WorldWideScience

Sample records for microbial ecological genomics

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Rumen microbial genomics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morrison, M.; Nelson, K.E.

    2005-01-01

    Improving microbial degradation of plant cell wall polysaccharides remains one of the highest priority goals for all livestock enterprises, including the cattle herds and draught animals of developing countries. The North American Consortium for Genomics of Fibrolytic Ruminal Bacteria was created to promote the sequencing and comparative analysis of rumen microbial genomes, offering the potential to fully assess the genetic potential in a functional and comparative fashion. It has been found that the Fibrobacter succinogenes genome encodes many more endoglucanases and cellodextrinases than previously isolated, and several new processive endoglucanases have been identified by genome and proteomic analysis of Ruminococcus albus, in addition to a variety of strategies for its adhesion to fibre. The ramifications of acquiring genome sequence data for rumen microorganisms are profound, including the potential to elucidate and overcome the biochemical, ecological or physiological processes that are rate limiting for ruminal fibre degradation. (author)

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Microbial Genomes Multiply

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doolittle, Russell F.

    2002-01-01

    The publication of the first complete sequence of a bacterial genome in 1995 was a signal event, underscored by the fact that the article has been cited more than 2,100 times during the intervening seven years. It was a marvelous technical achievement, made possible by automatic DNA-sequencing machines. The feat is the more impressive in that complete genome sequencing has now been adopted in many different laboratories around the world. Four years ago in these columns I examined the situation after a dozen microbial genomes had been completed. Now, with upwards of 60 microbial genome sequences determined and twice that many in progress, it seems reasonable to assess just what is being learned. Are new concepts emerging about how cells work? Have there been practical benefits in the fields of medicine and agriculture? Is it feasible to determine the genomic sequence of every bacterial species on Earth? The answers to these questions maybe Yes, Perhaps, and No, respectively.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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....

  17. Visualization for genomics: the Microbial Genome Viewer.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kerkhoven, R.; Enckevort, F.H.J. van; Boekhorst, J.; Molenaar, D; Siezen, R.J.

    2004-01-01

    SUMMARY: A Web-based visualization tool, the Microbial Genome Viewer, is presented that allows the user to combine complex genomic data in a highly interactive way. This Web tool enables the interactive generation of chromosome wheels and linear genome maps from genome annotation data stored in a

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Visualization for genomics: the Microbial Genome Viewer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerkhoven, Robert; van Enckevort, Frank H J; Boekhorst, Jos; Molenaar, Douwe; Siezen, Roland J

    2004-07-22

    A Web-based visualization tool, the Microbial Genome Viewer, is presented that allows the user to combine complex genomic data in a highly interactive way. This Web tool enables the interactive generation of chromosome wheels and linear genome maps from genome annotation data stored in a MySQL database. The generated images are in scalable vector graphics (SVG) format, which is suitable for creating high-quality scalable images and dynamic Web representations. Gene-related data such as transcriptome and time-course microarray experiments can be superimposed on the maps for visual inspection. The Microbial Genome Viewer 1.0 is freely available at http://www.cmbi.kun.nl/MGV

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Theory of microbial genome evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koonin, Eugene

    Bacteria and archaea have small genomes tightly packed with protein-coding genes. This compactness is commonly perceived as evidence of adaptive genome streamlining caused by strong purifying selection in large microbial populations. In such populations, even the small cost incurred by nonfunctional DNA because of extra energy and time expenditure is thought to be sufficient for this extra genetic material to be eliminated by selection. However, contrary to the predictions of this model, there exists a consistent, positive correlation between the strength of selection at the protein sequence level, measured as the ratio of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitution rates, and microbial genome size. By fitting the genome size distributions in multiple groups of prokaryotes to predictions of mathematical models of population evolution, we show that only models in which acquisition of additional genes is, on average, slightly beneficial yield a good fit to genomic data. Thus, the number of genes in prokaryotic genomes seems to reflect the equilibrium between the benefit of additional genes that diminishes as the genome grows and deletion bias. New genes acquired by microbial genomes, on average, appear to be adaptive. Evolution of bacterial and archaeal genomes involves extensive horizontal gene transfer and gene loss. Many microbes have open pangenomes, where each newly sequenced genome contains more than 10% `ORFans', genes without detectable homologues in other species. A simple, steady-state evolutionary model reveals two sharply distinct classes of microbial genes, one of which (ORFans) is characterized by effectively instantaneous gene replacement, whereas the other consists of genes with finite, distributed replacement rates. These findings imply a conservative estimate of at least a billion distinct genes in the prokaryotic genomic universe.

  4. 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.

  5. Microbial genomes: Blueprints for life

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Relman, David A.; Strauss, Evelyn

    2000-12-31

    Complete microbial genome sequences hold the promise of profound new insights into microbial pathogenesis, evolution, diagnostics, and therapeutics. From these insights will come a new foundation for understanding the evolution of single-celled life, as well as the evolution of more complex life forms. This report is an in-depth analysis of scientific issues that provides recommendations and will be widely disseminated to the scientific community, federal agencies, industry and the public.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. [Advances in microbial genome reduction and modification].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jianli; Wang, Xiaoyuan

    2013-08-01

    Microbial genome reduction and modification are important strategies for constructing cellular chassis used for synthetic biology. This article summarized the essential genes and the methods to identify them in microorganisms, compared various strategies for microbial genome reduction, and analyzed the characteristics of some microorganisms with the minimized genome. This review shows the important role of genome reduction in constructing cellular chassis.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Improved bacteriophage genome data is necessary for integrating viral and bacterial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bibby, Kyle

    2014-02-01

    The recent rise in "omics"-enabled approaches has lead to improved understanding in many areas of microbial ecology. However, despite the importance that viruses play in a broad microbial ecology context, viral ecology remains largely not integrated into high-throughput microbial ecology studies. A fundamental hindrance to the integration of viral ecology into omics-enabled microbial ecology studies is the lack of suitable reference bacteriophage genomes in reference databases-currently, only 0.001% of bacteriophage diversity is represented in genome sequence databases. This commentary serves to highlight this issue and to promote bacteriophage genome sequencing as a valuable scientific undertaking to both better understand bacteriophage diversity and move towards a more holistic view of microbial ecology.

  15. 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.

  16. The integrated microbial genome resource of analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Checcucci, Alice; Mengoni, Alessio

    2015-01-01

    Integrated Microbial Genomes and Metagenomes (IMG) is a biocomputational system that allows to provide information and support for annotation and comparative analysis of microbial genomes and metagenomes. IMG has been developed by the US Department of Energy (DOE)-Joint Genome Institute (JGI). IMG platform contains both draft and complete genomes, sequenced by Joint Genome Institute and other public and available genomes. Genomes of strains belonging to Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya domains are present as well as those of viruses and plasmids. Here, we provide some essential features of IMG system and case study for pangenome analysis.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Uses of antimicrobial genes from microbial genome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorek, Rotem; Rubin, Edward M.

    2013-08-20

    We describe a method for mining microbial genomes to discover antimicrobial genes and proteins having broad spectrum of activity. Also described are antimicrobial genes and their expression products from various microbial genomes that were found using this method. The products of such genes can be used as antimicrobial agents or as tools for molecular biology.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Genome engineering for microbial natural product discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Si-Sun; Katsuyama, Yohei; Bai, Linquan; Deng, Zixin; Ohnishi, Yasuo; Kim, Eung-Soo

    2018-03-03

    The discovery and development of microbial natural products (MNPs) have played pivotal roles in the fields of human medicine and its related biotechnology sectors over the past several decades. The post-genomic era has witnessed the development of microbial genome mining approaches to isolate previously unsuspected MNP biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) hidden in the genome, followed by various BGC awakening techniques to visualize compound production. Additional microbial genome engineering techniques have allowed higher MNP production titers, which could complement a traditional culture-based MNP chasing approach. Here, we describe recent developments in the MNP research paradigm, including microbial genome mining, NP BGC activation, and NP overproducing cell factory design. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Microbial taxonomy in the post-genomic era: Rebuilding from scratch?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thompson, Cristiane C. [Univ. of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) (Brazil); Amaral, Gilda R. [Univ. of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) (Brazil); Campeão, Mariana [Univ. of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) (Brazil); Edwards, Robert A. [Univ. of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) (Brazil); San Diego State Univ., CA (United States); Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Polz, Martin F. [Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States); Dutilh, Bas E. [Univ. of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) (Brazil); Radbould Univ., Nijmegen (Netherlands); Ussery, David W. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Sawabe, Tomoo [Hokkaido Univ., Hakodate (Japan); Swings, Jean [Univ. of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) (Brazil); Ghent Univ. (Belgium); Thompson, Fabiano L. [Univ. of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) (Brazil); Advanced Systems Laboratory Production Management COPPE / UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

    2014-12-23

    Microbial taxonomy should provide adequate descriptions of bacterial, archaeal, and eukaryotic microbial diversity in ecological, clinical, and industrial environments. We re-evaluated the prokaryote species twice. It is time to revisit polyphasic taxonomy, its principles, and its practice, including its underlying pragmatic species concept. We will be able to realize an old dream of our predecessor taxonomists and build a genomic-based microbial taxonomy, using standardized and automated curation of high-quality complete genome sequences as the new gold standard.

  12. Sequencing intractable DNA to close microbial genomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard A Hurt

    Full Text Available Advancement in high throughput DNA sequencing technologies has supported a rapid proliferation of microbial genome sequencing projects, providing the genetic blueprint for in-depth studies. Oftentimes, difficult to sequence regions in microbial genomes are ruled "intractable" resulting in a growing number of genomes with sequence gaps deposited in databases. A procedure was developed to sequence such problematic regions in the "non-contiguous finished" Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ND132 genome (6 intractable gaps and the Desulfovibrio africanus genome (1 intractable gap. The polynucleotides surrounding each gap formed GC rich secondary structures making the regions refractory to amplification and sequencing. Strand-displacing DNA polymerases used in concert with a novel ramped PCR extension cycle supported amplification and closure of all gap regions in both genomes. The developed procedures support accurate gene annotation, and provide a step-wise method that reduces the effort required for genome finishing.

  13. Sequencing Intractable DNA to Close Microbial Genomes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hurt, Jr., Richard Ashley [ORNL; Brown, Steven D [ORNL; Podar, Mircea [ORNL; Palumbo, Anthony Vito [ORNL; Elias, Dwayne A [ORNL

    2012-01-01

    Advancement in high throughput DNA sequencing technologies has supported a rapid proliferation of microbial genome sequencing projects, providing the genetic blueprint for for in-depth studies. Oftentimes, difficult to sequence regions in microbial genomes are ruled intractable resulting in a growing number of genomes with sequence gaps deposited in databases. A procedure was developed to sequence such difficult regions in the non-contiguous finished Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ND132 genome (6 intractable gaps) and the Desulfovibrio africanus genome (1 intractable gap). The polynucleotides surrounding each gap formed GC rich secondary structures making the regions refractory to amplification and sequencing. Strand-displacing DNA polymerases used in concert with a novel ramped PCR extension cycle supported amplification and closure of all gap regions in both genomes. These developed procedures support accurate gene annotation, and provide a step-wise method that reduces the effort required for genome finishing.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Ecology and genomics of Bacillus subtilis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earl, Ashlee M; Losick, Richard; Kolter, Roberto

    2008-06-01

    Bacillus subtilis is a remarkably diverse bacterial species that is capable of growth within many environments. Recent microarray-based comparative genomic analyses have revealed that members of this species also exhibit considerable genomic diversity. The identification of strain-specific genes might explain how B. subtilis has become so broadly adapted. The goal of identifying ecologically adaptive genes could soon be realized with the imminent release of several new B. subtilis genome sequences. As we embark upon this exciting new era of B. subtilis comparative genomics we review what is currently known about the ecology and evolution of this species.

  18. Microbial genome analysis: the COG approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galperin, Michael Y; Kristensen, David M; Makarova, Kira S; Wolf, Yuri I; Koonin, Eugene V

    2017-09-14

    For the past 20 years, the Clusters of Orthologous Genes (COG) database had been a popular tool for microbial genome annotation and comparative genomics. Initially created for the purpose of evolutionary classification of protein families, the COG have been used, apart from straightforward functional annotation of sequenced genomes, for such tasks as (i) unification of genome annotation in groups of related organisms; (ii) identification of missing and/or undetected genes in complete microbial genomes; (iii) analysis of genomic neighborhoods, in many cases allowing prediction of novel functional systems; (iv) analysis of metabolic pathways and prediction of alternative forms of enzymes; (v) comparison of organisms by COG functional categories; and (vi) prioritization of targets for structural and functional characterization. Here we review the principles of the COG approach and discuss its key advantages and drawbacks in microbial genome analysis. Published by Oxford University Press 2017. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  19. 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.

  20. Microbial species delineation using whole genome sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varghese, Neha J; Mukherjee, Supratim; Ivanova, Natalia; Konstantinidis, Konstantinos T; Mavrommatis, Kostas; Kyrpides, Nikos C; Pati, Amrita

    2015-08-18

    Increased sequencing of microbial genomes has revealed that prevailing prokaryotic species assignments can be inconsistent with whole genome information for a significant number of species. The long-standing need for a systematic and scalable species assignment technique can be met by the genome-wide Average Nucleotide Identity (gANI) metric, which is widely acknowledged as a robust measure of genomic relatedness. In this work, we demonstrate that the combination of gANI and the alignment fraction (AF) between two genomes accurately reflects their genomic relatedness. We introduce an efficient implementation of AF,gANI and discuss its successful application to 86.5M genome pairs between 13,151 prokaryotic genomes assigned to 3032 species. Subsequently, by comparing the genome clusters obtained from complete linkage clustering of these pairs to existing taxonomy, we observed that nearly 18% of all prokaryotic species suffer from anomalies in species definition. Our results can be used to explore central questions such as whether microorganisms form a continuum of genetic diversity or distinct species represented by distinct genetic signatures. We propose that this precise and objective AF,gANI-based species definition: the MiSI (Microbial Species Identifier) method, be used to address previous inconsistencies in species classification and as the primary guide for new taxonomic species assignment, supplemented by the traditional polyphasic approach, as required. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  1. 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

  2. Genome Surfing As Driver of Microbial Genomic Diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudoir, Mallory J; Panke-Buisse, Kevin; Andam, Cheryl P; Buckley, Daniel H

    2017-08-01

    Historical changes in population size, such as those caused by demographic range expansions, can produce nonadaptive changes in genomic diversity through mechanisms such as gene surfing. We propose that demographic range expansion of a microbial population capable of horizontal gene exchange can result in genome surfing, a mechanism that can cause widespread increase in the pan-genome frequency of genes acquired by horizontal gene exchange. We explain that patterns of genetic diversity within Streptomyces are consistent with genome surfing, and we describe several predictions for testing this hypothesis both in Streptomyces and in other microorganisms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Pre-genomic, genomic and post-genomic study of microbial communities involved in bioenergy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rittmann, Bruce E; Krajmalnik-Brown, Rosa; Halden, Rolf U

    2008-08-01

    Microorganisms can produce renewable energy in large quantities and without damaging the environment or disrupting food supply. The microbial communities must be robust and self-stabilizing, and their essential syntrophies must be managed. Pre-genomic, genomic and post-genomic tools can provide crucial information about the structure and function of these microbial communities. Applying these tools will help accelerate the rate at which microbial bioenergy processes move from intriguing science to real-world practice.

  4. 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.

  5. Specialized microbial databases for inductive exploration of microbial genome sequences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cabau Cédric

    2005-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The enormous amount of genome sequence data asks for user-oriented databases to manage sequences and annotations. Queries must include search tools permitting function identification through exploration of related objects. Methods The GenoList package for collecting and mining microbial genome databases has been rewritten using MySQL as the database management system. Functions that were not available in MySQL, such as nested subquery, have been implemented. Results Inductive reasoning in the study of genomes starts from "islands of knowledge", centered around genes with some known background. With this concept of "neighborhood" in mind, a modified version of the GenoList structure has been used for organizing sequence data from prokaryotic genomes of particular interest in China. GenoChore http://bioinfo.hku.hk/genochore.html, a set of 17 specialized end-user-oriented microbial databases (including one instance of Microsporidia, Encephalitozoon cuniculi, a member of Eukarya has been made publicly available. These databases allow the user to browse genome sequence and annotation data using standard queries. In addition they provide a weekly update of searches against the world-wide protein sequences data libraries, allowing one to monitor annotation updates on genes of interest. Finally, they allow users to search for patterns in DNA or protein sequences, taking into account a clustering of genes into formal operons, as well as providing extra facilities to query sequences using predefined sequence patterns. Conclusion This growing set of specialized microbial databases organize data created by the first Chinese bacterial genome programs (ThermaList, Thermoanaerobacter tencongensis, LeptoList, with two different genomes of Leptospira interrogans and SepiList, Staphylococcus epidermidis associated to related organisms for comparison.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Microbial genome-enabled insights into plant-microorganism interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guttman, David S; McHardy, Alice C; Schulze-Lefert, Paul

    2014-12-01

    Advances in genome-based studies on plant-associated microorganisms have transformed our understanding of many plant pathogens and are beginning to greatly widen our knowledge of plant interactions with mutualistic and commensal microorganisms. Pathogenomics has revealed how pathogenic microorganisms adapt to particular hosts, subvert innate immune responses and change host range, as well as how new pathogen species emerge. Similarly, culture-independent community profiling methods, coupled with metagenomic and metatranscriptomic studies, have provided the first insights into the emerging field of research on plant-associated microbial communities. Together, these approaches have the potential to bridge the gap between plant microbial ecology and plant pathology, which have traditionally been two distinct research fields.

  13. Ecological Genomics of Marine Picocyanobacteria†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scanlan, D. J.; Ostrowski, M.; Mazard, S.; Dufresne, A.; Garczarek, L.; Hess, W. R.; Post, A. F.; Hagemann, M.; Paulsen, I.; Partensky, F.

    2009-01-01

    Summary: Marine picocyanobacteria of the genera Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus numerically dominate the picophytoplankton of the world ocean, making a key contribution to global primary production. Prochlorococcus was isolated around 20 years ago and is probably the most abundant photosynthetic organism on Earth. The genus comprises specific ecotypes which are phylogenetically distinct and differ markedly in their photophysiology, allowing growth over a broad range of light and nutrient conditions within the 45°N to 40°S latitudinal belt that they occupy. Synechococcus and Prochlorococcus are closely related, together forming a discrete picophytoplankton clade, but are distinguishable by their possession of dissimilar light-harvesting apparatuses and differences in cell size and elemental composition. Synechococcus strains have a ubiquitous oceanic distribution compared to that of Prochlorococcus strains and are characterized by phylogenetically discrete lineages with a wide range of pigmentation. In this review, we put our current knowledge of marine picocyanobacterial genomics into an environmental context and present previously unpublished genomic information arising from extensive genomic comparisons in order to provide insights into the adaptations of these marine microbes to their environment and how they are reflected at the genomic level. PMID:19487728

  14. 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.

  15. Community genomics among stratified microbial assemblages in the ocean's interior

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    DeLong, Edward F; Preston, Christina M; Mincer, Tracy

    2006-01-01

    Microbial life predominates in the ocean, yet little is known about its genomic variability, especially along the depth continuum. We report here genomic analyses of planktonic microbial communities in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, from the ocean's surface to near-sea floor depths. Sequence......, and host-viral interactions. Comparative genomic analyses of stratified microbial communities have the potential to provide significant insight into higher-order community organization and dynamics....

  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. 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. 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.

  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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Genome-scale biological models for industrial microbial systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Nan; Ye, Chao; Liu, Liming

    2018-04-01

    The primary aims and challenges associated with microbial fermentation include achieving faster cell growth, higher productivity, and more robust production processes. Genome-scale biological models, predicting the formation of an interaction among genetic materials, enzymes, and metabolites, constitute a systematic and comprehensive platform to analyze and optimize the microbial growth and production of biological products. Genome-scale biological models can help optimize microbial growth-associated traits by simulating biomass formation, predicting growth rates, and identifying the requirements for cell growth. With regard to microbial product biosynthesis, genome-scale biological models can be used to design product biosynthetic pathways, accelerate production efficiency, and reduce metabolic side effects, leading to improved production performance. The present review discusses the development of microbial genome-scale biological models since their emergence and emphasizes their pertinent application in improving industrial microbial fermentation of biological products.

  4. 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

  5. MBGD update 2013: the microbial genome database for exploring the diversity of microbial world.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchiyama, Ikuo; Mihara, Motohiro; Nishide, Hiroyo; Chiba, Hirokazu

    2013-01-01

    The microbial genome database for comparative analysis (MBGD, available at http://mbgd.genome.ad.jp/) is a platform for microbial genome comparison based on orthology analysis. As its unique feature, MBGD allows users to conduct orthology analysis among any specified set of organisms; this flexibility allows MBGD to adapt to a variety of microbial genomic study. Reflecting the huge diversity of microbial world, the number of microbial genome projects now becomes several thousands. To efficiently explore the diversity of the entire microbial genomic data, MBGD now provides summary pages for pre-calculated ortholog tables among various taxonomic groups. For some closely related taxa, MBGD also provides the conserved synteny information (core genome alignment) pre-calculated using the CoreAligner program. In addition, efficient incremental updating procedure can create extended ortholog table by adding additional genomes to the default ortholog table generated from the representative set of genomes. Combining with the functionalities of the dynamic orthology calculation of any specified set of organisms, MBGD is an efficient and flexible tool for exploring the microbial genome diversity.

  6. The Modern Synthesis in the Light of Microbial Genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booth, Austin; Mariscal, Carlos; Doolittle, W Ford

    2016-09-08

    We review the theoretical implications of findings in genomics for evolutionary biology since the Modern Synthesis. We examine the ways in which microbial genomics has influenced our understanding of the last universal common ancestor, the tree of life, species, lineages, and evolutionary transitions. We conclude by advocating a piecemeal toolkit approach to evolutionary biology, in lieu of any grand unified theory updated to include microbial genomics.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Genomic Prospecting for Microbial Biodiesel Production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lykidis, Athanasios; Lykidis, Athanasios; Ivanova, Natalia

    2008-03-20

    Biodiesel is defined as fatty acid mono-alkylesters and is produced from triacylglycerols. In the current article we provide an overview of the structure, diversity and regulation of the metabolic pathways leading to intracellular fatty acid and triacylglycerol accumulation in three types of organisms (bacteria, algae and fungi) of potential biotechnological interest and discuss possible intervention points to increase the cellular lipid content. The key steps that regulate carbon allocation and distribution in lipids include the formation of malonyl-CoA, the synthesis of fatty acids and their attachment onto the glycerol backbone, and the formation of triacylglycerols. The lipid biosynthetic genes and pathways are largely known for select model organisms. Comparative genomics allows the examination of these pathways in organisms of biotechnological interest and reveals the evolution of divergent and yet uncharacterized regulatory mechanisms. Utilization of microbial systems for triacylglycerol and fatty acid production is in its infancy; however, genomic information and technologies combined with synthetic biology concepts provide the opportunity to further exploit microbes for the competitive production of biodiesel.

  11. 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....

  12. 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.

  13. Improving Microbial Genome Annotations in an Integrated Database Context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, I-Min A.; Markowitz, Victor M.; Chu, Ken; Anderson, Iain; Mavromatis, Konstantinos; Kyrpides, Nikos C.; Ivanova, Natalia N.

