in exposed mud pits after testing was completed. Therefore, there is a need for drilling mud pit remediation and risk assessment of historical mud pit releases. The scope of this work plan is to document the environmental objectives and the proposed technical site investigation strategies that will be utilized for the site characterization of the constituents in soil, surface water, and sediment at these former testing sites. Its goal is the collection of data in sufficient quantity and quality to determine current site conditions, support a risk assessment for the site surfaces, and evaluate what further remedial action is required to achieve permanent closure of these three sites that will protect both human health and the environment. Suspected compounds of potential ecological concern for investigative analysis at these sites include diesel-range organics, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, volatile organic compounds, and chromium. The results of these characterizations and risk assessments will be used to evaluate corrective action alternatives to include no further action, the implementation of institutional controls, capping on site, or off-sit e

  3. Microbial Signatures of Cadaver Gravesoil During Decomposition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finley, Sheree J; Pechal, Jennifer L; Benbow, M Eric; Robertson, B K; Javan, Gulnaz T

    2016-04-01

    Genomic studies have estimated there are approximately 10(3)-10(6) bacterial species per gram of soil. The microbial species found in soil associated with decomposing human remains (gravesoil) have been investigated and recognized as potential molecular determinants for estimates of time since death. The nascent era of high-throughput amplicon sequencing of the conserved 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene region of gravesoil microbes is allowing research to expand beyond more subjective empirical methods used in forensic microbiology. The goal of the present study was to evaluate microbial communities and identify taxonomic signatures associated with the gravesoil human cadavers. Using 16S rRNA gene amplicon-based sequencing, soil microbial communities were surveyed from 18 cadavers placed on the surface or buried that were allowed to decompose over a range of decomposition time periods (3-303 days). Surface soil microbial communities showed a decreasing trend in taxon richness, diversity, and evenness over decomposition, while buried cadaver-soil microbial communities demonstrated increasing taxon richness, consistent diversity, and decreasing evenness. The results show that ubiquitous Proteobacteria was confirmed as the most abundant phylum in all gravesoil samples. Surface cadaver-soil communities demonstrated a decrease in Acidobacteria and an increase in Firmicutes relative abundance over decomposition, while buried soil communities were consistent in their community composition throughout decomposition. Better understanding of microbial community structure and its shifts over time may be important for advancing general knowledge of decomposition soil ecology and its potential use during forensic investigations.

  4. Ecological consequences of human niche construction: Examining long-term anthropogenic shaping of global species distributions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boivin, Nicole L; Zeder, Melinda A; Fuller, Dorian Q; Crowther, Alison; Larson, Greger; Erlandson, Jon M; Denham, Tim; Petraglia, Michael D

    2016-06-07

    The exhibition of increasingly intensive and complex niche construction behaviors through time is a key feature of human evolution, culminating in the advanced capacity for ecosystem engineering exhibited by Homo sapiens A crucial outcome of such behaviors has been the dramatic reshaping of the global biosphere, a transformation whose early origins are increasingly apparent from cumulative archaeological and paleoecological datasets. Such data suggest that, by the Late Pleistocene, humans had begun to engage in activities that have led to alterations in the distributions of a vast array of species across most, if not all, taxonomic groups. Changes to biodiversity have included extinctions, extirpations, and shifts in species composition, diversity, and community structure. We outline key examples of these changes, highlighting findings from the study of new datasets, like ancient DNA (aDNA), stable isotopes, and microfossils, as well as the application of new statistical and computational methods to datasets that have accumulated significantly in recent decades. We focus on four major phases that witnessed broad anthropogenic alterations to biodiversity-the Late Pleistocene global human expansion, the Neolithic spread of agriculture, the era of island colonization, and the emergence of early urbanized societies and commercial networks. Archaeological evidence documents millennia of anthropogenic transformations that have created novel ecosystems around the world. This record has implications for ecological and evolutionary research, conservation strategies, and the maintenance of ecosystem services, pointing to a significant need for broader cross-disciplinary engagement between archaeology and the biological and environmental sciences.