    2013-01-01

    Effective comparative analysis of microbial genomes requires a consistent and complete view of biological data. Consistency regards the biological coherence of annotations, while completeness regards the extent and coverage of functional characterization for genomes. We have developed tools that allow scientists to assess and improve the consistency and completeness of microbial genome annotations in the context of the Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG) family of systems. All publicly available microbial genomes are characterized in IMG using different functional annotation and pathway resources, thus providing a comprehensive framework for identifying and resolving annotation discrepancies. A rule based system for predicting phenotypes in IMG provides a powerful mechanism for validating functional annotations, whereby the phenotypic traits of an organism are inferred based on the presence of certain metabolic reactions and pathways and compared to experimentally observed phenotypes. The IMG family of systems are available at http://img.jgi.doe.gov/. PMID:23424620

  14. Improving microbial genome annotations in an integrated database context.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I-Min A Chen

    Full Text Available Effective comparative analysis of microbial genomes requires a consistent and complete view of biological data. Consistency regards the biological coherence of annotations, while completeness regards the extent and coverage of functional characterization for genomes. We have developed tools that allow scientists to assess and improve the consistency and completeness of microbial genome annotations in the context of the Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG family of systems. All publicly available microbial genomes are characterized in IMG using different functional annotation and pathway resources, thus providing a comprehensive framework for identifying and resolving annotation discrepancies. A rule based system for predicting phenotypes in IMG provides a powerful mechanism for validating functional annotations, whereby the phenotypic traits of an organism are inferred based on the presence of certain metabolic reactions and pathways and compared to experimentally observed phenotypes. The IMG family of systems are available at http://img.jgi.doe.gov/.

  15. 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.

  16. [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

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. IMG: the integrated microbial genomes database and comparative analysis system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markowitz, Victor M.; Chen, I-Min A.; Palaniappan, Krishna; Chu, Ken; Szeto, Ernest; Grechkin, Yuri; Ratner, Anna; Jacob, Biju; Huang, Jinghua; Williams, Peter; Huntemann, Marcel; Anderson, Iain; Mavromatis, Konstantinos; Ivanova, Natalia N.; Kyrpides, Nikos C.

    2012-01-01

    The Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG) system serves as a community resource for comparative analysis of publicly available genomes in a comprehensive integrated context. IMG integrates publicly available draft and complete genomes from all three domains of life with a large number of plasmids and viruses. IMG provides tools and viewers for analyzing and reviewing the annotations of genes and genomes in a comparative context. IMG's data content and analytical capabilities have been continuously extended through regular updates since its first release in March 2005. IMG is available at http://img.jgi.doe.gov. Companion IMG systems provide support for expert review of genome annotations (IMG/ER: http://img.jgi.doe.gov/er), teaching courses and training in microbial genome analysis (IMG/EDU: http://img.jgi.doe.gov/edu) and analysis of genomes related to the Human Microbiome Project (IMG/HMP: http://www.hmpdacc-resources.org/img_hmp). PMID:22194640

  2. 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)

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Millstone: software for multiplex microbial genome analysis and engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Daniel B; Kuznetsov, Gleb; Lajoie, Marc J; Ahern, Brian W; Napolitano, Michael G; Chen, Kevin Y; Chen, Changping; Church, George M

    2017-05-25

    Inexpensive DNA sequencing and advances in genome editing have made computational analysis a major rate-limiting step in adaptive laboratory evolution and microbial genome engineering. We describe Millstone, a web-based platform that automates genotype comparison and visualization for projects with up to hundreds of genomic samples. To enable iterative genome engineering, Millstone allows users to design oligonucleotide libraries and create successive versions of reference genomes. Millstone is open source and easily deployable to a cloud platform, local cluster, or desktop, making it a scalable solution for any lab.

  7. Permanent Draft Genome of Strain ESFC-1: Ecological Genomics of a Newly Discovered Lineage of Filamentous Diazotrophic Cyanobacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Everroad, R. Craig; Stuart, Rhona K.; Bebout, Brad M.; Detweiler, Angela M.; Lee, Jackson Zan; Woebken, Dagmar; Bebout, Leslie E.; Pett-Ridge, Jennifer

    2016-01-01

    The nonheterocystous filamentous cyanobacterium, strain ESFC-1, is a recently described member of the order Oscillatoriales within the Cyanobacteria. ESFC-1 has been shown to be a major diazotroph in the intertidal microbial mat system at Elkhorn Slough, CA, USA. Based on phylogenetic analyses of the 16S RNA gene, ESFC-1 appears to belong to a unique, genus-level divergence; the draft genome sequence of this strain has now been determined. Here we report features of this genome as they relate to the ecological functions and capabilities of strain ESFC-1. The 5,632,035 bp genome sequence encodes 4914 protein-coding genes and 92 RNA genes. One striking feature of this cyanobacterium is the apparent lack of either uptake or bi-directional hydrogenases typically expected within a diazotroph. Additionally, a large genomic island is found that contains numerous low GC-content genes and genes related to extracellular polysaccharide production and cell wall synthesis and maintenance.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Impact of genomics on microbial food safety

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Abee, T.; Schaik, van W.; Siezen, R.J.

    2004-01-01

    Genome sequences are now available for many of the microbes that cause food-borne diseases. The information contained in pathogen genome sequences, together with the development of themed and whole-genome DNA microarrays and improved proteomics techniques, might provide tools for the rapid detection

  15. Fourteenth-Sixteenth Microbial Genomics Conference-2006-2008

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, Jeffrey H

    2011-04-18

    The concept of an annual meeting on the E. coli genome was formulated at the Banbury Center Conference on the Genome of E. coli in October, 1991. The first meeting was held on September 10-14, 1992 at the University of Wisconsin, and this was followed by a yearly series of meetings, and by an expansion to include The fourteenth meeting took place September 24-28, 2006 at Lake Arrowhead, CA, the fifteenth September 16-20, 2007 at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD, and the sixteenth September 14-18, 2008 at Lake Arrowhead. The full program for the 16th meeting is attached. There have been rapid and exciting advances in microbial genomics that now make possible comparing large data sets of sequences from a wide variety of microbial genomes, and from whole microbial communities. Examining the “microbiomes”, the living microbial communities in different host organisms opens up many possibilities for understanding the landscape presented to pathogenic microorganisms. For quite some time there has been a shifting emphasis from pure sequence data to trying to understand how to use that information to solve biological problems. Towards this end new technologies are being developed and improved. Using genetics, functional genomics, and proteomics has been the recent focus of many different laboratories. A key element is the integration of different aspects of microbiology, sequencing technology, analysis techniques, and bioinformatics. The goal of these conference is to provide a regular forum for these interactions to occur. While there have been a number of genome conferences, what distinguishes the Microbial Genomics Conference is its emphasis on bringing together biology and genetics with sequencing and bioinformatics. Also, this conference is the longest continuing meeting, now established as a major regular annual meeting. In addition to its coverage of microbial genomes and biodiversity, the meetings also highlight microbial communities and the use of

  16. Genome-reconstruction for eukaryotes from complex natural microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, Patrick T; Probst, Alexander J; Grigoriev, Igor V; Thomas, Brian C; Banfield, Jillian F

    2018-04-01

    Microbial eukaryotes are integral components of natural microbial communities, and their inclusion is critical for many ecosystem studies, yet the majority of published metagenome analyses ignore eukaryotes. In order to include eukaryotes in environmental studies, we propose a method to recover eukaryotic genomes from complex metagenomic samples. A key step for genome recovery is separation of eukaryotic and prokaryotic fragments. We developed a k -mer-based strategy, EukRep, for eukaryotic sequence identification and applied it to environmental samples to show that it enables genome recovery, genome completeness evaluation, and prediction of metabolic potential. We used this approach to test the effect of addition of organic carbon on a geyser-associated microbial community and detected a substantial change of the community metabolism, with selection against almost all candidate phyla bacteria and archaea and for eukaryotes. Near complete genomes were reconstructed for three fungi placed within the Eurotiomycetes and an arthropod. While carbon fixation and sulfur oxidation were important functions in the geyser community prior to carbon addition, the organic carbon-impacted community showed enrichment for secreted proteases, secreted lipases, cellulose targeting CAZymes, and methanol oxidation. We demonstrate the broader utility of EukRep by reconstructing and evaluating relatively high-quality fungal, protist, and rotifer genomes from complex environmental samples. This approach opens the way for cultivation-independent analyses of whole microbial communities. © 2018 West et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  17. Viral dark matter and virus–host interactions resolved from publicly available microbial genomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roux, Simon; Hallam, Steven J; Woyke, Tanja; Sullivan, Matthew B

    2015-01-01

    The ecological importance of viruses is now widely recognized, yet our limited knowledge of viral sequence space and virus–host interactions precludes accurate prediction of their roles and impacts. In this study, we mined publicly available bacterial and archaeal genomic data sets to identify 12,498 high-confidence viral genomes linked to their microbial hosts. These data augment public data sets 10-fold, provide first viral sequences for 13 new bacterial phyla including ecologically abundant phyla, and help taxonomically identify 7–38% of ‘unknown’ sequence space in viromes. Genome- and network-based classification was largely consistent with accepted viral taxonomy and suggested that (i) 264 new viral genera were identified (doubling known genera) and (ii) cross-taxon genomic recombination is limited. Further analyses provided empirical data on extrachromosomal prophages and coinfection prevalences, as well as evaluation of in silico virus–host linkage predictions. Together these findings illustrate the value of mining viral signal from microbial genomes. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.08490.001 PMID:26200428

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  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. 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

  4. Genome-driven evolutionary game theory helps understand the rise of metabolic interdependencies in microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zomorrodi, Ali R; Segrè, Daniel

    2017-11-16

    Metabolite exchanges in microbial communities give rise to ecological interactions that govern ecosystem diversity and stability. It is unclear, however, how the rise of these interactions varies across metabolites and organisms. Here we address this question by integrating genome-scale models of metabolism with evolutionary game theory. Specifically, we use microbial fitness values estimated by metabolic models to infer evolutionarily stable interactions in multi-species microbial "games". We first validate our approach using a well-characterized yeast cheater-cooperator system. We next perform over 80,000 in silico experiments to infer how metabolic interdependencies mediated by amino acid leakage in Escherichia coli vary across 189 amino acid pairs. While most pairs display shared patterns of inter-species interactions, multiple deviations are caused by pleiotropy and epistasis in metabolism. Furthermore, simulated invasion experiments reveal possible paths to obligate cross-feeding. Our study provides genomically driven insight into the rise of ecological interactions, with implications for microbiome research and synthetic ecology.

  5. Microbial minimalism: genome reduction in bacterial pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, Nancy A

    2002-03-08

    When bacterial lineages make the transition from free-living or facultatively parasitic life cycles to permanent associations with hosts, they undergo a major loss of genes and DNA. Complete genome sequences are providing an understanding of how extreme genome reduction affects evolutionary directions and metabolic capabilities of obligate pathogens and symbionts.

  6. 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.

  7. Practical Approaches for Detecting Selection in Microbial Genomes

    OpenAIRE

    Hedge, Jessica; Wilson, Daniel J.

    2016-01-01

    Microbial genome evolution is shaped by a variety of selective pressures. Understanding how these processes occur can help to address important problems in microbiology by explaining observed differences in phenotypes, including virulence and resistance to antibiotics. Greater access to whole-genome sequencing provides microbiologists with the opportunity to perform large-scale analyses of selection in novel settings, such as within individual hosts. This tutorial aims to guide researchers th...

  8. From cultured to uncultured genome sequences: metagenomics and modeling microbial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garza, Daniel R; Dutilh, Bas E

    2015-11-01

    Microorganisms and the viruses that infect them are the most numerous biological entities on Earth and enclose its greatest biodiversity and genetic reservoir. With strength in their numbers, these microscopic organisms are major players in the cycles of energy and matter that sustain all life. Scientists have only scratched the surface of this vast microbial world through culture-dependent methods. Recent developments in generating metagenomes, large random samples of nucleic acid sequences isolated directly from the environment, are providing comprehensive portraits of the composition, structure, and functioning of microbial communities. Moreover, advances in metagenomic analysis have created the possibility of obtaining complete or nearly complete genome sequences from uncultured microorganisms, providing important means to study their biology, ecology, and evolution. Here we review some of the recent developments in the field of metagenomics, focusing on the discovery of genetic novelty and on methods for obtaining uncultured genome sequences, including through the recycling of previously published datasets. Moreover we discuss how metagenomics has become a core scientific tool to characterize eco-evolutionary patterns of microbial ecosystems, thus allowing us to simultaneously discover new microbes and study their natural communities. We conclude by discussing general guidelines and challenges for modeling the interactions between uncultured microorganisms and viruses based on the information contained in their genome sequences. These models will significantly advance our understanding of the functioning of microbial ecosystems and the roles of microbes in the environment.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. INDIGO - INtegrated data warehouse of microbial genomes with examples from the red sea extremophiles.

    KAUST Repository

    Alam, Intikhab; Antunes, André ; Kamau, Allan; Ba Alawi, Wail; Kalkatawi, Manal M.; Stingl, Ulrich; Bajic, Vladimir B.

    2013-01-01

    The next generation sequencing technologies substantially increased the throughput of microbial genome sequencing. To functionally annotate newly sequenced microbial genomes, a variety of experimental and computational methods are used. Integration of information from different sources is a powerful approach to enhance such annotation. Functional analysis of microbial genomes, necessary for downstream experiments, crucially depends on this annotation but it is hampered by the current lack of suitable information integration and exploration systems for microbial genomes.

  12. INDIGO - INtegrated data warehouse of microbial genomes with examples from the red sea extremophiles.

    KAUST Repository

    Alam, Intikhab

    2013-12-06

    The next generation sequencing technologies substantially increased the throughput of microbial genome sequencing. To functionally annotate newly sequenced microbial genomes, a variety of experimental and computational methods are used. Integration of information from different sources is a powerful approach to enhance such annotation. Functional analysis of microbial genomes, necessary for downstream experiments, crucially depends on this annotation but it is hampered by the current lack of suitable information integration and exploration systems for microbial genomes.

  13. Puzzling sequences: studying microbial genomes from 'Ötzi'

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rattei, T.

    2012-01-01

    Ancient remains, and mummies in particular, are of central value for archaeological research. The Tyrolean iceman “Ötzi” was conserved in a glacier of the Ötztal Alps about 5000 years ago. Aside from morphological and phenotypical classification, the determination of DNA sequences and the subsequent genome analyses have been first applied to mitochondrial DNA and then been extended to genomic DNA. Typically also ancient microbial DNA is sequenced. These sequences allow the identification of pathogens as well as studying the evolution of microorganisms. The talk will explain the metagenomic aspects of the “Ötzi” genome project and discuss the first results. (author)

  14. VirSorter: mining viral signal from microbial genomic data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roux, Simon; Enault, Francois; Hurwitz, Bonnie L.

    2015-01-01

    Viruses of microbes impact all ecosystems where microbes drive key energy and substrate transformations including the oceans, humans and industrial fermenters. However, despite this recognized importance, our understanding of viral diversity and impacts remains limited by too few model systems and reference genomes. One way to fill these gaps in our knowledge of viral diversity is through the detection of viral signal in microbial genomic data. While multiple approaches have been developed and applied for the detection of prophages (viral genomes integrated in a microbial genome), new types of microbial genomic data are emerging that are more fragmented and larger scale, such as Single-cell Amplified Genomes (SAGs) of uncultivated organisms or genomic fragments assembled from metagenomic sequencing. Here, we present VirSorter, a tool designed to detect viral signal in these different types of microbial sequence data in both a reference-dependent and reference-independent manner, leveraging probabilistic models and extensive virome data to maximize detection of novel viruses. Performance testing shows that VirSorter’s prophage prediction capability compares to that of available prophage predictors for complete genomes, but is superior in predicting viral sequences outside of a host genome (i.e., from extrachromosomal prophages, lytic infections, or partially assembled prophages). Furthermore, VirSorter outperforms existing tools for fragmented genomic and metagenomic datasets, and can identify viral signal in assembled sequence (contigs) as short as 3kb, while providing near-perfect identification (>95% Recall and 100% Precision) on contigs of at least 10kb. Because VirSorter scales to large datasets, it can also be used in “reverse” to more confidently identify viral sequence in viral metagenomes by sorting away cellular DNA whether derived from gene transfer agents, generalized transduction or contamination. Finally, VirSorter is made available through the i

  15. VirSorter: mining viral signal from microbial genomic data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Roux

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Viruses of microbes impact all ecosystems where microbes drive key energy and substrate transformations including the oceans, humans and industrial fermenters. However, despite this recognized importance, our understanding of viral diversity and impacts remains limited by too few model systems and reference genomes. One way to fill these gaps in our knowledge of viral diversity is through the detection of viral signal in microbial genomic data. While multiple approaches have been developed and applied for the detection of prophages (viral genomes integrated in a microbial genome, new types of microbial genomic data are emerging that are more fragmented and larger scale, such as Single-cell Amplified Genomes (SAGs of uncultivated organisms or genomic fragments assembled from metagenomic sequencing. Here, we present VirSorter, a tool designed to detect viral signal in these different types of microbial sequence data in both a reference-dependent and reference-independent manner, leveraging probabilistic models and extensive virome data to maximize detection of novel viruses. Performance testing shows that VirSorter’s prophage prediction capability compares to that of available prophage predictors for complete genomes, but is superior in predicting viral sequences outside of a host genome (i.e., from extrachromosomal prophages, lytic infections, or partially assembled prophages. Furthermore, VirSorter outperforms existing tools for fragmented genomic and metagenomic datasets, and can identify viral signal in assembled sequence (contigs as short as 3kb, while providing near-perfect identification (>95% Recall and 100% Precision on contigs of at least 10kb. Because VirSorter scales to large datasets, it can also be used in “reverse” to more confidently identify viral sequence in viral metagenomes by sorting away cellular DNA whether derived from gene transfer agents, generalized transduction or contamination. Finally, VirSorter is made

  16. GI-POP: a combinational annotation and genomic island prediction pipeline for ongoing microbial genome projects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Chi-Ching; Chen, Yi-Ping Phoebe; Yao, Tzu-Jung; Ma, Cheng-Yu; Lo, Wei-Cheng; Lyu, Ping-Chiang; Tang, Chuan Yi

    2013-04-10

    Sequencing of microbial genomes is important because of microbial-carrying antibiotic and pathogenetic activities. However, even with the help of new assembling software, finishing a whole genome is a time-consuming task. In most bacteria, pathogenetic or antibiotic genes are carried in genomic islands. Therefore, a quick genomic island (GI) prediction method is useful for ongoing sequencing genomes. In this work, we built a Web server called GI-POP (http://gipop.life.nthu.edu.tw) which integrates a sequence assembling tool, a functional annotation pipeline, and a high-performance GI predicting module, in a support vector machine (SVM)-based method called genomic island genomic profile scanning (GI-GPS). The draft genomes of the ongoing genome projects in contigs or scaffolds can be submitted to our Web server, and it provides the functional annotation and highly probable GI-predicting results. GI-POP is a comprehensive annotation Web server designed for ongoing genome project analysis. Researchers can perform annotation and obtain pre-analytic information include possible GIs, coding/non-coding sequences and functional analysis from their draft genomes. This pre-analytic system can provide useful information for finishing a genome sequencing project. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

    Ensiling of forages was recognized as a microbial-driven process as early as the late 1800s, when it was associated with the production of "sweet" or "sour" silage. Classical microbiological plating techniques defined the epiphytic microbial populations associated with fresh forage, the pivotal role of lactic acid-producing bacteria in the ensiling process, and the contribution of clostridia, bacilli, yeast, and molds to the spoilage of silage. Many of these classical studies focused on the enumeration and characterization of a limited number of microbial species that could be readily isolated on selective media. Evidence suggested that many of the members of these microbial populations were viable but unculturable, resulting in classical studies underestimating the true microbial diversity associated with ensiling. Polymerase chain reaction-based techniques, including length heterogeneity PCR, terminal RFLP, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, and automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis, were the first molecular methods used to study silage microbial communities. Further advancements in whole comparative genomic, metagenomic, and metatranscriptomic sequencing have or are in the process of superseding these methods, enabling microbial communities during ensiling to be defined with a degree of detail that is impossible using classical microbiology. These methods have identified new microbial species in silage, as well as characterized shifts in microbial communities with forage type and composition, ensiling method, and in response to aerobic exposure. Strain- and species-specific primers have been used to track the persistence and contribution of silage inoculants to the ensiling process and the role of specific species of yeast and fungi in silage spoilage. Sampling and the methods used to isolate genetic materials for further molecular analysis can have a profound effect on results. Primer selection for PCR amplification and the presence of inhibitors

  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. pico-PLAZA, a genome database of microbial photosynthetic eukaryotes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandepoele, Klaas; Van Bel, Michiel; Richard, Guilhem; Van Landeghem, Sofie; Verhelst, Bram; Moreau, Hervé; Van de Peer, Yves; Grimsley, Nigel; Piganeau, Gwenael

    2013-08-01

    With the advent of next generation genome sequencing, the number of sequenced algal genomes and transcriptomes is rapidly growing. Although a few genome portals exist to browse individual genome sequences, exploring complete genome information from multiple species for the analysis of user-defined sequences or gene lists remains a major challenge. pico-PLAZA is a web-based resource (http://bioinformatics.psb.ugent.be/pico-plaza/) for algal genomics that combines different data types with intuitive tools to explore genomic diversity, perform integrative evolutionary sequence analysis and study gene functions. Apart from homologous gene families, multiple sequence alignments, phylogenetic trees, Gene Ontology, InterPro and text-mining functional annotations, different interactive viewers are available to study genome organization using gene collinearity and synteny information. Different search functions, documentation pages, export functions and an extensive glossary are available to guide non-expert scientists. To illustrate the versatility of the platform, different case studies are presented demonstrating how pico-PLAZA can be used to functionally characterize large-scale EST/RNA-Seq data sets and to perform environmental genomics. Functional enrichments analysis of 16 Phaeodactylum tricornutum transcriptome libraries offers a molecular view on diatom adaptation to different environments of ecological relevance. Furthermore, we show how complementary genomic data sources can easily be combined to identify marker genes to study the diversity and distribution of algal species, for example in metagenomes, or to quantify intraspecific diversity from environmental strains. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  3. Comparative genomic analysis by microbial COGs self-attraction rate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santoni, Daniele; Romano-Spica, Vincenzo

    2009-06-21

    Whole genome analysis provides new perspectives to determine phylogenetic relationships among microorganisms. The availability of whole nucleotide sequences allows different levels of comparison among genomes by several approaches. In this work, self-attraction rates were considered for each cluster of orthologous groups of proteins (COGs) class in order to analyse gene aggregation levels in physical maps. Phylogenetic relationships among microorganisms were obtained by comparing self-attraction coefficients. Eighteen-dimensional vectors were computed for a set of 168 completely sequenced microbial genomes (19 archea, 149 bacteria). The components of the vector represent the aggregation rate of the genes belonging to each of 18 COGs classes. Genes involved in nonessential functions or related to environmental conditions showed the highest aggregation rates. On the contrary genes involved in basic cellular tasks showed a more uniform distribution along the genome, except for translation genes. Self-attraction clustering approach allowed classification of Proteobacteria, Bacilli and other species belonging to Firmicutes. Rearrangement and Lateral Gene Transfer events may influence divergences from classical taxonomy. Each set of COG classes' aggregation values represents an intrinsic property of the microbial genome. This novel approach provides a new point of view for whole genome analysis and bacterial characterization.

  4. A multi-objective constraint-based approach for modeling genome-scale microbial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budinich, Marko; Bourdon, Jérémie; Larhlimi, Abdelhalim; Eveillard, Damien

    2017-01-01

    Interplay within microbial communities impacts ecosystems on several scales, and elucidation of the consequent effects is a difficult task in ecology. In particular, the integration of genome-scale data within quantitative models of microbial ecosystems remains elusive. This study advocates the use of constraint-based modeling to build predictive models from recent high-resolution -omics datasets. Following recent studies that have demonstrated the accuracy of constraint-based models (CBMs) for simulating single-strain metabolic networks, we sought to study microbial ecosystems as a combination of single-strain metabolic networks that exchange nutrients. This study presents two multi-objective extensions of CBMs for modeling communities: multi-objective flux balance analysis (MO-FBA) and multi-objective flux variability analysis (MO-FVA). Both methods were applied to a hot spring mat model ecosystem. As a result, multiple trade-offs between nutrients and growth rates, as well as thermodynamically favorable relative abundances at community level, were emphasized. We expect this approach to be used for integrating genomic information in microbial ecosystems. Following models will provide insights about behaviors (including diversity) that take place at the ecosystem scale.

  5. A multi-objective constraint-based approach for modeling genome-scale microbial ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marko Budinich

    Full Text Available Interplay within microbial communities impacts ecosystems on several scales, and elucidation of the consequent effects is a difficult task in ecology. In particular, the integration of genome-scale data within quantitative models of microbial ecosystems remains elusive. This study advocates the use of constraint-based modeling to build predictive models from recent high-resolution -omics datasets. Following recent studies that have demonstrated the accuracy of constraint-based models (CBMs for simulating single-strain metabolic networks, we sought to study microbial ecosystems as a combination of single-strain metabolic networks that exchange nutrients. This study presents two multi-objective extensions of CBMs for modeling communities: multi-objective flux balance analysis (MO-FBA and multi-objective flux variability analysis (MO-FVA. Both methods were applied to a hot spring mat model ecosystem. As a result, multiple trade-offs between nutrients and growth rates, as well as thermodynamically favorable relative abundances at community level, were emphasized. We expect this approach to be used for integrating genomic information in microbial ecosystems. Following models will provide insights about behaviors (including diversity that take place at the ecosystem scale.

  6. 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.

  7. Genome-Based Microbial Taxonomy Coming of Age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hugenholtz, Philip; Skarshewski, Adam; Parks, Donovan H

    2016-06-01

    Reconstructing the complete evolutionary history of extant life on our planet will be one of the most fundamental accomplishments of scientific endeavor, akin to the completion of the periodic table, which revolutionized chemistry. The road to this goal is via comparative genomics because genomes are our most comprehensive and objective evolutionary documents. The genomes of plant and animal species have been systematically targeted over the past decade to provide coverage of the tree of life. However, multicellular organisms only emerged in the last 550 million years of more than three billion years of biological evolution and thus comprise a small fraction of total biological diversity. The bulk of biodiversity, both past and present, is microbial. We have only scratched the surface in our understanding of the microbial world, as most microorganisms cannot be readily grown in the laboratory and remain unknown to science. Ground-breaking, culture-independent molecular techniques developed over the past 30 years have opened the door to this so-called microbial dark matter with an accelerating momentum driven by exponential increases in sequencing capacity. We are on the verge of obtaining representative genomes across all life for the first time. However, historical use of morphology, biochemical properties, behavioral traits, and single-marker genes to infer organismal relationships mean that the existing highly incomplete tree is riddled with taxonomic errors. Concerted efforts are now needed to synthesize and integrate the burgeoning genomic data resources into a coherent universal tree of life and genome-based taxonomy. Copyright © 2016 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  8. Practical Approaches for Detecting Selection in Microbial Genomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica Hedge

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Microbial genome evolution is shaped by a variety of selective pressures. Understanding how these processes occur can help to address important problems in microbiology by explaining observed differences in phenotypes, including virulence and resistance to antibiotics. Greater access to whole-genome sequencing provides microbiologists with the opportunity to perform large-scale analyses of selection in novel settings, such as within individual hosts. This tutorial aims to guide researchers through the fundamentals underpinning popular methods for measuring selection in pathogens. These methods are transferable to a wide variety of organisms, and the exercises provided are designed for researchers with any level of programming experience.

  9. Practical Approaches for Detecting Selection in Microbial Genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedge, Jessica; Wilson, Daniel J

    2016-02-01

    Microbial genome evolution is shaped by a variety of selective pressures. Understanding how these processes occur can help to address important problems in microbiology by explaining observed differences in phenotypes, including virulence and resistance to antibiotics. Greater access to whole-genome sequencing provides microbiologists with the opportunity to perform large-scale analyses of selection in novel settings, such as within individual hosts. This tutorial aims to guide researchers through the fundamentals underpinning popular methods for measuring selection in pathogens. These methods are transferable to a wide variety of organisms, and the exercises provided are designed for researchers with any level of programming experience.

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. Experimental evolution and the dynamics of adaptation and genome evolution in microbial populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenski, Richard E

    2017-10-01

    Evolution is an on-going process, and it can be studied experimentally in organisms with rapid generations. My team has maintained 12 populations of Escherichia coli in a simple laboratory environment for >25 years and 60 000 generations. We have quantified the dynamics of adaptation by natural selection, seen some of the populations diverge into stably coexisting ecotypes, described changes in the bacteria's mutation rate, observed the new ability to exploit a previously untapped carbon source, characterized the dynamics of genome evolution and used parallel evolution to identify the genetic targets of selection. I discuss what the future might hold for this particular experiment, briefly highlight some other microbial evolution experiments and suggest how the fields of experimental evolution and microbial ecology might intersect going forward.

  13. Microbial comparative pan-genomics using binomial mixture models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ussery, David; Snipen, L; Almøy, T

    2009-01-01

    The size of the core- and pan-genome of bacterial species is a topic of increasing interest due to the growing number of sequenced prokaryote genomes, many from the same species. Attempts to estimate these quantities have been made, using regression methods or mixture models. We extend the latter...... approach by using statistical ideas developed for capture-recapture problems in ecology and epidemiology. RESULTS: We estimate core- and pan-genome sizes for 16 different bacterial species. The results reveal a complex dependency structure for most species, manifested as heterogeneous detection...... probabilities. Estimated pan-genome sizes range from small (around 2600 gene families) in Buchnera aphidicola to large (around 43000 gene families) in Escherichia coli. Results for Echerichia coli show that as more data become available, a larger diversity is estimated, indicating an extensive pool of rarely...

  14. 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.

  15. MicroScope: a platform for microbial genome annotation and comparative genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallenet, D; Engelen, S; Mornico, D; Cruveiller, S; Fleury, L; Lajus, A; Rouy, Z; Roche, D; Salvignol, G; Scarpelli, C; Médigue, C

    2009-01-01

    The initial outcome of genome sequencing is the creation of long text strings written in a four letter alphabet. The role of in silico sequence analysis is to assist biologists in the act of associating biological knowledge with these sequences, allowing investigators to make inferences and predictions that can be tested experimentally. A wide variety of software is available to the scientific community, and can be used to identify genomic objects, before predicting their biological functions. However, only a limited number of biologically interesting features can be revealed from an isolated sequence. Comparative genomics tools, on the other hand, by bringing together the information contained in numerous genomes simultaneously, allow annotators to make inferences based on the idea that evolution and natural selection are central to the definition of all biological processes. We have developed the MicroScope platform in order to offer a web-based framework for the systematic and efficient revision of microbial genome annotation and comparative analysis (http://www.genoscope.cns.fr/agc/microscope). Starting with the description of the flow chart of the annotation processes implemented in the MicroScope pipeline, and the development of traditional and novel microbial annotation and comparative analysis tools, this article emphasizes the essential role of expert annotation as a complement of automatic annotation. Several examples illustrate the use of implemented tools for the review and curation of annotations of both new and publicly available microbial genomes within MicroScope's rich integrated genome framework. The platform is used as a viewer in order to browse updated annotation information of available microbial genomes (more than 440 organisms to date), and in the context of new annotation projects (117 bacterial genomes). The human expertise gathered in the MicroScope database (about 280,000 independent annotations) contributes to improve the quality of

  16. Bioinformatics for whole-genome shotgun sequencing of microbial communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin Chen

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available The application of whole-genome shotgun sequencing to microbial communities represents a major development in metagenomics, the study of uncultured microbes via the tools of modern genomic analysis. In the past year, whole-genome shotgun sequencing projects of prokaryotic communities from an acid mine biofilm, the Sargasso Sea, Minnesota farm soil, three deep-sea whale falls, and deep-sea sediments have been reported, adding to previously published work on viral communities from marine and fecal samples. The interpretation of this new kind of data poses a wide variety of exciting and difficult bioinformatics problems. The aim of this review is to introduce the bioinformatics community to this emerging field by surveying existing techniques and promising new approaches for several of the most interesting of these computational problems.

  17. Recent Advances in Microbial Single Cell Genomics Technology and Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stepanauskas, R.

    2016-02-01

    Single cell genomics is increasingly utilized as a powerful tool to decipher the metabolic potential, evolutionary histories and in situ interactions of environmental microorganisms. This transformative technology recovers extensive information from cultivation-unbiased samples of individual, unicellular organisms. Thus, it does not require data binning into arbitrary phylogenetic or functional groups and therefore is highly compatible with agent-based modeling approaches. I will present several technological advances in this field, which significantly improve genomic data recovery from individual cells and provide direct linkages between cell's genomic and phenotypic properties. I will also demonstrate how these new technical capabilities help understanding the metabolic potential and viral infections of the "microbial dark matter" inhabiting aquatic and subsurface environments.

  18. Reconstructing each cell's genome within complex microbial communities-dream or reality?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clingenpeel, Scott; Clum, Alicia; Schwientek, Patrick; Rinke, Christian; Woyke, Tanja

    2014-01-01

    As the vast majority of microorganisms have yet to be cultivated in a laboratory setting, access to their genetic makeup has largely been limited to cultivation-independent methods. These methods, namely metagenomics and more recently single-cell genomics, have become cornerstones for microbial ecology and environmental microbiology. One ultimate goal is the recovery of genome sequences from each cell within an environment to move toward a better understanding of community metabolic potential and to provide substrate for experimental work. As single-cell sequencing has the ability to decipher all sequence information contained in an individual cell, this method holds great promise in tackling such challenge. Methodological limitations and inherent biases however do exist, which will be discussed here based on environmental and benchmark data, to assess how far we are from reaching this goal.

  19. 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.

  20. Resolution of habitat-associated ecogenomic signatures in bacteriophage genomes and application to microbial source tracking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogilvie, Lesley A; Nzakizwanayo, Jonathan; Guppy, Fergus M; Dedi, Cinzia; Diston, David; Taylor, Huw; Ebdon, James; Jones, Brian V

    2018-04-01

    Just as the expansion in genome sequencing has revealed and permitted the exploitation of phylogenetic signals embedded in bacterial genomes, the application of metagenomics has begun to provide similar insights at the ecosystem level for microbial communities. However, little is known regarding this aspect of bacteriophage associated with microbial ecosystems, and if phage encode discernible habitat-associated signals diagnostic of underlying microbiomes. Here we demonstrate that individual phage can encode clear habitat-related 'ecogenomic signatures', based on relative representation of phage-encoded gene homologues in metagenomic data sets. Furthermore, we show the ecogenomic signature encoded by the gut-associated ɸB124-14 can be used to segregate metagenomes according to environmental origin, and distinguish 'contaminated' environmental metagenomes (subject to simulated in silico human faecal pollution) from uncontaminated data sets. This indicates phage-encoded ecological signals likely possess sufficient discriminatory power for use in biotechnological applications, such as development of microbial source tracking tools for monitoring water quality.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Microbial comparative pan-genomics using binomial mixture models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ussery David W

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The size of the core- and pan-genome of bacterial species is a topic of increasing interest due to the growing number of sequenced prokaryote genomes, many from the same species. Attempts to estimate these quantities have been made, using regression methods or mixture models. We extend the latter approach by using statistical ideas developed for capture-recapture problems in ecology and epidemiology. Results We estimate core- and pan-genome sizes for 16 different bacterial species. The results reveal a complex dependency structure for most species, manifested as heterogeneous detection probabilities. Estimated pan-genome sizes range from small (around 2600 gene families in Buchnera aphidicola to large (around 43000 gene families in Escherichia coli. Results for Echerichia coli show that as more data become available, a larger diversity is estimated, indicating an extensive pool of rarely occurring genes in the population. Conclusion Analyzing pan-genomics data with binomial mixture models is a way to handle dependencies between genomes, which we find is always present. A bottleneck in the estimation procedure is the annotation of rarely occurring genes.

  4. Big data or bust: realizing the microbial genomics revolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raza, Sobia; Luheshi, Leila

    2016-02-01

    Pathogen genomics has the potential to transform the clinical and public health management of infectious diseases through improved diagnosis, detection and tracking of antimicrobial resistance and outbreak control. However, the wide-ranging benefits of this technology can only fully be realized through the timely collation, integration and sharing of genomic and clinical/epidemiological metadata by all those involved in the delivery of genomic-informed services. As part of our review on bringing pathogen genomics into 'health-service' practice, we undertook extensive stakeholder consultation to examine the factors integral to achieving effective data sharing and integration. Infrastructure tailored to the needs of clinical users, as well as practical support and policies to facilitate the timely and responsible sharing of data with relevant health authorities and beyond, are all essential. We propose a tiered data sharing and integration model to maximize the immediate and longer term utility of microbial genomics in healthcare. Realizing this model at the scale and sophistication necessary to support national and international infection management services is not uncomplicated. Yet the establishment of a clear data strategy is paramount if failures in containing disease spread due to inadequate knowledge sharing are to be averted, and substantial progress made in tackling the dangers posed by infectious diseases.

  5. Urban Evolutionary Ecology and the Potential Benefits of Implementing Genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schell, Christopher J

    2018-02-14

    Urban habitats are quickly becoming exceptional models to address adaptation under rapid environmental change, given the expansive temporal and spatial scales with which anthropogenic landscape conversion occurs. Urban ecologists in the last 10-15 years have done an extraordinary job of highlighting phenotypic patterns that correspond with urban living, as well as delineating urban population structure using traditional genetic markers. The underpinning genetic mechanisms that govern those phenotypic patterns, however, are less well established. Moreover, the power of traditional molecular studies is constrained by the number of markers being evaluated, which limits the potential to assess fine-scale population structure potentially common in urban areas. With the recent proliferation of low-cost, high-throughput sequencing methods, we can begin to address an emerging question in urban ecology: are species adapted to local optima within cities or are they expressing latent phenotypic plasticity? Here, I provide a comprehensive review of previous urban ecological studies, with special focus on the molecular ecology and phenotypic adjustments documented in urban terrestrial and amphibious fauna. I subsequently pinpoint areas in the literature that could benefit from a genomic investigation and briefly discuss the suitability of specific techniques in addressing eco-evolutionary questions within urban ecology. Though many challenges exist with implementing genomics into urban ecology, such studies provide an exceptional opportunity to advance our understanding of eco-evolutionary processes in metropolitan areas. © The American Genetic Association 2018. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Low-pass sequencing for microbial comparative genomics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kennedy Sean

    2004-01-01

    IS-element rich genome of H. sp. NRC-1. Identification of multiple TBP and TFB homologs in these four halophiles are consistent with the hypothesis that different types of complex transcriptional regulation may occur through multiple TBP-TFB combinations in response to rapidly changing environmental conditions. Low-pass shotgun sequence analyses of genomes permit extensive and diverse analyses, and should be generally useful for comparative microbial genomics.

  7. Streamlining genomes: toward the generation of simplified and stabilized microbial systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leprince, A.; Passel, van M.W.J.; Martins Dos Santos, V.A.P.

    2012-01-01

    At the junction between systems and synthetic biology, genome streamlining provides a solid foundation both for increased understanding of cellular circuitry, and for the tailoring of microbial chassis towards innovative biotechnological applications. Iterative genomic deletions (targeted and

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Assembling networks of microbial genomes using linear programming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holloway, Catherine; Beiko, Robert G

    2010-11-20

    Microbial genomes exhibit complex sets of genetic affinities due to lateral genetic transfer. Assessing the relative contributions of parent-to-offspring inheritance and gene sharing is a vital step in understanding the evolutionary origins and modern-day function of an organism, but recovering and showing these relationships is a challenging problem. We have developed a new approach that uses linear programming to find between-genome relationships, by treating tables of genetic affinities (here, represented by transformed BLAST e-values) as an optimization problem. Validation trials on simulated data demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach in recovering and representing vertical and lateral relationships among genomes. Application of the technique to a set comprising Aquifex aeolicus and 75 other thermophiles showed an important role for large genomes as 'hubs' in the gene sharing network, and suggested that genes are preferentially shared between organisms with similar optimal growth temperatures. We were also able to discover distinct and common genetic contributors to each sequenced representative of genus Pseudomonas. The linear programming approach we have developed can serve as an effective inference tool in its own right, and can be an efficient first step in a more-intensive phylogenomic analysis.

  12. Genomic Sequencing of Single Microbial Cells from Environmental Samples

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ishoey, Thomas; Woyke, Tanja; Stepanauskas, Ramunas; Novotny, Mark; Lasken, Roger S.

    2008-02-01

    Recently developed techniques allow genomic DNA sequencing from single microbial cells [Lasken RS: Single-cell genomic sequencing using multiple displacement amplification, Curr Opin Microbiol 2007, 10:510-516]. Here, we focus on research strategies for putting these methods into practice in the laboratory setting. An immediate consequence of single-cell sequencing is that it provides an alternative to culturing organisms as a prerequisite for genomic sequencing. The microgram amounts of DNA required as template are amplified from a single bacterium by a method called multiple displacement amplification (MDA) avoiding the need to grow cells. The ability to sequence DNA from individual cells will likely have an immense impact on microbiology considering the vast numbers of novel organisms, which have been inaccessible unless culture-independent methods could be used. However, special approaches have been necessary to work with amplified DNA. MDA may not recover the entire genome from the single copy present in most bacteria. Also, some sequence rearrangements can occur during the DNA amplification reaction. Over the past two years many research groups have begun to use MDA, and some practical approaches to single-cell sequencing have been developed. We review the consensus that is emerging on optimum methods, reliability of amplified template, and the proper interpretation of 'composite' genomes which result from the necessity of combining data from several single-cell MDA reactions in order to complete the assembly. Preferred laboratory methods are considered on the basis of experience at several large sequencing centers where >70% of genomes are now often recovered from single cells. Methods are reviewed for preparation of bacterial fractions from environmental samples, single-cell isolation, DNA amplification by MDA, and DNA sequencing.

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. The role of prevention-oriented attitudes towards nature in people's judgment of new applications of genomics techniques in soil ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Boer, J.

    2010-01-01

    New applications of genomics techniques in soil ecology may provide people with fresh insights into the richness of microbial life forms and natural methods to build on the "self-cleaning capacity" of soils. Because genetic modification might also be involved, this paper examines people's judgments

  18. 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.

  19. Using Microbial Genome Annotation as a Foundation for Collaborative Student Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Kelynne E.; Richardson, John M.

    2013-01-01

    We used the Integrated Microbial Genomes Annotation Collaboration Toolkit as a framework to incorporate microbial genomics research into a microbiology and biochemistry course in a way that promoted student learning of bioinformatics and research skills and emphasized teamwork and collaboration as evidenced through multiple assessment mechanisms.…

  20. Bioreactor microbial ecosystems for thiocyanate and cyanide degradation unravelled with genome-resolved metagenomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantor, Rose S; van Zyl, A Wynand; van Hille, Robert P; Thomas, Brian C; Harrison, Susan T L; Banfield, Jillian F

    2015-12-01

    Gold ore processing uses cyanide (CN(-) ), which often results in large volumes of thiocyanate- (SCN(-) ) contaminated wastewater requiring treatment. Microbial communities can degrade SCN(-) and CN(-) , but little is known about their membership and metabolic potential. Microbial-based remediation strategies will benefit from an ecological understanding of organisms involved in the breakdown of SCN(-) and CN(-) into sulfur, carbon and nitrogen compounds. We performed metagenomic analysis of samples from two laboratory-scale bioreactors used to study SCN(-) and CN(-) degradation. Community analysis revealed the dominance of Thiobacillus spp., whose genomes harbour a previously unreported operon for SCN(-) degradation. Genome-based metabolic predictions suggest that a large portion of each bioreactor community is autotrophic, relying not on molasses in reactor feed but using energy gained from oxidation of sulfur compounds produced during SCN(-) degradation. Heterotrophs, including a bacterium from a previously uncharacterized phylum, compose a smaller portion of the reactor community. Predation by phage and eukaryotes is predicted to affect community dynamics. Genes for ammonium oxidation and denitrification were detected, indicating the potential for nitrogen removal, as required for complete remediation of wastewater. These findings suggest optimization strategies for reactor design, such as improved aerobic/anaerobic partitioning and elimination of organic carbon from reactor feed. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. [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.

  2. High definition for systems biology of microbial communities: metagenomics gets genome-centric and strain-resolved.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turaev, Dmitrij; Rattei, Thomas

    2016-06-01

    The systems biology of microbial communities, organismal communities inhabiting all ecological niches on earth, has in recent years been strongly facilitated by the rapid development of experimental, sequencing and data analysis methods. Novel experimental approaches and binning methods in metagenomics render the semi-automatic reconstructions of near-complete genomes of uncultivable bacteria possible, while advances in high-resolution amplicon analysis allow for efficient and less biased taxonomic community characterization. This will also facilitate predictive modeling approaches, hitherto limited by the low resolution of metagenomic data. In this review, we pinpoint the most promising current developments in metagenomics. They facilitate microbial systems biology towards a systemic understanding of mechanisms in microbial communities with scopes of application in many areas of our daily life. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Mapping genomic features to functional traits through microbial whole genome sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wei; Zeng, Erliang; Liu, Dan; Jones, Stuart E; Emrich, Scott

    2014-01-01

    Recently, the utility of trait-based approaches for microbial communities has been identified. Increasing availability of whole genome sequences provide the opportunity to explore the genetic foundations of a variety of functional traits. We proposed a machine learning framework to quantitatively link the genomic features with functional traits. Genes from bacteria genomes belonging to different functional traits were grouped to Cluster of Orthologs (COGs), and were used as features. Then, TF-IDF technique from the text mining domain was applied to transform the data to accommodate the abundance and importance of each COG. After TF-IDF processing, COGs were ranked using feature selection methods to identify their relevance to the functional trait of interest. Extensive experimental results demonstrated that functional trait related genes can be detected using our method. Further, the method has the potential to provide novel biological insights.

  4. Whole-Genome Sequencing in Microbial Forensic Analysis of Gamma-Irradiated Microbial Materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broomall, Stacey M; Ait Ichou, Mohamed; Krepps, Michael D; Johnsky, Lauren A; Karavis, Mark A; Hubbard, Kyle S; Insalaco, Joseph M; Betters, Janet L; Redmond, Brady W; Rivers, Bryan A; Liem, Alvin T; Hill, Jessica M; Fochler, Edward T; Roth, Pierce A; Rosenzweig, C Nicole; Skowronski, Evan W; Gibbons, Henry S

    2016-01-15

    Effective microbial forensic analysis of materials used in a potential biological attack requires robust methods of morphological and genetic characterization of the attack materials in order to enable the attribution of the materials to potential sources and to exclude other potential sources. The genetic homogeneity and potential intersample variability of many of the category A to C bioterrorism agents offer a particular challenge to the generation of attributive signatures, potentially requiring whole-genome or proteomic approaches to be utilized. Currently, irradiation of mail is standard practice at several government facilities judged to be at particularly high risk. Thus, initial forensic signatures would need to be recovered from inactivated (nonviable) material. In the study described in this report, we determined the effects of high-dose gamma irradiation on forensic markers of bacterial biothreat agent surrogate organisms with a particular emphasis on the suitability of genomic DNA (gDNA) recovered from such sources as a template for whole-genome analysis. While irradiation of spores and vegetative cells affected the retention of Gram and spore stains and sheared gDNA into small fragments, we found that irradiated material could be utilized to generate accurate whole-genome sequence data on the Illumina and Roche 454 sequencing platforms. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  5. A Web-Based Comparative Genomics Tutorial for Investigating Microbial Genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Strong

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available As the number of completely sequenced microbial genomes continues to rise at an impressive rate, it is important to prepare students with the skills necessary to investigate microorganisms at the genomic level. As a part of the core curriculum for first-year graduate students in the biological sciences, we have implemented a web-based tutorial to introduce students to the fields of comparative and functional genomics. The tutorial focuses on recent computational methods for identifying functionally linked genes and proteins on a genome-wide scale and was used to introduce students to the Rosetta Stone, Phylogenetic Profile, conserved Gene Neighbor, and Operon computational methods. Students learned to use a number of publicly available web servers and databases to identify functionally linked genes in the Escherichia coli genome, with emphasis on genome organization and operon structure. The overall effectiveness of the tutorial was assessed based on student evaluations and homework assignments. The tutorial is available to other educators at http://www.doe-mbi.ucla.edu/~strong/m253.php.