  5. Exploring the Human Ecology of the Younger Dryas Extraterrestrial Impact Event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennett, D. J.; Erlandson, J. M.; Braje, T. J.; Culleton, B. J.

    2007-05-01

    Several lines of evidence now exist for a major extraterrestrial impact event in North America at 12.9 ka (the YDB). This impact partially destabilized the Laurentide and Cordilleran ice sheets, triggered abrupt Younger Dryas cooling and extensive wildfires, and contributed to megafaunal extinction. This event also occurred soon after the well established colonization of the Americas by anatomically modern humans. Confirmation of this event would represent the first near-time extraterrestrial impact with significant effects on human populations. These likely included widespread, abrupt human mortality, population displacement, migration into less effected or newly established habitats, loss of cultural traditions, and resource diversification in the face of the massive megafaunal extinction and population reductions in surviving animal populations. Ultimately, these transformations established the context for the special character of plant and animal domestication and the emergence of agricultural economies in North America. We explore the Late Pleistocene archaeological record in North America within the context of documented major biotic changes associated with the YDB in North America and of the massive ecological affects hypothesized for this event.

  6. Is the phototransformation of pharmaceuticals a natural purification process that decreases ecological and human health risks?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Xiao-Huan; Lin, Angela Yu-Chen

    2014-01-01

    Sunlight photodegradation has long been considered a significant process in lowering the concentrations of pharmaceuticals in surface waters and thus decreasing the ecological risk. For the first time, this study identified the significance of investigating the environmental photodegradation of a pharmaceutical residue mixture (rather than a single compound) and the associated toxicity of transformation byproducts in environmental waters, including rivers, hospital wastewaters, and effluents from wastewater treatment plants and pharmaceutical production facilities. Pharmaceuticals undergo phototransformation rather than mineralization (11–23% in 34 h). Pharmaceutical mixtures could possibly act as dissolved organic matter for each individual compound and subsequently affect the photolysis rates. The increased toxicity of irradiated pharmaceutical mixtures challenges the validity of the current understanding of sunlight photolysis. The implications of this work suggest that current knowledge concerning the occurrence, natural attenuation, ecotoxicity, and human health risks of pharmaceuticals is far from complete; photolysis is not necessarily a purification process. -- Highlights: • Pharmaceutical mixtures could possibly act as DOMs for each other. • Pharmaceuticals underwent merely phototransformation rather than mineralization. • Increased toxicity from photo byproducts associated with the pharmaceutical mixture. • Phototransformation does not necessary mitigate the risk to human and the ecosystem. -- Transformation byproducts associated with a pharmaceutical mixture could be more toxic, and phototransformation does not necessary mitigate the risk to humans and the ecosystem

  7. Managing the Microbial Ecology of a Cyanobacteria-Based Photosynthetic Factory Direct!, Final Report for EE0006100

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rittmann, Bruce [Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States); Krajmalnik‐Brown, Rosa [Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States); Zevin, Alexander [Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States); Nguyen, Binh [Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States); Patel, Megha [Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States)

    2015-02-28

    The grandest challenge facing human society today is providing large amounts of energy and industrial chemicals that are renewable and carbon-neutral. An outstanding opportunity lies in employing photosynthetic microorganisms, which have the potential to generate energy and chemical feedstock from sunlight and CO2 at rates 10 to 100 times greater than plants. Major challenges for solar-powered production using photosynthetic microorganisms are associated with the harvesting and downstream processing of biomass to yield the usable energy or material feedstock e.g. The technical challenges and costs of downstream processing could be avoided if, powered by solar energy, the photosynthetic microorganisms were to convert CO2 directly to the desired product, which they release for direct harvesting. This approach creates a true photosynthetic factory, our goal for Photosynthetic Factory Direct! Our team is able to genetically modify the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 so that it produces and excretes a range of renewable energy and chemical products directly from CO2 and sunlight. Essential to realizing the potential of the photosynthetic factory is an engineered Advanced Photobioreactor (APBR) for reliable synthesis and harvest of the products.