  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. MBGD update 2015: microbial genome database for flexible ortholog analysis utilizing a diverse set of genomic data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchiyama, Ikuo; Mihara, Motohiro; Nishide, Hiroyo; Chiba, Hirokazu

    2015-01-01

    The microbial genome database for comparative analysis (MBGD) (available at http://mbgd.genome.ad.jp/) is a comprehensive ortholog database for flexible comparative analysis of microbial genomes, where the users are allowed to create an ortholog table among any specified set of organisms. Because of the rapid increase in microbial genome data owing to the next-generation sequencing technology, it becomes increasingly challenging to maintain high-quality orthology relationships while allowing the users to incorporate the latest genomic data available into an analysis. Because many of the recently accumulating genomic data are draft genome sequences for which some complete genome sequences of the same or closely related species are available, MBGD now stores draft genome data and allows the users to incorporate them into a user-specific ortholog database using the MyMBGD functionality. In this function, draft genome data are incorporated into an existing ortholog table created only from the complete genome data in an incremental manner to prevent low-quality draft data from affecting clustering results. In addition, to provide high-quality orthology relationships, the standard ortholog table containing all the representative genomes, which is first created by the rapid classification program DomClust, is now refined using DomRefine, a recently developed program for improving domain-level clustering using multiple sequence alignment information. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  8. 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.

  9. Sequencing Single Cell Microbial Genomes with Microfluidic Amplifications Tools (MICW - Metagenomics Informatics Challenges Workshop: 10K Genomes at a Time)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Quake, Steve

    2011-10-12

    Stanford University's Steve Quake on "Sequencing Single Cell Microbial Genomes with Microfluidic Amplification Tools" at the Metagenomics Informatics Challenges Workshop held at the DOE JGI on October 12-13, 2011.

  10. Amino Acid Usage Is Asymmetrically Biased in AT- and GC-Rich Microbial Genomes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bohlin, Jon; Brynildsrud, Ola Brønstad; Vesth, Tammi Camilla

    2013-01-01

    frequencies were distributed in over 2000 microbial genomes and how these distributions were affected by base compositional changes. In addition, we wanted to know how genome-wide amino acid usage was biased in the different genomes and how changes to base composition and mutations affected this bias...... purifying selection than genomes with higher AAUB. Conclusion: Genomic base composition has a substantial effect on both amino acid- and codon frequencies in bacterial genomes. While phylogeny influenced amino acid usage more in GC-rich genomes, AT-content was driving amino acid usage in AT-rich genomes. We...

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  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. 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.

  19. The standard operating procedure of the DOE-JGI Microbial Genome Annotation Pipeline (MGAP v.4).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntemann, Marcel; Ivanova, Natalia N; Mavromatis, Konstantinos; Tripp, H James; Paez-Espino, David; Palaniappan, Krishnaveni; Szeto, Ernest; Pillay, Manoj; Chen, I-Min A; Pati, Amrita; Nielsen, Torben; Markowitz, Victor M; Kyrpides, Nikos C

    2015-01-01

    The DOE-JGI Microbial Genome Annotation Pipeline performs structural and functional annotation of microbial genomes that are further included into the Integrated Microbial Genome comparative analysis system. MGAP is applied to assembled nucleotide sequence datasets that are provided via the IMG submission site. Dataset submission for annotation first requires project and associated metadata description in GOLD. The MGAP sequence data processing consists of feature prediction including identification of protein-coding genes, non-coding RNAs and regulatory RNA features, as well as CRISPR elements. Structural annotation is followed by assignment of protein product names and functions.

  20. GENOME-BASED MODELING AND DESIGN OF METABOLIC INTERACTIONS IN MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radhakrishnan Mahadevan

    2012-10-01

    With the advent of genome sequencing, omics technologies, bioinformatics and genome-scale modeling, researchers now have unprecedented capabilities to analyze and engineer the metabolism of microbial communities. The goal of this review is to summarize recent applications of genome-scale metabolic modeling to microbial communities. A brief introduction to lumped community models is used to motivate the need for genome-level descriptions of individual species and their metabolic interactions. The review of genome-scale models begins with static modeling approaches, which are appropriate for communities where the extracellular environment can be assumed to be time invariant or slowly varying. Dynamic extensions of the static modeling approach are described, and then applications of genome-scale models for design of synthetic microbial communities are reviewed. The review concludes with a summary of metagenomic tools for analyzing community metabolism and an outlook for future research.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. IMG 4 version of the integrated microbial genomes comparative analysis system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markowitz, Victor M.; Chen, I-Min A.; Palaniappan, Krishna; Chu, Ken; Szeto, Ernest; Pillay, Manoj; Ratner, Anna; Huang, Jinghua; Woyke, Tanja; Huntemann, Marcel; Anderson, Iain; Billis, Konstantinos; Varghese, Neha; Mavromatis, Konstantinos; Pati, Amrita; Ivanova, Natalia N.; Kyrpides, Nikos C.

    2014-01-01

    The Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG) data warehouse integrates genomes from all three domains of life, as well as plasmids, viruses and genome fragments. IMG provides tools for analyzing and reviewing the structural and functional annotations of genomes in a comparative context. IMG’s data content and analytical capabilities have increased continuously since its first version released in 2005. Since the last report published in the 2012 NAR Database Issue, IMG’s annotation and data integration pipelines have evolved while new tools have been added for recording and analyzing single cell genomes, RNA Seq and biosynthetic cluster data. Different IMG datamarts provide support for the analysis of publicly available genomes (IMG/W: http://img.jgi.doe.gov/w), expert review of genome annotations (IMG/ER: http://img.jgi.doe.gov/er) and teaching and training in the area of microbial genome analysis (IMG/EDU: http://img.jgi.doe.gov/edu). PMID:24165883

  5. IMG 4 version of the integrated microbial genomes comparative analysis system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Markowitz, Victor M. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Biological Data Management and Technology Center. Computational Research Division; Chen, I-Min A. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Biological Data Management and Technology Center. Computational Research Division; Palaniappan, Krishna [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Biological Data Management and Technology Center. Computational Research Division; Chu, Ken [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Biological Data Management and Technology Center. Computational Research Division; Szeto, Ernest [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Biological Data Management and Technology Center. Computational Research Division; Pillay, Manoj [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Biological Data Management and Technology Center. Computational Research Division; Ratner, Anna [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Biological Data Management and Technology Center. Computational Research Division; Huang, Jinghua [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Biological Data Management and Technology Center. Computational Research Division; Woyke, Tanja [USDOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI), Walnut Creek, CA (United States). Microbial Genome and Metagenome Program; Huntemann, Marcel [USDOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI), Walnut Creek, CA (United States). Microbial Genome and Metagenome Program; Anderson, Iain [USDOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI), Walnut Creek, CA (United States). Microbial Genome and Metagenome Program; Billis, Konstantinos [USDOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI), Walnut Creek, CA (United States). Microbial Genome and Metagenome Program; Varghese, Neha [USDOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI), Walnut Creek, CA (United States). Microbial Genome and Metagenome Program; Mavromatis, Konstantinos [USDOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI), Walnut Creek, CA (United States). Microbial Genome and Metagenome Program; Pati, Amrita [USDOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI), Walnut Creek, CA (United States). Microbial Genome and Metagenome Program; Ivanova, Natalia N. [USDOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI), Walnut Creek, CA (United States). Microbial Genome and Metagenome Program; Kyrpides, Nikos C. [USDOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI), Walnut Creek, CA (United States). Microbial Genome and Metagenome Program

    2013-10-27

    The Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG) data warehouse integrates genomes from all three domains of life, as well as plasmids, viruses and genome fragments. IMG provides tools for analyzing and reviewing the structural and functional annotations of genomes in a comparative context. IMG’s data content and analytical capabilities have increased continuously since its first version released in 2005. Since the last report published in the 2012 NAR Database Issue, IMG’s annotation and data integration pipelines have evolved while new tools have been added for recording and analyzing single cell genomes, RNA Seq and biosynthetic cluster data. Finally, different IMG datamarts provide support for the analysis of publicly available genomes (IMG/W: http://img.jgi.doe.gov/w), expert review of genome annotations (IMG/ER: http://img.jgi.doe.gov/er) and teaching and training in the area of microbial genome analysis (IMG/EDU: http://img.jgi.doe.gov/edu).

  6. SNP-associations and phenotype predictions from hundreds of microbial genomes without genome alignments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Barry G

    2014-01-01

    SNP-association studies are a starting point for identifying genes that may be responsible for specific phenotypes, such as disease traits. The vast bulk of tools for SNP-association studies are directed toward SNPs in the human genome, and I am unaware of any tools designed specifically for such studies in bacterial or viral genomes. The PPFS (Predict Phenotypes From SNPs) package described here is an add-on to kSNP , a program that can identify SNPs in a data set of hundreds of microbial genomes. PPFS identifies those SNPs that are non-randomly associated with a phenotype based on the χ² probability, then uses those diagnostic SNPs for two distinct, but related, purposes: (1) to predict the phenotypes of strains whose phenotypes are unknown, and (2) to identify those diagnostic SNPs that are most likely to be causally related to the phenotype. In the example illustrated here, from a set of 68 E. coli genomes, for 67 of which the pathogenicity phenotype was known, there were 418,500 SNPs. Using the phenotypes of 36 of those strains, PPFS identified 207 diagnostic SNPs. The diagnostic SNPs predicted the phenotypes of all of the genomes with 97% accuracy. It then identified 97 SNPs whose probability of being causally related to the pathogenic phenotype was >0.999. In a second example, from a set of 116 E. coli genome sequences, using the phenotypes of 65 strains PPFS identified 101 SNPs that predicted the source host (human or non-human) with 90% accuracy.

  7. Host Genome Influence on Gut Microbial Composition and Microbial Prediction of Complex Traits in Pigs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camarinha-Silva, Amelia; Maushammer, Maria; Wellmann, Robin; Vital, Marius; Preuss, Siegfried; Bennewitz, Jörn

    2017-07-01

    The aim of the present study was to analyze the interplay between gastrointestinal tract (GIT) microbiota, host genetics, and complex traits in pigs using extended quantitative-genetic methods. The study design consisted of 207 pigs that were housed and slaughtered under standardized conditions, and phenotyped for daily gain, feed intake, and feed conversion rate. The pigs were genotyped with a standard 60 K SNP chip. The GIT microbiota composition was analyzed by 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing technology. Eight from 49 investigated bacteria genera showed a significant narrow sense host heritability, ranging from 0.32 to 0.57. Microbial mixed linear models were applied to estimate the microbiota variance for each complex trait. The fraction of phenotypic variance explained by the microbial variance was 0.28, 0.21, and 0.16 for daily gain, feed conversion, and feed intake, respectively. The SNP data and the microbiota composition were used to predict the complex traits using genomic best linear unbiased prediction (G-BLUP) and microbial best linear unbiased prediction (M-BLUP) methods, respectively. The prediction accuracies of G-BLUP were 0.35, 0.23, and 0.20 for daily gain, feed conversion, and feed intake, respectively. The corresponding prediction accuracies of M-BLUP were 0.41, 0.33, and 0.33. Thus, in addition to SNP data, microbiota abundances are an informative source of complex trait predictions. Since the pig is a well-suited animal for modeling the human digestive tract, M-BLUP, in addition to G-BLUP, might be beneficial for predicting human predispositions to some diseases, and, consequently, for preventative and personalized medicine. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. PanCoreGen - Profiling, detecting, annotating protein-coding genes in microbial genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Sandip; Bhardwaj, Archana; Bag, Sumit K; Sokurenko, Evgeni V; Chattopadhyay, Sujay

    2015-12-01

    A large amount of genomic data, especially from multiple isolates of a single species, has opened new vistas for microbial genomics analysis. Analyzing the pan-genome (i.e. the sum of genetic repertoire) of microbial species is crucial in understanding the dynamics of molecular evolution, where virulence evolution is of major interest. Here we present PanCoreGen - a standalone application for pan- and core-genomic profiling of microbial protein-coding genes. PanCoreGen overcomes key limitations of the existing pan-genomic analysis tools, and develops an integrated annotation-structure for a species-specific pan-genomic profile. It provides important new features for annotating draft genomes/contigs and detecting unidentified genes in annotated genomes. It also generates user-defined group-specific datasets within the pan-genome. Interestingly, analyzing an example-set of Salmonella genomes, we detect potential footprints of adaptive convergence of horizontally transferred genes in two human-restricted pathogenic serovars - Typhi and Paratyphi A. Overall, PanCoreGen represents a state-of-the-art tool for microbial phylogenomics and pathogenomics study. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. PanCoreGen – profiling, detecting, annotating protein-coding genes in microbial genomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhardwaj, Archana; Bag, Sumit K; Sokurenko, Evgeni V.

    2015-01-01

    A large amount of genomic data, especially from multiple isolates of a single species, has opened new vistas for microbial genomics analysis. Analyzing pan-genome (i.e. the sum of genetic repertoire) of microbial species is crucial in understanding the dynamics of molecular evolution, where virulence evolution is of major interest. Here we present PanCoreGen – a standalone application for pan- and core-genomic profiling of microbial protein-coding genes. PanCoreGen overcomes key limitations of the existing pan-genomic analysis tools, and develops an integrated annotation-structure for species-specific pan-genomic profile. It provides important new features for annotating draft genomes/contigs and detecting unidentified genes in annotated genomes. It also generates user-defined group-specific datasets within the pan-genome. Interestingly, analyzing an example-set of Salmonella genomes, we detect potential footprints of adaptive convergence of horizontally transferred genes in two human-restricted pathogenic serovars – Typhi and Paratyphi A. Overall, PanCoreGen represents a state-of-the-art tool for microbial phylogenomics and pathogenomics study. PMID:26456591

  13. INDIGO - INtegrated data warehouse of microbial genomes with examples from the red sea extremophiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alam, Intikhab; Antunes, André; Kamau, Allan Anthony; Ba Alawi, Wail; Kalkatawi, Manal; Stingl, Ulrich; Bajic, Vladimir B

    2013-01-01

    The next generation sequencing technologies substantially increased the throughput of microbial genome sequencing. To functionally annotate newly sequenced microbial genomes, a variety of experimental and computational methods are used. Integration of information from different sources is a powerful approach to enhance such annotation. Functional analysis of microbial genomes, necessary for downstream experiments, crucially depends on this annotation but it is hampered by the current lack of suitable information integration and exploration systems for microbial genomes. We developed a data warehouse system (INDIGO) that enables the integration of annotations for exploration and analysis of newly sequenced microbial genomes. INDIGO offers an opportunity to construct complex queries and combine annotations from multiple sources starting from genomic sequence to protein domain, gene ontology and pathway levels. This data warehouse is aimed at being populated with information from genomes of pure cultures and uncultured single cells of Red Sea bacteria and Archaea. Currently, INDIGO contains information from Salinisphaera shabanensis, Haloplasma contractile, and Halorhabdus tiamatea - extremophiles isolated from deep-sea anoxic brine lakes of the Red Sea. We provide examples of utilizing the system to gain new insights into specific aspects on the unique lifestyle and adaptations of these organisms to extreme environments. We developed a data warehouse system, INDIGO, which enables comprehensive integration of information from various resources to be used for annotation, exploration and analysis of microbial genomes. It will be regularly updated and extended with new genomes. It is aimed to serve as a resource dedicated to the Red Sea microbes. In addition, through INDIGO, we provide our Automatic Annotation of Microbial Genomes (AAMG) pipeline. The INDIGO web server is freely available at http://www.cbrc.kaust.edu.sa/indigo.

  14. INDIGO - INtegrated data warehouse of microbial genomes with examples from the red sea extremophiles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Intikhab Alam

    Full Text Available The next generation sequencing technologies substantially increased the throughput of microbial genome sequencing. To functionally annotate newly sequenced microbial genomes, a variety of experimental and computational methods are used. Integration of information from different sources is a powerful approach to enhance such annotation. Functional analysis of microbial genomes, necessary for downstream experiments, crucially depends on this annotation but it is hampered by the current lack of suitable information integration and exploration systems for microbial genomes.We developed a data warehouse system (INDIGO that enables the integration of annotations for exploration and analysis of newly sequenced microbial genomes. INDIGO offers an opportunity to construct complex queries and combine annotations from multiple sources starting from genomic sequence to protein domain, gene ontology and pathway levels. This data warehouse is aimed at being populated with information from genomes of pure cultures and uncultured single cells of Red Sea bacteria and Archaea. Currently, INDIGO contains information from Salinisphaera shabanensis, Haloplasma contractile, and Halorhabdus tiamatea - extremophiles isolated from deep-sea anoxic brine lakes of the Red Sea. We provide examples of utilizing the system to gain new insights into specific aspects on the unique lifestyle and adaptations of these organisms to extreme environments.We developed a data warehouse system, INDIGO, which enables comprehensive integration of information from various resources to be used for annotation, exploration and analysis of microbial genomes. It will be regularly updated and extended with new genomes. It is aimed to serve as a resource dedicated to the Red Sea microbes. In addition, through INDIGO, we provide our Automatic Annotation of Microbial Genomes (AAMG pipeline. The INDIGO web server is freely available at http://www.cbrc.kaust.edu.sa/indigo.

  15. 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.

  16. Systematic evaluation of bias in microbial community profiles induced by whole genome amplification.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Direito, S.; Zaura, E.; Little, M.; Ehrenfreund, P.; Roling, W.F.M.

    2014-01-01

    Whole genome amplification methods facilitate the detection and characterization of microbial communities in low biomass environments. We examined the extent to which the actual community structure is reliably revealed and factors contributing to bias. One widely used [multiple displacement

  17. Systematic evaluation of bias in microbial community profiles induced by whole genome amplification

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Direito, S.O.L.; Zaura, E.; Little, M.; Ehrenfreund, P.; Röling, W.F.M.

    2014-01-01

    Whole genome amplification methods facilitate the detection and characterization of microbial communities in low biomass environments. We examined the extent to which the actual community structure is reliably revealed and factors contributing to bias. One widely used [multiple displacement

  18. Revisiting life strategy concepts in environmental microbial ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ho, A.; Di Lonardo, P.; Bodelier, P.L.E.

    2017-01-01

    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

  19. 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)

  20. 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

  1. 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)

  2. The Harvest suite for rapid core-genome alignment and visualization of thousands of intraspecific microbial genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treangen, Todd J; Ondov, Brian D; Koren, Sergey; Phillippy, Adam M

    2014-01-01

    Whole-genome sequences are now available for many microbial species and clades, however existing whole-genome alignment methods are limited in their ability to perform sequence comparisons of multiple sequences simultaneously. Here we present the Harvest suite of core-genome alignment and visualization tools for the rapid and simultaneous analysis of thousands of intraspecific microbial strains. Harvest includes Parsnp, a fast core-genome multi-aligner, and Gingr, a dynamic visual platform. Together they provide interactive core-genome alignments, variant calls, recombination detection, and phylogenetic trees. Using simulated and real data we demonstrate that our approach exhibits unrivaled speed while maintaining the accuracy of existing methods. The Harvest suite is open-source and freely available from: http://github.com/marbl/harvest.

  3. Microbial genome mining for accelerated natural products discovery: is a renaissance in the making?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachmann, Brian O; Van Lanen, Steven G; Baltz, Richard H

    2014-02-01

    Microbial genome mining is a rapidly developing approach to discover new and novel secondary metabolites for drug discovery. Many advances have been made in the past decade to facilitate genome mining, and these are reviewed in this Special Issue of the Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology. In this Introductory Review, we discuss the concept of genome mining and why it is important for the revitalization of natural product discovery; what microbes show the most promise for focused genome mining; how microbial genomes can be mined; how genome mining can be leveraged with other technologies; how progress on genome mining can be accelerated; and who should fund future progress in this promising field. We direct interested readers to more focused reviews on the individual topics in this Special Issue for more detailed summaries on the current state-of-the-art.

  4. Genome-Wide Association Studies In Plant Pathosystems: Toward an Ecological Genomics Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Bartoli

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The emergence and re-emergence of plant pathogenic microorganisms are processes that imply perturbations in both host and pathogen ecological niches. Global change is largely assumed to drive the emergence of new etiological agents by altering the equilibrium of the ecological habitats which in turn places hosts more in contact with pathogen reservoirs. In this context, the number of epidemics is expected to increase dramatically in the next coming decades both in wild and crop plants. Under these considerations, the identification of the genetic variants underlying natural variation of resistance is a pre-requisite to estimate the adaptive potential of wild plant populations and to develop new breeding resistant cultivars. On the other hand, the prediction of pathogen's genetic determinants underlying disease emergence can help to identify plant resistance alleles. In the genomic era, whole genome sequencing combined with the development of statistical methods led to the emergence of Genome Wide Association (GWA mapping, a powerful tool for detecting genomic regions associated with natural variation of disease resistance in both wild and cultivated plants. However, GWA mapping has been less employed for the detection of genetic variants associated with pathogenicity in microbes. Here, we reviewed GWA studies performed either in plants or in pathogenic microorganisms (bacteria, fungi and oomycetes. In addition, we highlighted the benefits and caveats of the emerging joint GWA mapping approach that allows for the simultaneous identification of genes interacting between genomes of both partners. Finally, based on co-evolutionary processes in wild populations, we highlighted a phenotyping-free joint GWA mapping approach as a promising tool for describing the molecular landscape underlying plant - microbe interactions.

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Hidden diversity revealed by genome-resolved metagenomics of iron-oxidizing microbial mats from Lō'ihi Seamount, Hawai'i.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fullerton, Heather; Hager, Kevin W; McAllister, Sean M; Moyer, Craig L

    2017-08-01

    The Zetaproteobacteria are ubiquitous in marine environments, yet this class of Proteobacteria is only represented by a few closely-related cultured isolates. In high-iron environments, such as diffuse hydrothermal vents, the Zetaproteobacteria are important members of the community driving its structure. Biogeography of Zetaproteobacteria has shown two ubiquitous operational taxonomic units (OTUs), yet much is unknown about their genomic diversity. Genome-resolved metagenomics allows for the specific binning of microbial genomes based on genomic signatures present in composite metagenome assemblies. This resulted in the recovery of 93 genome bins, of which 34 were classified as Zetaproteobacteria. Form II ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase genes were recovered from nearly all the Zetaproteobacteria genome bins. In addition, the Zetaproteobacteria genome bins contain genes for uptake and utilization of bioavailable nitrogen, detoxification of arsenic, and a terminal electron acceptor adapted for low oxygen concentration. Our results also support the hypothesis of a Cyc2-like protein as the site for iron oxidation, now detected across a majority of the Zetaproteobacteria genome bins. Whole genome comparisons showed a high genomic diversity across the Zetaproteobacteria OTUs and genome bins that were previously unidentified by SSU rRNA gene analysis. A single lineage of cosmopolitan Zetaproteobacteria (zOTU 2) was found to be monophyletic, based on cluster analysis of average nucleotide identity and average amino acid identity comparisons. From these data, we can begin to pinpoint genomic adaptations of the more ecologically ubiquitous Zetaproteobacteria, and further understand their environmental constraints and metabolic potential.

  14. Reducing assembly complexity of microbial genomes with single-molecule sequencing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genome assembly algorithms cannot fully reconstruct microbial chromosomes from the DNA reads output by first or second-generation sequencing instruments. Therefore, most genomes are left unfinished due to the significant resources required to manually close gaps left in the draft assemblies. Single-...