  8. Primates, Provisioning and Plants: Impacts of Human Cultural Behaviours on Primate Ecological Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sengupta, Asmita; McConkey, Kim R; Radhakrishna, Sindhu

    2015-01-01

    Human provisioning of wildlife with food is a widespread global practice that occurs in multiple socio-cultural circumstances. Provisioning may indirectly alter ecosystem functioning through changes in the eco-ethology of animals, but few studies have quantified this aspect. Provisioning of primates by humans is known to impact their activity budgets, diets and ranging patterns. Primates are also keystone species in tropical forests through their role as seed dispersers; yet there is no information on how provisioning might affect primate ecological functions. The rhesus macaque is a major human-commensal species but is also an important seed disperser in the wild. In this study, we investigated the potential impacts of provisioning on the role of rhesus macaques as seed dispersers in the Buxa Tiger Reserve, India. We studied a troop of macaques which were provisioned for a part of the year and were dependent on natural resources for the rest. We observed feeding behaviour, seed handling techniques and ranging patterns of the macaques and monitored availability of wild fruits. Irrespective of fruit availability, frugivory and seed dispersal activities decreased when the macaques were provisioned. Provisioned macaques also had shortened daily ranges implying shorter dispersal distances. Finally, during provisioning periods, seeds were deposited on tarmac roads that were unconducive for germination. Provisioning promotes human-primate conflict, as commensal primates are often involved in aggressive encounters with humans over resources, leading to negative consequences for both parties involved. Preventing or curbing provisioning is not an easy task as feeding wild animals is a socio-cultural tradition across much of South and South-East Asia, including India. We recommend the initiation of literacy programmes that educate lay citizens about the ill-effects of provisioning and strongly caution them against the practice.

  9. Primates, Provisioning and Plants: Impacts of Human Cultural Behaviours on Primate Ecological Functions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Asmita Sengupta

    Full Text Available Human provisioning of wildlife with food is a widespread global practice that occurs in multiple socio-cultural circumstances. Provisioning may indirectly alter ecosystem functioning through changes in the eco-ethology of animals, but few studies have quantified this aspect. Provisioning of primates by humans is known to impact their activity budgets, diets and ranging patterns. Primates are also keystone species in tropical forests through their role as seed dispersers; yet there is no information on how provisioning might affect primate ecological functions. The rhesus macaque is a major human-commensal species but is also an important seed disperser in the wild. In this study, we investigated the potential impacts of provisioning on the role of rhesus macaques as seed dispersers in the Buxa Tiger Reserve, India. We studied a troop of macaques which were provisioned for a part of the year and were dependent on natural resources for the rest. We observed feeding behaviour, seed handling techniques and ranging patterns of the macaques and monitored availability of wild fruits. Irrespective of fruit availability, frugivory and seed dispersal activities decreased when the macaques were provisioned. Provisioned macaques also had shortened daily ranges implying shorter dispersal distances. Finally, during provisioning periods, seeds were deposited on tarmac roads that were unconducive for germination. Provisioning promotes human-primate conflict, as commensal primates are often involved in aggressive encounters with humans over resources, leading to negative consequences for both parties involved. Preventing or curbing provisioning is not an easy task as feeding wild animals is a socio-cultural tradition across much of South and South-East Asia, including India. We recommend the initiation of literacy programmes that educate lay citizens about the ill-effects of provisioning and strongly caution them against the practice.

  10. Ecological drought: Accounting for the non-human impacts of water shortage in the Upper Missouri Headwaters Basin, Montana, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    McEvoy, Jamie; Bathke, Deborah J.; Burkardt, Nina; Cravens, Amanda; Haigh, Tonya; Hall, Kimberly R.; Hayes, Michael J.; Jedd, Theresa; Podebradska, Marketa; Wickham, Elliot

    2018-01-01

    Water laws and drought plans are used to prioritize and allocate scarce water resources. Both have historically been human-centric, failing to account for non-human water needs. In this paper, we examine the development of instream flow legislation and the evolution of drought planning to highlight the growing concern for the non-human impacts of water scarcity. Utilizing a new framework for ecological drought, we analyzed five watershed-scale drought plans in southwestern Montana, USA to understand if, and how, the ecological impacts of dro