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Colloquium and Report on Systems Microbiology: Beyond Microbial Genomics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Merry R. Buckley

    2004-12-13

    The American Academy of Microbiology convened a colloquium June 4-6, 2004 to confer about the scientific promise of systems microbiology. Participants discussed the power of applying a systems approach to the study of biology and to microbiology in particular, specifics about current research efforts, technical bottlenecks, requirements for data acquisition and maintenance, educational needs, and communication issues surrounding the field. A number of recommendations were made for removing barriers to progress in systems microbiology and for improving opportunities in education and collaboration. Systems biology, as a concept, is not new, but the recent explosion of genomic sequences and related data has revived interest in the field. Systems microbiology, a subset of systems biology, represents a different approach to investigating biological systems. It attempts to examine the emergent properties of microorganisms that arise from the interplay of genes, proteins, other macromolecules, small molecules, organelles, and the environment. It is these interactions, often nonlinear, that lead to the emergent properties of biological systems that are generally not tractable by traditional approaches. As a complement to the long-standing trend toward reductionism, systems microbiology seeks to treat the organism or community as a whole, integrating fundamental biological knowledge with genomics, metabolomics, and other data to create an integrated picture of how a microbial cell or community operates. Systems microbiology promises not only to shed light on the activities of microbes, but will also provide biology the tools and approaches necessary for achieving a better understanding of life and ecosystems. Microorganisms are ideal candidates for systems biology research because they are relatively easy to manipulate and because they play critical roles in health, environment, agriculture, and energy production. Potential applications of systems microbiology research

  20. 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.

  1. Alignment-free microbial phylogenomics under scenarios of sequence divergence, genome rearrangement and lateral genetic transfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernard, Guillaume; Chan, Cheong Xin; Ragan, Mark A

    2016-07-01

    Alignment-free (AF) approaches have recently been highlighted as alternatives to methods based on multiple sequence alignment in phylogenetic inference. However, the sensitivity of AF methods to genome-scale evolutionary scenarios is little known. Here, using simulated microbial genome data we systematically assess the sensitivity of nine AF methods to three important evolutionary scenarios: sequence divergence, lateral genetic transfer (LGT) and genome rearrangement. Among these, AF methods are most sensitive to the extent of sequence divergence, less sensitive to low and moderate frequencies of LGT, and most robust against genome rearrangement. We describe the application of AF methods to three well-studied empirical genome datasets, and introduce a new application of the jackknife to assess node support. Our results demonstrate that AF phylogenomics is computationally scalable to multi-genome data and can generate biologically meaningful phylogenies and insights into microbial evolution.

  2. The Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG) System: An Expanding Comparative Analysis Resource

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Markowitz, Victor M.; Chen, I-Min A.; Palaniappan, Krishna; Chu, Ken; Szeto, Ernest; Grechkin, Yuri; Ratner, Anna; Anderson, Iain; Lykidis, Athanasios; Mavromatis, Konstantinos; Ivanova, Natalia N.; Kyrpides, Nikos C.

    2009-09-13

    The integrated microbial genomes (IMG) system serves as a community resource for comparative analysis of publicly available genomes in a comprehensive integrated context. IMG contains both draft and complete microbial genomes integrated with other publicly available genomes from all three domains of life, together with a large number of plasmids and viruses. IMG provides tools and viewers for analyzing and reviewing the annotations of genes and genomes in a comparative context. Since its first release in 2005, IMG's data content and analytical capabilities have been constantly expanded through regular releases. Several companion IMG systems have been set up in order to serve domain specific needs, such as expert review of genome annotations. IMG is available at .

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. CloVR-Comparative: automated, cloud-enabled comparative microbial genome sequence analysis pipeline

    OpenAIRE

    Agrawal, Sonia; Arze, Cesar; Adkins, Ricky S.; Crabtree, Jonathan; Riley, David; Vangala, Mahesh; Galens, Kevin; Fraser, Claire M.; Tettelin, Herv?; White, Owen; Angiuoli, Samuel V.; Mahurkar, Anup; Fricke, W. Florian

    2017-01-01

    Background The benefit of increasing genomic sequence data to the scientific community depends on easy-to-use, scalable bioinformatics support. CloVR-Comparative combines commonly used bioinformatics tools into an intuitive, automated, and cloud-enabled analysis pipeline for comparative microbial genomics. Results CloVR-Comparative runs on annotated complete or draft genome sequences that are uploaded by the user or selected via a taxonomic tree-based user interface and downloaded from NCBI. ...

  6. CheckM: assessing the quality of microbial genomes recovered from isolates, single cells, and metagenomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parks, Donovan H.; Imelfort, Michael; Skennerton, Connor T.; Hugenholtz, Philip; Tyson, Gene W.

    2015-01-01

    Large-scale recovery of genomes from isolates, single cells, and metagenomic data has been made possible by advances in computational methods and substantial reductions in sequencing costs. Although this increasing breadth of draft genomes is providing key information regarding the evolutionary and functional diversity of microbial life, it has become impractical to finish all available reference genomes. Making robust biological inferences from draft genomes requires accurate estimates of their completeness and contamination. Current methods for assessing genome quality are ad hoc and generally make use of a limited number of “marker” genes conserved across all bacterial or archaeal genomes. Here we introduce CheckM, an automated method for assessing the quality of a genome using a broader set of marker genes specific to the position of a genome within a reference genome tree and information about the collocation of these genes. We demonstrate the effectiveness of CheckM using synthetic data and a wide range of isolate-, single-cell-, and metagenome-derived genomes. CheckM is shown to provide accurate estimates of genome completeness and contamination and to outperform existing approaches. Using CheckM, we identify a diverse range of errors currently impacting publicly available isolate genomes and demonstrate that genomes obtained from single cells and metagenomic data vary substantially in quality. In order to facilitate the use of draft genomes, we propose an objective measure of genome quality that can be used to select genomes suitable for specific gene- and genome-centric analyses of microbial communities. PMID:25977477

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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....

  10. Microbial genome sequencing using optical mapping and Illumina sequencing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Introduction Optical mapping is a technique in which strands of genomic DNA are digested with one or more restriction enzymes, and a physical map of the genome constructed from the resulting image. In outline, genomic DNA is extracted from a pure culture, linearly arrayed on a specialized glass sli...

  11. Predictions of Gene Family Distributions in Microbial Genomes: Evolution by Gene Duplication and Modification

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yanai, Itai; Camacho, Carlos J.; DeLisi, Charles

    2000-01-01

    A universal property of microbial genomes is the considerable fraction of genes that are homologous to other genes within the same genome. The process by which these homologues are generated is not well understood, but sequence analysis of 20 microbial genomes unveils a recurrent distribution of gene family sizes. We show that a simple evolutionary model based on random gene duplication and point mutations fully accounts for these distributions and permits predictions for the number of gene families in genomes not yet complete. Our findings are consistent with the notion that a genome evolves from a set of precursor genes to a mature size by gene duplications and increasing modifications. (c) 2000 The American Physical Society

  12. Predictions of Gene Family Distributions in Microbial Genomes: Evolution by Gene Duplication and Modification

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yanai, Itai; Camacho, Carlos J.; DeLisi, Charles

    2000-09-18

    A universal property of microbial genomes is the considerable fraction of genes that are homologous to other genes within the same genome. The process by which these homologues are generated is not well understood, but sequence analysis of 20 microbial genomes unveils a recurrent distribution of gene family sizes. We show that a simple evolutionary model based on random gene duplication and point mutations fully accounts for these distributions and permits predictions for the number of gene families in genomes not yet complete. Our findings are consistent with the notion that a genome evolves from a set of precursor genes to a mature size by gene duplications and increasing modifications. (c) 2000 The American Physical Society.

  13. Ten years of maintaining and expanding a microbial genome and metagenome analysis system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markowitz, Victor M; Chen, I-Min A; Chu, Ken; Pati, Amrita; Ivanova, Natalia N; Kyrpides, Nikos C

    2015-11-01

    Launched in March 2005, the Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG) system is a comprehensive data management system that supports multidimensional comparative analysis of genomic data. At the core of the IMG system is a data warehouse that contains genome and metagenome datasets sequenced at the Joint Genome Institute or provided by scientific users, as well as public genome datasets available at the National Center for Biotechnology Information Genbank sequence data archive. Genomes and metagenome datasets are processed using IMG's microbial genome and metagenome sequence data processing pipelines and are integrated into the data warehouse using IMG's data integration toolkits. Microbial genome and metagenome application specific data marts and user interfaces provide access to different subsets of IMG's data and analysis toolkits. This review article revisits IMG's original aims, highlights key milestones reached by the system during the past 10 years, and discusses the main challenges faced by a rapidly expanding system, in particular the complexity of maintaining such a system in an academic setting with limited budgets and computing and data management infrastructure. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Approaches for in silico finishing of microbial genome sequences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederico Schmitt Kremer

    Full Text Available Abstract The introduction of next-generation sequencing (NGS had a significant effect on the availability of genomic information, leading to an increase in the number of sequenced genomes from a large spectrum of organisms. Unfortunately, due to the limitations implied by the short-read sequencing platforms, most of these newly sequenced genomes remained as “drafts”, incomplete representations of the whole genetic content. The previous genome sequencing studies indicated that finishing a genome sequenced by NGS, even bacteria, may require additional sequencing to fill the gaps, making the entire process very expensive. As such, several in silico approaches have been developed to optimize the genome assemblies and facilitate the finishing process. The present review aims to explore some free (open source, in many cases tools that are available to facilitate genome finishing.

  19. Approaches for in silico finishing of microbial genome sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kremer, Frederico Schmitt; McBride, Alan John Alexander; Pinto, Luciano da Silva

    The introduction of next-generation sequencing (NGS) had a significant effect on the availability of genomic information, leading to an increase in the number of sequenced genomes from a large spectrum of organisms. Unfortunately, due to the limitations implied by the short-read sequencing platforms, most of these newly sequenced genomes remained as "drafts", incomplete representations of the whole genetic content. The previous genome sequencing studies indicated that finishing a genome sequenced by NGS, even bacteria, may require additional sequencing to fill the gaps, making the entire process very expensive. As such, several in silico approaches have been developed to optimize the genome assemblies and facilitate the finishing process. The present review aims to explore some free (open source, in many cases) tools that are available to facilitate genome finishing.

  20. Selective whole genome amplification for resequencing target microbial species from complex natural samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leichty, Aaron R; Brisson, Dustin

    2014-10-01

    Population genomic analyses have demonstrated power to address major questions in evolutionary and molecular microbiology. Collecting populations of genomes is hindered in many microbial species by the absence of a cost effective and practical method to collect ample quantities of sufficiently pure genomic DNA for next-generation sequencing. Here we present a simple method to amplify genomes of a target microbial species present in a complex, natural sample. The selective whole genome amplification (SWGA) technique amplifies target genomes using nucleotide sequence motifs that are common in the target microbe genome, but rare in the background genomes, to prime the highly processive phi29 polymerase. SWGA thus selectively amplifies the target genome from samples in which it originally represented a minor fraction of the total DNA. The post-SWGA samples are enriched in target genomic DNA, which are ideal for population resequencing. We demonstrate the efficacy of SWGA using both laboratory-prepared mixtures of cultured microbes as well as a natural host-microbe association. Targeted amplification of Borrelia burgdorferi mixed with Escherichia coli at genome ratios of 1:2000 resulted in >10(5)-fold amplification of the target genomes with genomic extracts from Wolbachia pipientis-infected Drosophila melanogaster resulted in up to 70% of high-throughput resequencing reads mapping to the W. pipientis genome. By contrast, 2-9% of sequencing reads were derived from W. pipientis without prior amplification. The SWGA technique results in high sequencing coverage at a fraction of the sequencing effort, thus allowing population genomic studies at affordable costs. Copyright © 2014 by the Genetics Society of America.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. The Chthonomonas calidirosea Genome Is Highly Conserved across Geographic Locations and Distinct Chemical and Microbial Environments in New Zealand's Taupō Volcanic Zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kevin C; Stott, Matthew B; Dunfield, Peter F; Huttenhower, Curtis; McDonald, Ian R; Morgan, Xochitl C

    2016-06-15

    Chthonomonas calidirosea T49(T) is a low-abundance, carbohydrate-scavenging, and thermophilic soil bacterium with a seemingly disorganized genome. We hypothesized that the C. calidirosea genome would be highly responsive to local selection pressure, resulting in the divergence of its genomic content, genome organization, and carbohydrate utilization phenotype across environments. We tested this hypothesis by sequencing the genomes of four C. calidirosea isolates obtained from four separate geothermal fields in the Taupō Volcanic Zone, New Zealand. For each isolation site, we measured physicochemical attributes and defined the associated microbial community by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Despite their ecological and geographical isolation, the genome sequences showed low divergence (maximum, 1.17%). Isolate-specific variations included single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), restriction-modification systems, and mobile elements but few major deletions and no major rearrangements. The 50-fold variation in C. calidirosea relative abundance among the four sites correlated with site environmental characteristics but not with differences in genomic content. Conversely, the carbohydrate utilization profiles of the C. calidirosea isolates corresponded to the inferred isolate phylogenies, which only partially paralleled the geographical relationships among the sample sites. Genomic sequence conservation does not entirely parallel geographic distance, suggesting that stochastic dispersal and localized extinction, which allow for rapid population homogenization with little restriction by geographical barriers, are possible mechanisms of C. calidirosea distribution. This dispersal and extinction mechanism is likely not limited to C. calidirosea but may shape the populations and genomes of many other low-abundance free-living taxa. This study compares the genomic sequence variations and metabolisms of four strains of Chthonomonas calidirosea, a rare thermophilic bacterium from

  5. 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...

  6. Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) as a bridge between ecology and evolutionary genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bybee, Seth; Córdoba-Aguilar, Alex; Duryea, M Catherine; Futahashi, Ryo; Hansson, Bengt; Lorenzo-Carballa, M Olalla; Schilder, Ruud; Stoks, Robby; Suvorov, Anton; Svensson, Erik I; Swaegers, Janne; Takahashi, Yuma; Watts, Phillip C; Wellenreuther, Maren

    2016-01-01

    Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) present an unparalleled insect model to integrate evolutionary genomics with ecology for the study of insect evolution. Key features of Odonata include their ancient phylogenetic position, extensive phenotypic and ecological diversity, several unique evolutionary innovations, ease of study in the wild and usefulness as bioindicators for freshwater ecosystems worldwide. In this review, we synthesize studies on the evolution, ecology and physiology of odonates, highlighting those areas where the integration of ecology with genomics would yield significant insights into the evolutionary processes that would not be gained easily by working on other animal groups. We argue that the unique features of this group combined with their complex life cycle, flight behaviour, diversity in ecological niches and their sensitivity to anthropogenic change make odonates a promising and fruitful taxon for genomics focused research. Future areas of research that deserve increased attention are also briefly outlined.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Genome-based Modeling and Design of Metabolic Interactions in Microbial Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahadevan, Radhakrishnan; Henson, Michael A

    2012-01-01

    Biotechnology research is traditionally focused on individual microbial strains that are perceived to have the necessary metabolic functions, or the capability to have these functions introduced, to achieve a particular task. For many important applications, the development of such omnipotent microbes is an extremely challenging if not impossible task. By contrast, nature employs a radically different strategy based on synergistic combinations of different microbial species that collectively achieve the desired task. These natural communities have evolved to exploit the native metabolic capabilities of each species and are highly adaptive to changes in their environments. However, microbial communities have proven difficult to study due to a lack of suitable experimental and computational tools. With the advent of genome sequencing, omics technologies, bioinformatics and genome-scale modeling, researchers now have unprecedented capabilities to analyze and engineer the metabolism of microbial communities. The goal of this review is to summarize recent applications of genome-scale metabolic modeling to microbial communities. A brief introduction to lumped community models is used to motivate the need for genome-level descriptions of individual species and their metabolic interactions. The review of genome-scale models begins with static modeling approaches, which are appropriate for communities where the extracellular environment can be assumed to be time invariant or slowly varying. Dynamic extensions of the static modeling approach are described, and then applications of genome-scale models for design of synthetic microbial communities are reviewed. The review concludes with a summary of metagenomic tools for analyzing community metabolism and an outlook for future research.

  12. G-InforBIO: integrated system for microbial genomics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abe Takashi

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Genome databases contain diverse kinds of information, including gene annotations and nucleotide and amino acid sequences. It is not easy to integrate such information for genomic study. There are few tools for integrated analyses of genomic data, therefore, we developed software that enables users to handle, manipulate, and analyze genome data with a variety of sequence analysis programs. Results The G-InforBIO system is a novel tool for genome data management and sequence analysis. The system can import genome data encoded as eXtensible Markup Language documents as formatted text documents, including annotations and sequences, from DNA Data Bank of Japan and GenBank encoded as flat files. The genome database is constructed automatically after importing, and the database can be exported as documents formatted with eXtensible Markup Language or tab-deliminated text. Users can retrieve data from the database by keyword searches, edit annotation data of genes, and process data with G-InforBIO. In addition, information in the G-InforBIO database can be analyzed seamlessly with nine different software programs, including programs for clustering and homology analyses. Conclusion The G-InforBIO system simplifies genome analyses by integrating several available software programs to allow efficient handling and manipulation of genome data. G-InforBIO is freely available from the download site.

  13. Genomic Analysis of Complex Microbial Communities in Wounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-07-01

    software for common statistical methods for ecological and biodiversity studies. World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Nairobi. Lane DJ. 1991. 16S/23S rRNA...World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Nairobi. 40. Roberts DW (2007) labdsv: Ordination and Multivariate Analysis for Ecology. R package version 1.3-1

  14. Rapid prototyping of microbial cell factories via genome-scale engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Si, Tong; Xiao, Han; Zhao, Huimin

    2015-11-15

    Advances in reading, writing and editing genetic materials have greatly expanded our ability to reprogram biological systems at the resolution of a single nucleotide and on the scale of a whole genome. Such capacity has greatly accelerated the cycles of design, build and test to engineer microbes for efficient synthesis of fuels, chemicals and drugs. In this review, we summarize the emerging technologies that have been applied, or are potentially useful for genome-scale engineering in microbial systems. We will focus on the development of high-throughput methodologies, which may accelerate the prototyping of microbial cell factories. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Rapid Prototyping of Microbial Cell Factories via Genome-scale Engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Si, Tong; Xiao, Han; Zhao, Huimin

    2014-01-01

    Advances in reading, writing and editing genetic materials have greatly expanded our ability to reprogram biological systems at the resolution of a single nucleotide and on the scale of a whole genome. Such capacity has greatly accelerated the cycles of design, build and test to engineer microbes for efficient synthesis of fuels, chemicals and drugs. In this review, we summarize the emerging technologies that have been applied, or are potentially useful for genome-scale engineering in microbial systems. We will focus on the development of high-throughput methodologies, which may accelerate the prototyping of microbial cell factories. PMID:25450192

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. The need for high-quality whole-genome sequence databases in microbial forensics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sjödin, Andreas; Broman, Tina; Melefors, Öjar; Andersson, Gunnar; Rasmusson, Birgitta; Knutsson, Rickard; Forsman, Mats

    2013-09-01

    Microbial forensics is an important part of a strengthened capability to respond to biocrime and bioterrorism incidents to aid in the complex task of distinguishing between natural outbreaks and deliberate acts. The goal of a microbial forensic investigation is to identify and criminally prosecute those responsible for a biological attack, and it involves a detailed analysis of the weapon--that is, the pathogen. The recent development of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies has greatly increased the resolution that can be achieved in microbial forensic analyses. It is now possible to identify, quickly and in an unbiased manner, previously undetectable genome differences between closely related isolates. This development is particularly relevant for the most deadly bacterial diseases that are caused by bacterial lineages with extremely low levels of genetic diversity. Whole-genome analysis of pathogens is envisaged to be increasingly essential for this purpose. In a microbial forensic context, whole-genome sequence analysis is the ultimate method for strain comparisons as it is informative during identification, characterization, and attribution--all 3 major stages of the investigation--and at all levels of microbial strain identity resolution (ie, it resolves the full spectrum from family to isolate). Given these capabilities, one bottleneck in microbial forensics investigations is the availability of high-quality reference databases of bacterial whole-genome sequences. To be of high quality, databases need to be curated and accurate in terms of sequences, metadata, and genetic diversity coverage. The development of whole-genome sequence databases will be instrumental in successfully tracing pathogens in the future.

  1. 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.

  2. Use of genome-scale microbial models for metabolic engineering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Patil, Kiran Raosaheb; Åkesson, M.; Nielsen, Jens

    2004-01-01

    Metabolic engineering serves as an integrated approach to design new cell factories by providing rational design procedures and valuable mathematical and experimental tools. Mathematical models have an important role for phenotypic analysis, but can also be used for the design of optimal metaboli...... network structures. The major challenge for metabolic engineering in the post-genomic era is to broaden its design methodologies to incorporate genome-scale biological data. Genome-scale stoichiometric models of microorganisms represent a first step in this direction....

  3. The fast changing landscape of sequencing technologies and their impact on microbial genome assemblies and annotation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mavromatis, Konstantinos; Land, Miriam L; Brettin, Thomas S; Quest, Daniel J; Copeland, Alex; Clum, Alicia; Goodwin, Lynne; Woyke, Tanja; Lapidus, Alla; Klenk, Hans Peter; Cottingham, Robert W; Kyrpides, Nikos C

    2012-01-01

    The emergence of next generation sequencing (NGS) has provided the means for rapid and high throughput sequencing and data generation at low cost, while concomitantly creating a new set of challenges. The number of available assembled microbial genomes continues to grow rapidly and their quality reflects the quality of the sequencing technology used, but also of the analysis software employed for assembly and annotation. In this work, we have explored the quality of the microbial draft genomes across various sequencing technologies. We have compared the draft and finished assemblies of 133 microbial genomes sequenced at the Department of Energy-Joint Genome Institute and finished at the Los Alamos National Laboratory using a variety of combinations of sequencing technologies, reflecting the transition of the institute from Sanger-based sequencing platforms to NGS platforms. The quality of the public assemblies and of the associated gene annotations was evaluated using various metrics. Results obtained with the different sequencing technologies, as well as their effects on downstream processes, were analyzed. Our results demonstrate that the Illumina HiSeq 2000 sequencing system, the primary sequencing technology currently used for de novo genome sequencing and assembly at JGI, has various advantages in terms of total sequence throughput and cost, but it also introduces challenges for the downstream analyses. In all cases assembly results although on average are of high quality, need to be viewed critically and consider sources of errors in them prior to analysis. These data follow the evolution of microbial sequencing and downstream processing at the JGI from draft genome sequences with large gaps corresponding to missing genes of significant biological role to assemblies with multiple small gaps (Illumina) and finally to assemblies that generate almost complete genomes (Illumina+PacBio).

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Automated ensemble assembly and validation of microbial genomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background The continued democratization of DNA sequencing has sparked a new wave of development of genome assembly and assembly validation methods. As individual research labs, rather than centralized centers, begin to sequence the majority of new genomes, it is important to establish best practices for genome assembly. However, recent evaluations such as GAGE and the Assemblathon have concluded that there is no single best approach to genome assembly. Instead, it is preferable to generate multiple assemblies and validate them to determine which is most useful for the desired analysis; this is a labor-intensive process that is often impossible or unfeasible. Results To encourage best practices supported by the community, we present iMetAMOS, an automated ensemble assembly pipeline; iMetAMOS encapsulates the process of running, validating, and selecting a single assembly from multiple assemblies. iMetAMOS packages several leading open-source tools into a single binary that automates parameter selection and execution of multiple assemblers, scores the resulting assemblies based on multiple validation metrics, and annotates the assemblies for genes and contaminants. We demonstrate the utility of the ensemble process on 225 previously unassembled Mycobacterium tuberculosis genomes as well as a Rhodobacter sphaeroides benchmark dataset. On these real data, iMetAMOS reliably produces validated assemblies and identifies potential contamination without user intervention. In addition, intelligent parameter selection produces assemblies of R. sphaeroides comparable to or exceeding the quality of those from the GAGE-B evaluation, affecting the relative ranking of some assemblers. Conclusions Ensemble assembly with iMetAMOS provides users with multiple, validated assemblies for each genome. Although computationally limited to small or mid-sized genomes, this approach is the most effective and reproducible means for generating high-quality assemblies and enables users to

  8. '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

  9. Genome-centric resolution of microbial diversity, metabolism and interactions in anaerobic digestion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanwonterghem, Inka; Jensen, Paul D; Rabaey, Korneel; Tyson, Gene W

    2016-09-01

    Our understanding of the complex interconnected processes performed by microbial communities is hindered by our inability to culture the vast majority of microorganisms. Metagenomics provides a way to bypass this cultivation bottleneck and recent advances in this field now allow us to recover a growing number of genomes representing previously uncultured populations from increasingly complex environments. In this study, a temporal genome-centric metagenomic analysis was performed of lab-scale anaerobic digesters that host complex microbial communities fulfilling a series of interlinked metabolic processes to enable the conversion of cellulose to methane. In total, 101 population genomes that were moderate to near-complete were recovered based primarily on differential coverage binning. These populations span 19 phyla, represent mostly novel species and expand the genomic coverage of several rare phyla. Classification into functional guilds based on their metabolic potential revealed metabolic networks with a high level of functional redundancy as well as niche specialization, and allowed us to identify potential roles such as hydrolytic specialists for several rare, uncultured populations. Genome-centric analyses of complex microbial communities across diverse environments provide the key to understanding the phylogenetic and metabolic diversity of these interactive communities. © 2016 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. CMG-biotools, a free workbench for basic comparative microbial genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vesth, Tammi; Lagesen, Karin; Acar, Öncel; Ussery, David

    2013-01-01

    Today, there are more than a hundred times as many sequenced prokaryotic genomes than were present in the year 2000. The economical sequencing of genomic DNA has facilitated a whole new approach to microbial genomics. The real power of genomics is manifested through comparative genomics that can reveal strain specific characteristics, diversity within species and many other aspects. However, comparative genomics is a field not easily entered into by scientists with few computational skills. The CMG-biotools package is designed for microbiologists with limited knowledge of computational analysis and can be used to perform a number of analyses and comparisons of genomic data. The CMG-biotools system presents a stand-alone interface for comparative microbial genomics. The package is a customized operating system, based on Xubuntu 10.10, available through the open source Ubuntu project. The system can be installed on a virtual computer, allowing the user to run the system alongside any other operating system. Source codes for all programs are provided under GNU license, which makes it possible to transfer the programs to other systems if so desired. We here demonstrate the package by comparing and analyzing the diversity within the class Negativicutes, represented by 31 genomes including 10 genera. The analyses include 16S rRNA phylogeny, basic DNA and codon statistics, proteome comparisons using BLAST and graphical analyses of DNA structures. This paper shows the strength and diverse use of the CMG-biotools system. The system can be installed on a vide range of host operating systems and utilizes as much of the host computer as desired. It allows the user to compare multiple genomes, from various sources using standardized data formats and intuitive visualizations of results. The examples presented here clearly shows that users with limited computational experience can perform complicated analysis without much training.

  14. Comparative analyses identified species-specific functional roles in oral microbial genomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Tsute; Gajare, Prasad; Olsen, Ingar; Dewhirst, Floyd E.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT The advent of next generation sequencing is producing more genomic sequences for various strains of many human oral microbial species and allows for insightful functional comparisons at both intra- and inter-species levels. This study performed in-silico functional comparisons for currently available genomic sequences of major species associated with periodontitis including Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (AA), Porphyromonas gingivalis (PG), Treponema denticola (TD), and Tannerella forsythia (TF), as well as several cariogenic and commensal streptococcal species. Complete or draft sequences were annotated with the RAST to infer structured functional subsystems for each genome. The subsystems profiles were clustered to groups of functions with similar patterns. Functional enrichment and depletion were evaluated based on hypergeometric distribution to identify subsystems that are unique or missing between two groups of genomes. Unique or missing metabolic pathways and biological functions were identified in different species. For example, components involved in flagellar motility were found only in the motile species TD, as expected, with few exceptions scattered in several streptococcal species, likely associated with chemotaxis. Transposable elements were only found in the two Bacteroidales species PG and TF, and half of the AA genomes. Genes involved in CRISPR were prevalent in most oral species. Furthermore, prophage related subsystems were also commonly found in most species except for PG and Streptococcus mutans, in which very few genomes contain prophage components. Comparisons between pathogenic (P) and nonpathogenic (NP) genomes also identified genes potentially important for virulence. Two such comparisons were performed between AA (P) and several A. aphrophilus (NP) strains, and between S. mutans + S. sobrinus (P) and other oral streptococcal species (NP). This comparative genomics approach can be readily used to identify functions unique to

  15. 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

  16. Genomic Analysis of Complex Microbial Communities in Wounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Permutation Multivariate Analysis of Variance ( PerMANOVA ). We used PerMANOVA to test the null-hypothesis of no... permutation -based version of the multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA). PerMANOVA uses the distances between samples to partition variance and...coli. Antibiotics, bacteria, community analysis , diabetes, pyrosequencing, wound, wound therapy, 16S rRNA gene Genomic Analysis of Complex

  17. A system-level model for the microbial regulatory genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Aaron N; Reiss, David J; Allard, Antoine; Wu, Wei-Ju; Salvanha, Diego M; Plaisier, Christopher L; Chandrasekaran, Sriram; Pan, Min; Kaur, Amardeep; Baliga, Nitin S

    2014-07-15

    Microbes can tailor transcriptional responses to diverse environmental challenges despite having streamlined genomes and a limited number of regulators. Here, we present data-driven models that capture the dynamic interplay of the environment and genome-encoded regulatory programs of two types of prokaryotes: Escherichia coli (a bacterium) and Halobacterium salinarum (an archaeon). The models reveal how the genome-wide distributions of cis-acting gene regulatory elements and the conditional influences of transcription factors at each of those elements encode programs for eliciting a wide array of environment-specific responses. We demonstrate how these programs partition transcriptional regulation of genes within regulons and operons to re-organize gene-gene functional associations in each environment. The models capture fitness-relevant co-regulation by different transcriptional control mechanisms acting across the entire genome, to define a generalized, system-level organizing principle for prokaryotic gene regulatory networks that goes well beyond existing paradigms of gene regulation. An online resource (http://egrin2.systemsbiology.net) has been developed to facilitate multiscale exploration of conditional gene regulation in the two prokaryotes. © 2014 The Authors. Published under the terms of the CC BY 4.0 license.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Distilled single-cell genome sequencing and de novo assembly for sparse microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taghavi, Zeinab; Movahedi, Narjes S; Draghici, Sorin; Chitsaz, Hamidreza

    2013-10-01

    Identification of every single genome present in a microbial sample is an important and challenging task with crucial applications. It is challenging because there are typically millions of cells in a microbial sample, the vast majority of which elude cultivation. The most accurate method to date is exhaustive single-cell sequencing using multiple displacement amplification, which is simply intractable for a large number of cells. However, there is hope for breaking this barrier, as the number of different cell types with distinct genome sequences is usually much smaller than the number of cells. Here, we present a novel divide and conquer method to sequence and de novo assemble all distinct genomes present in a microbial sample with a sequencing cost and computational complexity proportional to the number of genome types, rather than the number of cells. The method is implemented in a tool called Squeezambler. We evaluated Squeezambler on simulated data. The proposed divide and conquer method successfully reduces the cost of sequencing in comparison with the naïve exhaustive approach. Squeezambler and datasets are available at http://compbio.cs.wayne.edu/software/squeezambler/.

  3. The genome sequence of Barbarea vulgaris facilitates the study of ecological biochemistry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Byrne, Stephen L.; Erthmann, Pernille Østerbye; Agerbirk, Niels

    2017-01-01

    The genus Barbarea has emerged as a model for evolution and ecology of plant defense compounds, due to its unusual glucosinolate profile and production of saponins, unique to the Brassicaceae. One species, B. vulgaris, includes two ‘types’, G-type and P-type that differ in trichome density, and t...... deter larvae to the extent that they die. The B. vulgaris genome will promote the study of mechanisms in ecological biochemistry to benefit crop resistance breeding....

  4. 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.

  5. Population genetics meets ecological genomics and community ecology in Cornus Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Understanding evolutionary/ecological consequences of alien pests on native forests is important to conservation. Cornus florida L. subsp. florida is an ecologically important understory tree in forests of the eastern United States but faces heavy mortality from dogwood anthracnose. Understanding ge...

  6. Functional profiling of cyanobacterial genomes and its role in ecological adaptations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ratna Prabha

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available With the availability of complete genome sequences of many cyanobacterial species, it is becoming feasible to study the broad prospective of the environmental adaptation and the overall changes at transcriptional and translational level in these organisms. In the evolutionary phase, niche-specific competitive forces have resulted in specific features of the cyanobacterial genomes. In this study, functional composition of the 84 different cyanobacterial genomes and their adaptations to different environments was examined by identifying the genomic composition for specific cellular processes, which reflect their genomic functional profile and ecological adaptation. It was identified that among cyanobacterial genomes, metabolic genes have major share over other categories and differentiation of genomic functional profile was observed for the species inhabiting different habitats. The cyanobacteria of freshwater and other habitats accumulate large number of poorly characterized genes. Strain specific functions were also reported in many cyanobacterial members, of which an important feature was the occurrence of phage-related sequences. From this study, it can be speculated that habitat is one of the major factors in giving the shape of functional composition of cyanobacterial genomes towards their ecological adaptations.

  7. Nonhybrid, finished microbial genome assemblies from long-read SMRT sequencing data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chin, Chen-Shan; Alexander, David H; Marks, Patrick; Klammer, Aaron A; Drake, James; Heiner, Cheryl; Clum, Alicia; Copeland, Alex; Huddleston, John; Eichler, Evan E; Turner, Stephen W; Korlach, Jonas

    2013-06-01

    We present a hierarchical genome-assembly process (HGAP) for high-quality de novo microbial genome assemblies using only a single, long-insert shotgun DNA library in conjunction with Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) DNA sequencing. Our method uses the longest reads as seeds to recruit all other reads for construction of highly accurate preassembled reads through a directed acyclic graph-based consensus procedure, which we follow with assembly using off-the-shelf long-read assemblers. In contrast to hybrid approaches, HGAP does not require highly accurate raw reads for error correction. We demonstrate efficient genome assembly for several microorganisms using as few as three SMRT Cell zero-mode waveguide arrays of sequencing and for BACs using just one SMRT Cell. Long repeat regions can be successfully resolved with this workflow. We also describe a consensus algorithm that incorporates SMRT sequencing primary quality values to produce de novo genome sequence exceeding 99.999% accuracy.

  8. On the total number of genes and their length distribution in complete microbial genomes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skovgaard, Marie; Jensen, L.J.; Brunak, Søren

    2001-01-01

    In sequenced microbial genomes, some of the annotated genes are actually not protein-coding genes, but rather open reading frames that occur by chance. Therefore, the number of annotated genes is higher than the actual number of genes for most of these microbes. Comparison of the length...... distribution of the annotated genes with the length distribution of those matching a known protein reveals that too many short genes are annotated in many genomes. Here we estimate the true number of protein-coding genes for sequenced genomes. Although it is often claimed that Escherichia coli has about 4300...... genes, we show that it probably has only similar to 3800 genes, and that a similar discrepancy exists for almost all published genomes....

  9. State of human genome at low-doses ecological influences

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mel'nov, S.B.; Rytik, P.G.; Kruchinskij, N.G.; Kovalev, V.A.; Palamar, L.A.; Senyuk, O.F.

    2005-01-01

    The results of analysis of the state of genome (amounts of single strand breaks in DNA) of the persons exposed to influence of complex 'Chernobyl factor' in remote terms after a failure on ChNPP are resulted. Findings allowed to expose the increase of level of single strand breaks in DNA at the chronically irradiated persons mainly carry adaptive character and probably can be related to instability of genome. Thus at organism level growth of mutational pressure and strengthening of instability of cellular genome is related to the change of spectrum of biological characteristics, in particular individual reaction of somatic cells of victims on additional mutagens influences. The indicated changes can testify to existence of potential risk of remote genetic consequences of long-term irradiation influence in low doses

  10. 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

  11. 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".

  12. '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.

  13. Rhizome of life, catastrophes, sequence exchanges, gene creations and giant viruses: How microbial genomics challenges Darwin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vicky eMerhej

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Darwin’s theory about the evolution of species has been the object of considerable dispute. In this review, we have described seven key principles in Darwin’s book The Origin of Species and tried to present how genomics challenge each of these concepts and improve our knowledge about evolution. Darwin believed that species evolution consists on a positive directional selection ensuring the survival of the fittest. The most developed state of the species is characterized by increasing complexity. Darwin proposed the theory of descent with modification according to which all species evolve from a single common ancestor through a gradual process of small modification of their vertical inheritance. Finally, the process of evolution can be depicted in the form of a tree. However, microbial genomics showed that evolution is better described as the biological changes over time." The mode of change is not unidirectional and does not necessarily favors advantageous mutations to increase fitness it is rather subject to random selection as a result of catastrophic stochastic processes. Complexity is not necessarily the completion of development: several complex organisms have gone extinct and many microbes including bacteria with intracellular lifestyle have streamlined highly effective genomes. Genomes evolve through large events of gene deletions, duplications, insertions and genomes rearrangements rather than a gradual adaptative process. Genomes are dynamic and chimeric entities with gene repertoires that result from vertical and horizontal acquisitions as well as de novo gene creation. The chimeric character of microbial genomes excludes the possibility of finding a single common ancestor for all the genes recorded currently. Genomes are collections of genes with different evolutionary histories that cannot be represented by a single tree of life. A forest, a network or a rhizome of life may be more accurate to represent evolutionary relationships

  14. INDIGO – INtegrated Data Warehouse of MIcrobial GenOmes with Examples from the Red Sea Extremophiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alam, Intikhab; Antunes, André; Kamau, Allan Anthony; Ba alawi, Wail; Kalkatawi, Manal; Stingl, Ulrich; Bajic, Vladimir B.

    2013-01-01

    Background The next generation sequencing technologies substantially increased the throughput of microbial genome sequencing. To functionally annotate newly sequenced microbial genomes, a variety of experimental and computational methods are used. Integration of information from different sources is a powerful approach to enhance such annotation. Functional analysis of microbial genomes, necessary for downstream experiments, crucially depends on this annotation but it is hampered by the current lack of suitable information integration and exploration systems for microbial genomes. Results We developed a data warehouse system (INDIGO) that enables the integration of annotations for exploration and analysis of newly sequenced microbial genomes. INDIGO offers an opportunity to construct complex queries and combine annotations from multiple sources starting from genomic sequence to protein domain, gene ontology and pathway levels. This data warehouse is aimed at being populated with information from genomes of pure cultures and uncultured single cells of Red Sea bacteria and Archaea. Currently, INDIGO contains information from Salinisphaera shabanensis, Haloplasma contractile, and Halorhabdus tiamatea - extremophiles isolated from deep-sea anoxic brine lakes of the Red Sea. We provide examples of utilizing the system to gain new insights into specific aspects on the unique lifestyle and adaptations of these organisms to extreme environments. Conclusions We developed a data warehouse system, INDIGO, which enables comprehensive integration of information from various resources to be used for annotation, exploration and analysis of microbial genomes. It will be regularly updated and extended with new genomes. It is aimed to serve as a resource dedicated to the Red Sea microbes. In addition, through INDIGO, we provide our Automatic Annotation of Microbial Genomes (AAMG) pipeline. The INDIGO web server is freely available at http://www.cbrc.kaust.edu.sa/indigo. PMID

  15. On the total number of genes and their length distribution in complete microbial genomes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skovgaard, M; Jensen, L J; Brunak, S

    2001-01-01

    In sequenced microbial genomes, some of the annotated genes are actually not protein-coding genes, but rather open reading frames that occur by chance. Therefore, the number of annotated genes is higher than the actual number of genes for most of these microbes. Comparison of the length distribut......In sequenced microbial genomes, some of the annotated genes are actually not protein-coding genes, but rather open reading frames that occur by chance. Therefore, the number of annotated genes is higher than the actual number of genes for most of these microbes. Comparison of the length...... distribution of the annotated genes with the length distribution of those matching a known protein reveals that too many short genes are annotated in many genomes. Here we estimate the true number of protein-coding genes for sequenced genomes. Although it is often claimed that Escherichia coli has about 4300...... genes, we show that it probably has only approximately 3800 genes, and that a similar discrepancy exists for almost all published genomes....

  16. Complete genome sequence of Defluviimonas alba cai42T, a microbial exopolysaccharides producer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Jie-Yu; Geng, Shuang; Xu, Lian; Hu, Bing; Sun, Ji-Quan; Nie, Yong; Tang, Yue-Qin; Wu, Xiao-Lei

    2016-12-10

    Defluviimonas alba cai42 T , isolated from the oil-production water in Xinjiang Oilfield in China, has a strong ability to produce exopolysaccharides (EPS). We hereby present its complete genome sequence information which consists of a circular chromosome and three plasmids. The strain characteristically contains various genes encoding for enzymes involved in EPS biosynthesis, modification, and export. According to the genomic and physiochemical data, it is predicted that the strain has the potential to be utilized in industrial production of microbial EPS. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Ecology, Diversity and Comparative Genomics of Oceanic Cyanobacterial Viruses

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-06-01

    A. P., Terenzi, M. F., Truffi, D., Tsai, S. M., Tsuhako, M. H., Vallada, H., Van Sluys, M. A., Verjovski-Almeida, S., Vettore, A. L., Zago , M. A...L., Zago , M. A., Zatz, M., Meidanis, J., and Setubal, J. C. (2000). The genome sequence of the plant pathogen Xylella fastidiosa. The Xylelia

  1. 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.

  2. Analyzing the genomic variation of microbial cell factories in the era of “New Biotechnology”

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Herrgard, Markus; Panagiotou, Gianni

    2012-01-01

    The application of genome-scale technologies, both experimental and in silico, to industrial biotechnology has allowed improving the conversion of biomass-derived feedstocks to chemicals, materials and fuels through microbial fermentation. In particular, due to rapidly decreasing costs and its...... technologies for finding the underlying molecular mechanisms for (a) improved carbon source utilization, (b) increased product formation, and (c) stress tolerance. We also discuss the strengths and weaknesses of different strategies for mapping industrially relevant genotype-to-phenotype links including...

  3. 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.

  4. Genome analysis of multiple pathogenic isolates of Streptococcus agalactiae : Implications for the microbial "pan-genome"

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tettelin, H; Masignani, [No Value; Cieslewicz, MJ; Donati, C; Medini, D; Ward, NL; Angiuoli, SV; Crabtree, J; Jones, AL; Durkin, AS; DeBoy, RT; Davidsen, TM; Mora, M; Scarselli, M; Ros, IMY; Peterson, JD; Hauser, CR; Sundaram, JP; Nelson, WC; Madupu, R; Brinkac, LM; Dodson, RJ; Rosovitz, MJ; Sullivan, SA; Daugherty, SC; Haft, DH; Selengut, J; Gwinn, ML; Zhou, LW; Zafar, N; Khouri, H; Radune, D; Dimitrov, G; Watkins, K; O'Connor, KJB; Smith, S; Utterback, TR; White, O; Rubens, CE; Grandi, G; Madoff, LC; Kasper, DL; Telford, JL; Wessels, MR; Rappuoli, R; Fraser, CM

    2005-01-01

    The development of efficient and inexpensive genome sequencing methods has revolutionized the study of human bacterial pathogens and improved vaccine design. Unfortunately, the sequence of a single genome does not reflect how genetic variability drives pathogenesis within a bacterial species and

  5. CloVR-Comparative: automated, cloud-enabled comparative microbial genome sequence analysis pipeline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrawal, Sonia; Arze, Cesar; Adkins, Ricky S; Crabtree, Jonathan; Riley, David; Vangala, Mahesh; Galens, Kevin; Fraser, Claire M; Tettelin, Hervé; White, Owen; Angiuoli, Samuel V; Mahurkar, Anup; Fricke, W Florian

    2017-04-27

    The benefit of increasing genomic sequence data to the scientific community depends on easy-to-use, scalable bioinformatics support. CloVR-Comparative combines commonly used bioinformatics tools into an intuitive, automated, and cloud-enabled analysis pipeline for comparative microbial genomics. CloVR-Comparative runs on annotated complete or draft genome sequences that are uploaded by the user or selected via a taxonomic tree-based user interface and downloaded from NCBI. CloVR-Comparative runs reference-free multiple whole-genome alignments to determine unique, shared and core coding sequences (CDSs) and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Output includes short summary reports and detailed text-based results files, graphical visualizations (phylogenetic trees, circular figures), and a database file linked to the Sybil comparative genome browser. Data up- and download, pipeline configuration and monitoring, and access to Sybil are managed through CloVR-Comparative web interface. CloVR-Comparative and Sybil are distributed as part of the CloVR virtual appliance, which runs on local computers or the Amazon EC2 cloud. Representative datasets (e.g. 40 draft and complete Escherichia coli genomes) are processed in genomics projects, while eliminating the need for on-site computational resources and expertise.

  6. A catalogue of 136 microbial draft genomes from Red Sea metagenomes

    KAUST Repository

    Haroon, Mohamed; Thompson, Luke R.; Parks, Donovan H.; Hugenholtz, Philip; Stingl, Ulrich

    2016-01-01

    Earth is expected to continue warming and the Red Sea is a model environment for understanding the effects of global warming on ocean microbiomes due to its unusually high temperature, salinity and solar irradiance. However, most microbial diversity analyses of the Red Sea have been limited to cultured representatives and single marker gene analyses, hence neglecting the substantial uncultured majority. Here, we report 136 microbial genomes (completion minus contamination is ≥50%) assembled from 45 metagenomes from eight stations spanning the Red Sea and taken from multiple depths between 10 to 500 m. Phylogenomic analysis showed that most of the retrieved genomes belong to seven different phyla of known marine microbes, but more than half representing currently uncultured species. The open-access data presented here is the largest number of Red Sea representative microbial genomes reported in a single study and will help facilitate future studies in understanding the physiology of these microorganisms and how they have adapted to the relatively harsh conditions of the Red Sea.

  7. A catalogue of 136 microbial draft genomes from Red Sea metagenomes

    KAUST Repository

    Haroon, Mohamed

    2016-07-05

    Earth is expected to continue warming and the Red Sea is a model environment for understanding the effects of global warming on ocean microbiomes due to its unusually high temperature, salinity and solar irradiance. However, most microbial diversity analyses of the Red Sea have been limited to cultured representatives and single marker gene analyses, hence neglecting the substantial uncultured majority. Here, we report 136 microbial genomes (completion minus contamination is ≥50%) assembled from 45 metagenomes from eight stations spanning the Red Sea and taken from multiple depths between 10 to 500 m. Phylogenomic analysis showed that most of the retrieved genomes belong to seven different phyla of known marine microbes, but more than half representing currently uncultured species. The open-access data presented here is the largest number of Red Sea representative microbial genomes reported in a single study and will help facilitate future studies in understanding the physiology of these microorganisms and how they have adapted to the relatively harsh conditions of the Red Sea.

  8. A catalogue of 136 microbial draft genomes from Red Sea metagenomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haroon, Mohamed F; Thompson, Luke R; Parks, Donovan H; Hugenholtz, Philip; Stingl, Ulrich

    2016-07-05

    Earth is expected to continue warming and the Red Sea is a model environment for understanding the effects of global warming on ocean microbiomes due to its unusually high temperature, salinity and solar irradiance. However, most microbial diversity analyses of the Red Sea have been limited to cultured representatives and single marker gene analyses, hence neglecting the substantial uncultured majority. Here, we report 136 microbial genomes (completion minus contamination is ≥50%) assembled from 45 metagenomes from eight stations spanning the Red Sea and taken from multiple depths between 10 to 500 m. Phylogenomic analysis showed that most of the retrieved genomes belong to seven different phyla of known marine microbes, but more than half representing currently uncultured species. The open-access data presented here is the largest number of Red Sea representative microbial genomes reported in a single study and will help facilitate future studies in understanding the physiology of these microorganisms and how they have adapted to the relatively harsh conditions of the Red Sea.

  9. Ecological genomics for coral and sea urchin conservation in times of climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpizo-Ituarte, E.; Hofmann, G.; Fangue, N.; Cupul-Magaña, A.; Rodríguez-Troncoso, A. P.; Díaz-Pérez, L.; Olivares Bañuelos, T.; Escobar Fernández, R.

    2010-03-01

    If atmospheric CO2 levels continue to increase, it is predicted that the average ocean sea surface temperature will also increase and ocean pH will decrease to levels not experienced by marine organisms for millions of years. Understanding the impact of these stressors will require the study of several marine organisms, and this knowledge will be fundamental to our ability to predict possible effects along large geographical regions and across phyla. Ecological genomics, defined as the use of molecular techniques to answer ecological questions, offers a set of tools that can help us better understand the responses of marine organisms to changes in their environment. In the present work we are using genomic tools to characterize the response of corals and sea urchins to environmental stress. On one side, coral species represent a useful model due to its functions as "environmental sentinels" in tropical ecosystems; on the other hand, species of sea urchins, with the recent sequence of the genome of the purple sea urchin S. purpuratus, offers important genomic resources. Recent results in corals and in sea urchins have shown that the response to stressful conditions can be detected using molecular genomic markers. Continued study of the mRNA expression patterns of several important gene families including calcification genes as well as genes involved in the cellular stress response such as heat shock proteins, will be valuable index of ecological stress in marine systems. These data can be integrated into better strategies of conservation and management of the oceans.

  10. Ecological venomics: How genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics can shed new light on the ecology and evolution of venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunagar, Kartik; Morgenstern, David; Reitzel, Adam M; Moran, Yehu

    2016-03-01

    Animal venom is a complex cocktail of bioactive chemicals that traditionally drew interest mostly from biochemists and pharmacologists. However, in recent years the evolutionary and ecological importance of venom is realized as this trait has direct and strong influence on interactions between species. Moreover, venom content can be modulated by environmental factors. Like many other fields of biology, venom research has been revolutionized in recent years by the introduction of systems biology approaches, i.e., genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics. The employment of these methods in venom research is known as 'venomics'. In this review we describe the history and recent advancements of venomics and discuss how they are employed in studying venom in general and in particular in the context of evolutionary ecology. We also discuss the pitfalls and challenges of venomics and what the future may hold for this emerging scientific field. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. PATtyFams: Protein families for the microbial genomes in the PATRIC database

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James J Davis

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The ability to build accurate protein families is a fundamental operation in bioinformatics that influences comparative analyses, genome annotation and metabolic modeling. For several years we have been maintaining protein families for all microbial genomes in the PATRIC database (Pathosystems Resource Integration Center, patricbrc.org in order to drive many of the comparative analysis tools that are available through the PATRIC website. However, due to the burgeoning number of genomes, traditional approaches for generating protein families are becoming prohibitive. In this report, we describe a new approach for generating protein families, which we call PATtyFams. This method uses the k-mer-based function assignments available through RAST (Rapid Annotation using Subsystem Technology to rapidly guide family formation, and then differentiates the function-based groups into families using a Markov Cluster algorithm (MCL. This new approach for generating protein families is rapid, scalable and has properties that are consistent with alignment-based methods.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. How agricultural management shapes soil microbial communities: patterns emerging from genetic and genomic studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daly, Amanda; Grandy, A. Stuart

    2016-04-01

    Agriculture is a predominant land use and thus a large influence on global carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) balances, climate, and human health. If we are to produce food, fiber, and fuel sustainably we must maximize agricultural yield while minimizing negative environmental consequences, goals towards which we have made great strides through agronomic advances. However, most agronomic strategies have been designed with a view of soil as a black box, largely ignoring the way management is mediated by soil biota. Because soil microbes play a central role in many of the processes that deliver nutrients to crops and support their health and productivity, agricultural management strategies targeted to exploit or support microbial activity should deliver additional benefits. To do this we must determine how microbial community structure and function are shaped by agricultural practices, but until recently our characterizations of soil microbial communities in agricultural soils have been largely limited to broad taxonomic classes due to methodological constraints. With advances in high-throughput genetic and genomic sequencing techniques, better taxonomic resolution now enables us to determine how agricultural management affects specific microbes and, in turn, nutrient cycling outcomes. Here we unite findings from published research that includes genetic or genomic data about microbial community structure (e.g. 454, Illumina, clone libraries, qPCR) in soils under agricultural management regimes that differ in type and extent of tillage, cropping selections and rotations, inclusion of cover crops, organic amendments, and/or synthetic fertilizer application. We delineate patterns linking agricultural management to microbial diversity, biomass, C- and N-content, and abundance of microbial taxa; furthermore, where available, we compare patterns in microbial communities to patterns in soil extracellular enzyme activities, catabolic profiles, inorganic nitrogen pools, and nitrogen

  15. 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

  16. Comparative Genomic Analysis Reveals Ecological Differentiation in the Genus Carnobacterium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iskandar, Christelle F; Borges, Frédéric; Taminiau, Bernard; Daube, Georges; Zagorec, Monique; Remenant, Benoît; Leisner, Jørgen J; Hansen, Martin A; Sørensen, Søren J; Mangavel, Cécile; Cailliez-Grimal, Catherine; Revol-Junelles, Anne-Marie

    2017-01-01

    Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) differ in their ability to colonize food and animal-associated habitats: while some species are specialized and colonize a limited number of habitats, other are generalist and are able to colonize multiple animal-linked habitats. In the current study, Carnobacterium was used as a model genus to elucidate the genetic basis of these colonization differences. Analyses of 16S rRNA gene meta-barcoding data showed that C. maltaromaticum followed by C. divergens are the most prevalent species in foods derived from animals (meat, fish, dairy products), and in the gut. According to phylogenetic analyses, these two animal-adapted species belong to one of two deeply branched lineages. The second lineage contains species isolated from habitats where contact with animal is rare. Genome analyses revealed that members of the animal-adapted lineage harbor a larger secretome than members of the other lineage. The predicted cell-surface proteome is highly diversified in C. maltaromaticum and C. divergens with genes involved in adaptation to the animal milieu such as those encoding biopolymer hydrolytic enzymes, a heme uptake system, and biopolymer-binding adhesins. These species also exhibit genes for gut adaptation and respiration. In contrast, Carnobacterium species belonging to the second lineage encode a poorly diversified cell-surface proteome, lack genes for gut adaptation and are unable to respire. These results shed light on the important genomics traits required for adaptation to animal-linked habitats in generalist Carnobacterium .

  17. 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.

  18. Challenging a bioinformatic tool's ability to detect microbial contaminants using in silico whole genome sequencing data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Nathan D; Zook, Justin M; Morrow, Jayne B; Lin, Nancy J

    2017-01-01

    High sensitivity methods such as next generation sequencing and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) are adversely impacted by organismal and DNA contaminants. Current methods for detecting contaminants in microbial materials (genomic DNA and cultures) are not sensitive enough and require either a known or culturable contaminant. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) is a promising approach for detecting contaminants due to its sensitivity and lack of need for a priori assumptions about the contaminant. Prior to applying WGS, we must first understand its limitations for detecting contaminants and potential for false positives. Herein we demonstrate and characterize a WGS-based approach to detect organismal contaminants using an existing metagenomic taxonomic classification algorithm. Simulated WGS datasets from ten genera as individuals and binary mixtures of eight organisms at varying ratios were analyzed to evaluate the role of contaminant concentration and taxonomy on detection. For the individual genomes the false positive contaminants reported depended on the genus, with Staphylococcus , Escherichia , and Shigella having the highest proportion of false positives. For nearly all binary mixtures the contaminant was detected in the in-silico datasets at the equivalent of 1 in 1,000 cells, though F. tularensis was not detected in any of the simulated contaminant mixtures and Y. pestis was only detected at the equivalent of one in 10 cells. Once a WGS method for detecting contaminants is characterized, it can be applied to evaluate microbial material purity, in efforts to ensure that contaminants are characterized in microbial materials used to validate pathogen detection assays, generate genome assemblies for database submission, and benchmark sequencing methods.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Comparison of microbial DNA enrichment tools for metagenomic whole genome sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thoendel, Matthew; Jeraldo, Patricio R; Greenwood-Quaintance, Kerryl E; Yao, Janet Z; Chia, Nicholas; Hanssen, Arlen D; Abdel, Matthew P; Patel, Robin

    2016-08-01

    Metagenomic whole genome sequencing for detection of pathogens in clinical samples is an exciting new area for discovery and clinical testing. A major barrier to this approach is the overwhelming ratio of human to pathogen DNA in samples with low pathogen abundance, which is typical of most clinical specimens. Microbial DNA enrichment methods offer the potential to relieve this limitation by improving this ratio. Two commercially available enrichment kits, the NEBNext Microbiome DNA Enrichment Kit and the Molzym MolYsis Basic kit, were tested for their ability to enrich for microbial DNA from resected arthroplasty component sonicate fluids from prosthetic joint infections or uninfected sonicate fluids spiked with Staphylococcus aureus. Using spiked uninfected sonicate fluid there was a 6-fold enrichment of bacterial DNA with the NEBNext kit and 76-fold enrichment with the MolYsis kit. Metagenomic whole genome sequencing of sonicate fluid revealed 13- to 85-fold enrichment of bacterial DNA using the NEBNext enrichment kit. The MolYsis approach achieved 481- to 9580-fold enrichment, resulting in 7 to 59% of sequencing reads being from the pathogens known to be present in the samples. These results demonstrate the usefulness of these tools when testing clinical samples with low microbial burden using next generation sequencing. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Genome-scale modelling of microbial metabolism with temporal and spatial resolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henson, Michael A

    2015-12-01

    Most natural microbial systems have evolved to function in environments with temporal and spatial variations. A major limitation to understanding such complex systems is the lack of mathematical modelling frameworks that connect the genomes of individual species and temporal and spatial variations in the environment to system behaviour. The goal of this review is to introduce the emerging field of spatiotemporal metabolic modelling based on genome-scale reconstructions of microbial metabolism. The extension of flux balance analysis (FBA) to account for both temporal and spatial variations in the environment is termed spatiotemporal FBA (SFBA). Following a brief overview of FBA and its established dynamic extension, the SFBA problem is introduced and recent progress is described. Three case studies are reviewed to illustrate the current state-of-the-art and possible future research directions are outlined. The author posits that SFBA is the next frontier for microbial metabolic modelling and a rapid increase in methods development and system applications is anticipated. © 2015 Authors; published by Portland Press Limited.

  3. Tools for Accurate and Efficient Analysis of Complex Evolutionary Mechanisms in Microbial Genomes. Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nakhleh, Luay

    2014-03-12

    I proposed to develop computationally efficient tools for accurate detection and reconstruction of microbes' complex evolutionary mechanisms, thus enabling rapid and accurate annotation, analysis and understanding of their genomes. To achieve this goal, I proposed to address three aspects. (1) Mathematical modeling. A major challenge facing the accurate detection of HGT is that of distinguishing between these two events on the one hand and other events that have similar "effects." I proposed to develop a novel mathematical approach for distinguishing among these events. Further, I proposed to develop a set of novel optimization criteria for the evolutionary analysis of microbial genomes in the presence of these complex evolutionary events. (2) Algorithm design. In this aspect of the project, I proposed to develop an array of e cient and accurate algorithms for analyzing microbial genomes based on the formulated optimization criteria. Further, I proposed to test the viability of the criteria and the accuracy of the algorithms in an experimental setting using both synthetic as well as biological data. (3) Software development. I proposed the nal outcome to be a suite of software tools which implements the mathematical models as well as the algorithms developed.

  4. 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.

  5. A Novel Tool for Microbial Genome Editing Using the Restriction-Modification System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Hua; Deng, Aihua; Liu, Shuwen; Cui, Di; Qiu, Qidi; Wang, Laiyou; Yang, Zhao; Wu, Jie; Shang, Xiuling; Zhang, Yun; Wen, Tingyi

    2018-01-19

    Scarless genetic manipulation of genomes is an essential tool for biological research. The restriction-modification (R-M) system is a defense system in bacteria that protects against invading genomes on the basis of its ability to distinguish foreign DNA from self DNA. Here, we designed an R-M system-mediated genome editing (RMGE) technique for scarless genetic manipulation in different microorganisms. For bacteria with Type IV REase, an RMGE technique using the inducible DNA methyltransferase gene, bceSIIM (RMGE-bceSIIM), as the counter-selection cassette was developed to edit the genome of Escherichia coli. For bacteria without Type IV REase, an RMGE technique based on a restriction endonuclease (RMGE-mcrA) was established in Bacillus subtilis. These techniques were successfully used for gene deletion and replacement with nearly 100% counter-selection efficiencies, which were higher and more stable compared to conventional methods. Furthermore, precise point mutation without limiting sites was achieved in E. coli using RMGE-bceSIIM to introduce a single base mutation of A128C into the rpsL gene. In addition, the RMGE-mcrA technique was applied to delete the CAN1 gene in Saccharomyces cerevisiae DAY414 with 100% counter-selection efficiency. The effectiveness of the RMGE technique in E. coli, B. subtilis, and S. cerevisiae suggests the potential universal usefulness of this technique for microbial genome manipulation.

  6. Genomes in Turmoil: Frugality Drives Microbial Community Structure in Extremely Acidic Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmes, D. S.

    2016-12-01

    Extremely acidic environments (To gain insight into these issues, we have conducted deep bioinformatic analyses, including metabolic reconstruction of key assimilatory pathways, phylogenomics and network scrutiny of >160 genomes of acidophiles, including representatives from Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya and at least ten metagenomes of acidic environments [Cardenas JP, et al. pp 179-197 in Acidophiles, eds R. Quatrini and D. B. Johnson, Caister Academic Press, UK (2016)]. Results yielded valuable insights into cellular processes, including carbon and nitrogen management and energy production, linking biogeochemical processes to organismal physiology. They also provided insight into the evolutionary forces that shape the genomic structure of members of acidophile communities. Niche partitioning can explain diversity patterns in rapidly changing acidic environments such as bioleaching heaps. However, in spatially and temporally homogeneous acidic environments genome flux appears to provide deeper insight into the composition and evolution of acidic consortia. Acidophiles have undergone genome streamlining by gene loss promoting mutual coexistence of species that exploit complementarity use of scarce resources consistent with the Black Queen hypothesis [Morris JJ et al. mBio 3: e00036-12 (2012)]. Acidophiles also have a large pool of accessory genes (the microbial super-genome) that can be accessed by horizontal gene transfer. This further promotes dependency relationships as drivers of community structure and the evolution of keystone species. Acknowledgements: Fondecyt 1130683; Basal CCTE PFB16

  7. Expanded microbial genome coverage and improved protein family annotation in the COG database.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galperin, Michael Y; Makarova, Kira S; Wolf, Yuri I; Koonin, Eugene V

    2015-01-01

    Microbial genome sequencing projects produce numerous sequences of deduced proteins, only a small fraction of which have been or will ever be studied experimentally. This leaves sequence analysis as the only feasible way to annotate these proteins and assign to them tentative functions. The Clusters of Orthologous Groups of proteins (COGs) database (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/COG/), first created in 1997, has been a popular tool for functional annotation. Its success was largely based on (i) its reliance on complete microbial genomes, which allowed reliable assignment of orthologs and paralogs for most genes; (ii) orthology-based approach, which used the function(s) of the characterized member(s) of the protein family (COG) to assign function(s) to the entire set of carefully identified orthologs and describe the range of potential functions when there were more than one; and (iii) careful manual curation of the annotation of the COGs, aimed at detailed prediction of the biological function(s) for each COG while avoiding annotation errors and overprediction. Here we present an update of the COGs, the first since 2003, and a comprehensive revision of the COG annotations and expansion of the genome coverage to include representative complete genomes from all bacterial and archaeal lineages down to the genus level. This re-analysis of the COGs shows that the original COG assignments had an error rate below 0.5% and allows an assessment of the progress in functional genomics in the past 12 years. During this time, functions of many previously uncharacterized COGs have been elucidated and tentative functional assignments of many COGs have been validated, either by targeted experiments or through the use of high-throughput methods. A particularly important development is the assignment of functions to several widespread, conserved proteins many of which turned out to participate in translation, in particular rRNA maturation and tRNA modification. The new version of the

  8. Genome-wide association study of Arabidopsis thaliana leaf microbial community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horton, Matthew W; Bodenhausen, Natacha; Beilsmith, Kathleen; Meng, Dazhe; Muegge, Brian D; Subramanian, Sathish; Vetter, M Madlen; Vilhjálmsson, Bjarni J; Nordborg, Magnus; Gordon, Jeffrey I; Bergelson, Joy

    2014-11-10

    Identifying the factors that influence the outcome of host-microbial interactions is critical to protecting biodiversity, minimizing agricultural losses and improving human health. A few genes that determine symbiosis or resistance to infectious disease have been identified in model species, but a comprehensive examination of how a host genotype influences the structure of its microbial community is lacking. Here we report the results of a field experiment with the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana to identify the fungi and bacteria that colonize its leaves and the host loci that influence the microbe numbers. The composition of this community differs among accessions of A. thaliana. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) suggest that plant loci responsible for defense and cell wall integrity affect variation in this community. Furthermore, species richness in the bacterial community is shaped by host genetic variation, notably at loci that also influence the reproduction of viruses, trichome branching and morphogenesis.

  9. MicroScope in 2017: an expanding and evolving integrated resource for community expertise of microbial genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallenet, David; Calteau, Alexandra; Cruveiller, Stéphane; Gachet, Mathieu; Lajus, Aurélie; Josso, Adrien; Mercier, Jonathan; Renaux, Alexandre; Rollin, Johan; Rouy, Zoe; Roche, David; Scarpelli, Claude; Médigue, Claudine

    2017-01-04

    The annotation of genomes from NGS platforms needs to be automated and fully integrated. However, maintaining consistency and accuracy in genome annotation is a challenging problem because millions of protein database entries are not assigned reliable functions. This shortcoming limits the knowledge that can be extracted from genomes and metabolic models. Launched in 2005, the MicroScope platform (http://www.genoscope.cns.fr/agc/microscope) is an integrative resource that supports systematic and efficient revision of microbial genome annotation, data management and comparative analysis. Effective comparative analysis requires a consistent and complete view of biological data, and therefore, support for reviewing the quality of functional annotation is critical. MicroScope allows users to analyze microbial (meta)genomes together with post-genomic experiment results if any (i.e. transcriptomics, re-sequencing of evolved strains, mutant collections, phenotype data). It combines tools and graphical interfaces to analyze genomes and to perform the expert curation of gene functions in a comparative context. Starting with a short overview of the MicroScope system, this paper focuses on some major improvements of the Web interface, mainly for the submission of genomic data and on original tools and pipelines that have been developed and integrated in the platform: computation of pan-genomes and prediction of biosynthetic gene clusters. Today the resource contains data for more than 6000 microbial genomes, and among the 2700 personal accounts (65% of which are now from foreign countries), 14% of the users are performing expert annotations, on at least a weekly basis, contributing to improve the quality of microbial genome annotations. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  10. Genome sequence of a microbial lipid producing fungus Cryptococcus albidus NT2002.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yong, Xiaoyu; Yan, Zhiying; Xu, Lin; Zhou, Jun; Wu, Xiayuan; Wu, Yuandong; Li, Yang; Chen, Zugeng; Zhou, Hua; Wei, Ping; Jia, Honghua

    2016-04-10

    Cryptococcus albidus NT2002, isolated from the soil in Xinjiang, China, appeared to have the ability to accumulate microbial lipid by utilizing various carbon sources. The predominant properties make it as a potential bio-platform for biodiesel production. Here, we report the complete genome sequence of C. albidus NT2002, which might provide a basis for further elucidation of the genetic background of this promising strain for developing metabolic engineering strategies to produce biodiesel in a green and sustainable manner. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. The molecular dimension of microbial species: 3. Comparative genomics of Synechococcus strains with different light responses and in situ diel transcription patterns of associated ecotypes in the Mushroom Spring microbial mat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Millie T. Olsen

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Genomes were obtained for three closely related strains of Synechococcus that are representative of putative ecotypes that predominate at different depths in the 1 mm-thick, upper-green layer in the 60°C mat of Mushroom Spring, Yellowstone National Park, and exhibit different light adaptation and acclimation responses. The genomes were compared to the published genome of a previously obtained, closely related strain from a neighboring spring, and differences in both gene content and orthologous gene alleles between high-light-adapted and low-light-adapted strains were identified. Evidence of genetic differences that relate to adaptation to light intensity and/or quality, CO2 uptake, nitrogen metabolism, organic carbon metabolism, and uptake of other nutrients were found between strains of the different putative ecotypes. In situ diel transcription patterns of genes, including genes unique to either low-light-adapted or high-light-adapted strains and different alleles of an orthologous photosystem gene, revealed that expression is fine-tuned to the different light environments experienced by ecotypes prevalent at various depths in the mat. This study suggests that strains of closely related putative ecotypes have different genomic adaptations that enable them to inhabit distinct ecological niches while living in close proximity within a microbial community.

  12. Evaluation of nine popular de novo assemblers in microbial genome assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forouzan, Esmaeil; Maleki, Masoumeh Sadat Mousavi; Karkhane, Ali Asghar; Yakhchali, Bagher

    2017-12-01

    Next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies are revolutionizing biology, with Illumina being the most popular NGS platform. Short read assembly is a critical part of most genome studies using NGS. Hence, in this study, the performance of nine well-known assemblers was evaluated in the assembly of seven different microbial genomes. Effect of different read coverage and k-mer parameters on the quality of the assembly were also evaluated on both simulated and actual read datasets. Our results show that the performance of assemblers on real and simulated datasets could be significantly different, mainly because of coverage bias. According to outputs on actual read datasets, for all studied read coverages (of 7×, 25× and 100×), SPAdes and IDBA-UD clearly outperformed other assemblers based on NGA50 and accuracy metrics. Velvet is the most conservative assembler with the lowest NGA50 and error rate. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Ecological genomics in Xanthomonas: the nature of genetic adaptation with homologous recombination and host shifts

    KAUST Repository

    Huang, Chao-Li

    2015-03-15

    Background: Comparative genomics provides insights into the diversification of bacterial species. Bacterial speciation usually takes place with lasting homologous recombination, which not only acts as a cohering force between diverging lineages but brings advantageous alleles favored by natural selection, and results in ecologically distinct species, e.g., frequent host shift in Xanthomonas pathogenic to various plants. Results: Using whole-genome sequences, we examined the genetic divergence in Xanthomonas campestris that infected Brassicaceae, and X. citri, pathogenic to a wider host range. Genetic differentiation between two incipient races of X. citri pv. mangiferaeindicae was attributable to a DNA fragment introduced by phages. In contrast to most portions of the genome that had nearly equivalent levels of genetic divergence between subspecies as a result of the accumulation of point mutations, 10% of the core genome involving with homologous recombination contributed to the diversification in Xanthomonas, as revealed by the correlation between homologous recombination and genomic divergence. Interestingly, 179 genes were under positive selection; 98 (54.7%) of these genes were involved in homologous recombination, indicating that foreign genetic fragments may have caused the adaptive diversification, especially in lineages with nutritional transitions. Homologous recombination may have provided genetic materials for the natural selection, and host shifts likely triggered ecological adaptation in Xanthomonas. To a certain extent, we observed positive selection nevertheless contributed to ecological divergence beyond host shifting. Conclusion: Altogether, mediated with lasting gene flow, species formation in Xanthomonas was likely governed by natural selection that played a key role in helping the deviating populations to explore novel niches (hosts) or respond to environmental cues, subsequently triggering species diversification. © Huang et al.

  16. Ecological genomics in Xanthomonas: the nature of genetic adaptation with homologous recombination and host shifts

    KAUST Repository

    Huang, Chao-Li; Pu, Pei-Hua; Huang, Hao-Jen; Sung, Huang-Mo; Liaw, Hung-Jiun; Chen, Yi-Min; Chen, Chien-Ming; Huang, Ming-Ban; Osada, Naoki; Gojobori, Takashi; Pai, Tun-Wen; Chen, Yu-Tin; Hwang, Chi-Chuan; Chiang, Tzen-Yuh

    2015-01-01

    Background: Comparative genomics provides insights into the diversification of bacterial species. Bacterial speciation usually takes place with lasting homologous recombination, which not only acts as a cohering force between diverging lineages but brings advantageous alleles favored by natural selection, and results in ecologically distinct species, e.g., frequent host shift in Xanthomonas pathogenic to various plants. Results: Using whole-genome sequences, we examined the genetic divergence in Xanthomonas campestris that infected Brassicaceae, and X. citri, pathogenic to a wider host range. Genetic differentiation between two incipient races of X. citri pv. mangiferaeindicae was attributable to a DNA fragment introduced by phages. In contrast to most portions of the genome that had nearly equivalent levels of genetic divergence between subspecies as a result of the accumulation of point mutations, 10% of the core genome involving with homologous recombination contributed to the diversification in Xanthomonas, as revealed by the correlation between homologous recombination and genomic divergence. Interestingly, 179 genes were under positive selection; 98 (54.7%) of these genes were involved in homologous recombination, indicating that foreign genetic fragments may have caused the adaptive diversification, especially in lineages with nutritional transitions. Homologous recombination may have provided genetic materials for the natural selection, and host shifts likely triggered ecological adaptation in Xanthomonas. To a certain extent, we observed positive selection nevertheless contributed to ecological divergence beyond host shifting. Conclusion: Altogether, mediated with lasting gene flow, species formation in Xanthomonas was likely governed by natural selection that played a key role in helping the deviating populations to explore novel niches (hosts) or respond to environmental cues, subsequently triggering species diversification. © Huang et al.

  17. A Case Study into Microbial Genome Assembly Gap Sequences and Finishing Strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Utturkar, Sagar M; Klingeman, Dawn M; Hurt, Richard A; Brown, Steven D

    2017-01-01

    This study characterized regions of DNA which remained unassembled by either PacBio and Illumina sequencing technologies for seven bacterial genomes. Two genomes were manually finished using bioinformatics and PCR/Sanger sequencing approaches and regions not assembled by automated software were analyzed. Gaps present within Illumina assemblies mostly correspond to repetitive DNA regions such as multiple rRNA operon sequences. PacBio gap sequences were evaluated for several properties such as GC content, read coverage, gap length, ability to form strong secondary structures, and corresponding annotations. Our hypothesis that strong secondary DNA structures blocked DNA polymerases and contributed to gap sequences was not accepted. PacBio assemblies had few limitations overall and gaps were explained as cumulative effect of lower than average sequence coverage and repetitive sequences at contig termini. An important aspect of the present study is the compilation of biological features that interfered with assembly and included active transposons, multiple plasmid sequences, phage DNA integration, and large sequence duplication. Our targeted genome finishing approach and systematic evaluation of the unassembled DNA will be useful for others looking to close, finish, and polish microbial genome sequences.

  18. Environmental whole-genome amplification to access microbial populations in contaminated sediments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abulencia, Carl B [Diversa Corporation; Wyborski, Denise L. [Diversa Corporation; Garcia, Joseph A. [Diversa Corporation; Podar, Mircea [ORNL; Chen, Wenqiong [Diversa Corporation; Chang, Sherman H. [Diversa Corporation; Chang, Hwai W. [Diversa Corporation; Watson, David B [ORNL; Brodie, Eoin L. [Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL); Hazen, Terry [Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL); Keller, Martin [ORNL

    2006-05-01

    Low-biomass samples from nitrate and heavy metal contaminated soils yield DNA amounts that have limited use for direct, native analysis and screening. Multiple displacement amplification (MDA) using {phi}29 DNA polymerase was used to amplify whole genomes from environmental, contaminated, subsurface sediments. By first amplifying the genomic DNA (gDNA), biodiversity analysis and gDNA library construction of microbes found in contaminated soils were made possible. The MDA method was validated by analyzing amplified genome coverage from approximately five Escherichia coli cells, resulting in 99.2% genome coverage. The method was further validated by confirming overall representative species coverage and also an amplification bias when amplifying from a mix of eight known bacterial strains. We extracted DNA from samples with extremely low cell densities from a U.S. Department of Energy contaminated site. After amplification, small-subunit rRNA analysis revealed relatively even distribution of species across several major phyla. Clone libraries were constructed from the amplified gDNA, and a small subset of clones was used for shotgun sequencing. BLAST analysis of the library clone sequences showed that 64.9% of the sequences had significant similarities to known proteins, and 'clusters of orthologous groups' (COG) analysis revealed that more than half of the sequences from each library contained sequence similarity to known proteins. The libraries can be readily screened for native genes or any target of interest. Whole-genome amplification of metagenomic DNA from very minute microbial sources, while introducing an amplification bias, will allow access to genomic information that was not previously accessible.

  19. Environmental Whole-Genome Amplification to Access Microbial Diversity in Contaminated Sediments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abulencia, C.B.; Wyborski, D.L.; Garcia, J.; Podar, M.; Chen, W.; Chang, S.H.; Chang, H.W.; Watson, D.; Brodie,E.I.; Hazen, T.C.; Keller, M.

    2005-12-10

    Low-biomass samples from nitrate and heavy metal contaminated soils yield DNA amounts that have limited use for direct, native analysis and screening. Multiple displacement amplification (MDA) using ?29 DNA polymerase was used to amplify whole genomes from environmental, contaminated, subsurface sediments. By first amplifying the genomic DNA (gDNA), biodiversity analysis and gDNA library construction of microbes found in contaminated soils were made possible. The MDA method was validated by analyzing amplified genome coverage from approximately five Escherichia coli cells, resulting in 99.2 percent genome coverage. The method was further validated by confirming overall representative species coverage and also an amplification bias when amplifying from a mix of eight known bacterial strains. We extracted DNA from samples with extremely low cell densities from a U.S. Department of Energy contaminated site. After amplification, small subunit rRNA analysis revealed relatively even distribution of species across several major phyla. Clone libraries were constructed from the amplified gDNA, and a small subset of clones was used for shotgun sequencing. BLAST analysis of the library clone sequences showed that 64.9 percent of the sequences had significant similarities to known proteins, and ''clusters of orthologous groups'' (COG) analysis revealed that more than half of the sequences from each library contained sequence similarity to known proteins. The libraries can be readily screened for native genes or any target of interest. Whole-genome amplification of metagenomic DNA from very minute microbial sources, while introducing an amplification bias, will allow access to genomic information that was not previously accessible.

  20. 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

  1. Use of Modern Chemical Protein Synthesis and Advanced Fluorescent Assay Techniques to Experimentally Validate the Functional Annotation of Microbial Genomes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kent, Stephen [University of Chicago

    2012-07-20

    The objective of this research program was to prototype methods for the chemical synthesis of predicted protein molecules in annotated microbial genomes. High throughput chemical methods were to be used to make large numbers of predicted proteins and protein domains, based on microbial genome sequences. Microscale chemical synthesis methods for the parallel preparation of peptide-thioester building blocks were developed; these peptide segments are used for the parallel chemical synthesis of proteins and protein domains. Ultimately, it is envisaged that these synthetic molecules would be ‘printed’ in spatially addressable arrays. The unique ability of total synthesis to precision label protein molecules with dyes and with chemical or biochemical ‘tags’ can be used to facilitate novel assay technologies adapted from state-of-the art single molecule fluorescence detection techniques. In the future, in conjunction with modern laboratory automation this integrated set of techniques will enable high throughput experimental validation of the functional annotation of microbial genomes.

  2. Comparative genome analysis of a thermotolerant Escherichia coli obtained by Genome Replication Engineering Assisted Continuous Evolution (GREACE) and its parent strain provides new understanding of microbial heat tolerance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luan, Guodong; Bao, Guanhui; Lin, Zhao; Li, Yang; Chen, Zugen; Li, Yin; Cai, Zhen

    2015-12-25

    Heat tolerance of microbes is of great importance for efficient biorefinery and bioconversion. However, engineering and understanding of microbial heat tolerance are difficult and insufficient because it is a complex physiological trait which probably correlates with all gene functions, genetic regulations, and cellular metabolisms and activities. In this work, a novel strain engineering approach named Genome Replication Engineering Assisted Continuous Evolution (GREACE) was employed to improve the heat tolerance of Escherichia coli. When the E. coli strain carrying a mutator was cultivated under gradually increasing temperature, genome-wide mutations were continuously generated during genome replication and the mutated strains with improved thermotolerance were autonomously selected. A thermotolerant strain HR50 capable of growing at 50°C on LB agar plate was obtained within two months, demonstrating the efficiency of GREACE in improving such a complex physiological trait. To understand the improved heat tolerance, genomes of HR50 and its wildtype strain DH5α were sequenced. Evenly distributed 361 mutations covering all mutation types were found in HR50. Closed material transportations, loose genome conformation, and possibly altered cell wall structure and transcription pattern were the main differences of HR50 compared with DH5α, which were speculated to be responsible for the improved heat tolerance. This work not only expanding our understanding of microbial heat tolerance, but also emphasizing that the in vivo continuous genome mutagenesis method, GREACE, is efficient in improving microbial complex physiological trait. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Glycogenomics as a mass spectrometry-guided genome-mining method for microbial glycosylated molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kersten, Roland D; Ziemert, Nadine; Gonzalez, David J; Duggan, Brendan M; Nizet, Victor; Dorrestein, Pieter C; Moore, Bradley S

    2013-11-19

    Glycosyl groups are an essential mediator of molecular interactions in cells and on cellular surfaces. There are very few methods that directly relate sugar-containing molecules to their biosynthetic machineries. Here, we introduce glycogenomics as an experiment-guided genome-mining approach for fast characterization of glycosylated natural products (GNPs) and their biosynthetic pathways from genome-sequenced microbes by targeting glycosyl groups in microbial metabolomes. Microbial GNPs consist of aglycone and glycosyl structure groups in which the sugar unit(s) are often critical for the GNP's bioactivity, e.g., by promoting binding to a target biomolecule. GNPs are a structurally diverse class of molecules with important pharmaceutical and agrochemical applications. Herein, O- and N-glycosyl groups are characterized in their sugar monomers by tandem mass spectrometry (MS) and matched to corresponding glycosylation genes in secondary metabolic pathways by a MS-glycogenetic code. The associated aglycone biosynthetic genes of the GNP genotype then classify the natural product to further guide structure elucidation. We highlight the glycogenomic strategy by the characterization of several bioactive glycosylated molecules and their gene clusters, including the anticancer agent cinerubin B from Streptomyces sp. SPB74 and an antibiotic, arenimycin B, from Salinispora arenicola CNB-527.

  4. Systematic evaluation of bias in microbial community profiles induced by whole genome amplification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Direito, Susana O L; Zaura, Egija; Little, Miranda; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Röling, Wilfred F M

    2014-03-01

    Whole genome amplification methods facilitate the detection and characterization of microbial communities in low biomass environments. We examined the extent to which the actual community structure is reliably revealed and factors contributing to bias. One widely used [multiple displacement amplification (MDA)] and one new primer-free method [primase-based whole genome amplification (pWGA)] were compared using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based method as control. Pyrosequencing of an environmental sample and principal component analysis revealed that MDA impacted community profiles more strongly than pWGA and indicated that this related to species GC content, although an influence of DNA integrity could not be excluded. Subsequently, biases by species GC content, DNA integrity and fragment size were separately analysed using defined mixtures of DNA from various species. We found significantly less amplification of species with the highest GC content for MDA-based templates and, to a lesser extent, for pWGA. DNA fragmentation also interfered severely: species with more fragmented DNA were less amplified with MDA and pWGA. pWGA was unable to amplify low molecular weight DNA (microbial communities in low-biomass environments and for currently planned astrobiological missions to Mars. © 2013 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Integrative computational approach for genome-based study of microbial lipid-degrading enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vorapreeda, Tayvich; Thammarongtham, Chinae; Laoteng, Kobkul

    2016-07-01

    Lipid-degrading or lipolytic enzymes have gained enormous attention in academic and industrial sectors. Several efforts are underway to discover new lipase enzymes from a variety of microorganisms with particular catalytic properties to be used for extensive applications. In addition, various tools and strategies have been implemented to unravel the functional relevance of the versatile lipid-degrading enzymes for special purposes. This review highlights the study of microbial lipid-degrading enzymes through an integrative computational approach. The identification of putative lipase genes from microbial genomes and metagenomic libraries using homology-based mining is discussed, with an emphasis on sequence analysis of conserved motifs and enzyme topology. Molecular modelling of three-dimensional structure on the basis of sequence similarity is shown to be a potential approach for exploring the structural and functional relationships of candidate lipase enzymes. The perspectives on a discriminative framework of cutting-edge tools and technologies, including bioinformatics, computational biology, functional genomics and functional proteomics, intended to facilitate rapid progress in understanding lipolysis mechanism and to discover novel lipid-degrading enzymes of microorganisms are discussed.

  6. Genome-enabled Modeling of Microbial Biogeochemistry using a Trait-based Approach. Does Increasing Metabolic Complexity Increase Predictive Capabilities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, E.; Karaoz, U.; Molins, S.; Bouskill, N.; Anantharaman, K.; Beller, H. R.; Banfield, J. F.; Steefel, C. I.; Brodie, E.

    2015-12-01

    The biogeochemical functioning of ecosystems is shaped in part by genomic information stored in the subsurface microbiome. Cultivation-independent approaches allow us to extract this information through reconstruction of thousands of genomes from a microbial community. Analysis of these genomes, in turn, gives an indication of the organisms present and their functional roles. However, metagenomic analyses can currently deliver thousands of different genomes that range in abundance/importance, requiring the identification and assimilation of key physiologies and metabolisms to be represented as traits for successful simulation of subsurface processes. Here we focus on incorporating -omics information into BioCrunch, a genome-informed trait-based model that represents the diversity of microbial functional processes within a reactive transport framework. This approach models the rate of nutrient uptake and the thermodynamics of coupled electron donors and acceptors for a range of microbial metabolisms including heterotrophs and chemolithotrophs. Metabolism of exogenous substrates fuels catabolic and anabolic processes, with the proportion of energy used for cellular maintenance, respiration, biomass development, and enzyme production based upon dynamic intracellular and environmental conditions. This internal resource partitioning represents a trade-off against biomass formation and results in microbial community emergence across a fitness landscape. Biocrunch was used here in simulations that included organisms and metabolic pathways derived from a dataset of ~1200 non-redundant genomes reflecting a microbial community in a floodplain aquifer. Metagenomic data was directly used to parameterize trait values related to growth and to identify trait linkages associated with respiration, fermentation, and key enzymatic functions such as plant polymer degradation. Simulations spanned a range of metabolic complexities and highlight benefits originating from simulations

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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,...

  12. 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...

  13. The GAAS metagenomic tool and its estimations of viral and microbial average genome size in four major biomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angly, Florent E; Willner, Dana; Prieto-Davó, Alejandra; Edwards, Robert A; Schmieder, Robert; Vega-Thurber, Rebecca; Antonopoulos, Dionysios A; Barott, Katie; Cottrell, Matthew T; Desnues, Christelle; Dinsdale, Elizabeth A; Furlan, Mike; Haynes, Matthew; Henn, Matthew R; Hu, Yongfei; Kirchman, David L; McDole, Tracey; McPherson, John D; Meyer, Folker; Miller, R Michael; Mundt, Egbert; Naviaux, Robert K; Rodriguez-Mueller, Beltran; Stevens, Rick; Wegley, Linda; Zhang, Lixin; Zhu, Baoli; Rohwer, Forest

    2009-12-01

    Metagenomic studies characterize both the composition and diversity of uncultured viral and microbial communities. BLAST-based comparisons have typically been used for such analyses; however, sampling biases, high percentages of unknown sequences, and the use of arbitrary thresholds to find significant similarities can decrease the accuracy and validity of estimates. Here, we present Genome relative Abundance and Average Size (GAAS), a complete software package that provides improved estimates of community composition and average genome length for metagenomes in both textual and graphical formats. GAAS implements a novel methodology to control for sampling bias via length normalization, to adjust for multiple BLAST similarities by similarity weighting, and to select significant similarities using relative alignment lengths. In benchmark tests, the GAAS method was robust to both high percentages of unknown sequences and to variations in metagenomic sequence read lengths. Re-analysis of the Sargasso Sea virome using GAAS indicated that standard methodologies for metagenomic analysis may dramatically underestimate the abundance and importance of organisms with small genomes in environmental systems. Using GAAS, we conducted a meta-analysis of microbial and viral average genome lengths in over 150 metagenomes from four biomes to determine whether genome lengths vary consistently between and within biomes, and between microbial and viral communities from the same environment. Significant differences between biomes and within aquatic sub-biomes (oceans, hypersaline systems, freshwater, and microbialites) suggested that average genome length is a fundamental property of environments driven by factors at the sub-biome level. The behavior of paired viral and microbial metagenomes from the same environment indicated that microbial and viral average genome sizes are independent of each other, but indicative of community responses to stressors and environmental conditions.

  14. The GAAS metagenomic tool and its estimations of viral and microbial average genome size in four major biomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florent E Angly

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Metagenomic studies characterize both the composition and diversity of uncultured viral and microbial communities. BLAST-based comparisons have typically been used for such analyses; however, sampling biases, high percentages of unknown sequences, and the use of arbitrary thresholds to find significant similarities can decrease the accuracy and validity of estimates. Here, we present Genome relative Abundance and Average Size (GAAS, a complete software package that provides improved estimates of community composition and average genome length for metagenomes in both textual and graphical formats. GAAS implements a novel methodology to control for sampling bias via length normalization, to adjust for multiple BLAST similarities by similarity weighting, and to select significant similarities using relative alignment lengths. In benchmark tests, the GAAS method was robust to both high percentages of unknown sequences and to variations in metagenomic sequence read lengths. Re-analysis of the Sargasso Sea virome using GAAS indicated that standard methodologies for metagenomic analysis may dramatically underestimate the abundance and importance of organisms with small genomes in environmental systems. Using GAAS, we conducted a meta-analysis of microbial and viral average genome lengths in over 150 metagenomes from four biomes to determine whether genome lengths vary consistently between and within biomes, and between microbial and viral communities from the same environment. Significant differences between biomes and within aquatic sub-biomes (oceans, hypersaline systems, freshwater, and microbialites suggested that average genome length is a fundamental property of environments driven by factors at the sub-biome level. The behavior of paired viral and microbial metagenomes from the same environment indicated that microbial and viral average genome sizes are independent of each other, but indicative of community responses to stressors and

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Phylogeny-guided (meta)genome mining approach for the targeted discovery of new microbial natural products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Hahk-Soo

    2017-02-01

    Genomics-based methods are now commonplace in natural products research. A phylogeny-guided mining approach provides a means to quickly screen a large number of microbial genomes or metagenomes in search of new biosynthetic gene clusters of interest. In this approach, biosynthetic genes serve as molecular markers, and phylogenetic trees built with known and unknown marker gene sequences are used to quickly prioritize biosynthetic gene clusters for their metabolites characterization. An increase in the use of this approach has been observed for the last couple of years along with the emergence of low cost sequencing technologies. The aim of this review is to discuss the basic concept of a phylogeny-guided mining approach, and also to provide examples in which this approach was successfully applied to discover new natural products from microbial genomes and metagenomes. I believe that the phylogeny-guided mining approach will continue to play an important role in genomics-based natural products research.

  19. Complete genome sequence provides insights into the biodrying-related microbial function of Bacillus thermoamylovorans isolated from sewage sludge biodrying material.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Lu; Zheng, Sheng-Wei; Shen, Yu-Jun; Zheng, Guo-Di; Liu, Hong-Tao; Wu, Zhi-Ying

    2018-07-01

    To enable the development of microbial agents and identify suitable candidate used for biodrying, the existence and function of Bacillus thermoamylovorans during sewage sludge biodrying merits investigation. This study isolated a strain of B. thermoamylovorans during sludge biodrying, submitted it for complete genome sequencing and analyzed its potential microbial functions. After biodrying, the moisture content of the biodrying material decreased from 66.33% to 50.18%, and B. thermoamylovorans was the ecologically dominant Bacillus, with the primary annotations associated with amino acid transport and metabolism (9.53%) and carbohydrate transport and metabolism (8.14%). It contains 96 carbohydrate-active- enzyme-encoding gene counts, mainly distributed in glycoside hydrolases (33.3%) and glycosyl transferases (27.1%). The virulence factors are mainly associated with biosynthesis of capsule and polysaccharide capsule. This work indicates that among the biodrying microorganisms, B. thermoamylovorans has good potential for degrading recalcitrant and readily degradable components, thus being a potential microbial agent used to improve biodrying. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Complete genome sequence of Klebsiella pneumoniae J1, a protein-based microbial flocculant-producing bacterium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pang, Changlong; Li, Ang; Cui, Di; Yang, Jixian; Ma, Fang; Guo, Haijuan

    2016-02-20

    Klebsiella pneumoniae J1 is a Gram-negative strain, which belongs to a protein-based microbial flocculant-producing bacterium. However, little genetic information is known about this species. Here we carried out a whole-genome sequence analysis of this strain and report the complete genome sequence of this organism and its genetic basis for carbohydrate metabolism, capsule biosynthesis and transport system. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Linking genomics and ecology to investigate the complex evolution of an invasive Drosophila pest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ometto, Lino; Cestaro, Alessandro; Ramasamy, Sukanya; Grassi, Alberto; Revadi, Santosh; Siozios, Stefanos; Moretto, Marco; Fontana, Paolo; Varotto, Claudio; Pisani, Davide; Dekker, Teun; Wrobel, Nicola; Viola, Roberto; Pertot, Ilaria; Cavalieri, Duccio; Blaxter, Mark; Anfora, Gianfranco; Rota-Stabelli, Omar

    2013-01-01

    Drosophilid fruit flies have provided science with striking cases of behavioral adaptation and genetic innovation. A recent example is the invasive pest Drosophila suzukii, which, unlike most other Drosophila, lays eggs and feeds on undamaged, ripening fruits. This not only poses a serious threat for fruit cultivation but also offers an interesting model to study evolution of behavioral innovation. We developed genome and transcriptome resources for D. suzukii. Coupling analyses of these data with field observations, we propose a hypothesis of the origin of its peculiar ecology. Using nuclear and mitochondrial phylogenetic analyses, we confirm its Asian origin and reveal a surprising sister relationship between the eugracilis and the melanogaster subgroups. Although the D. suzukii genome is comparable in size and repeat content to other Drosophila species, it has the lowest nucleotide substitution rate among the species analyzed in this study. This finding is compatible with the overwintering diapause of D. suzukii, which results in a reduced number of generations per year compared with its sister species. Genome-scale relaxed clock analyses support a late Miocene origin of D. suzukii, concomitant with paleogeological and climatic conditions that suggest an adaptation to temperate montane forests, a hypothesis confirmed by field trapping. We propose a causal link between the ecological adaptations of D. suzukii in its native habitat and its invasive success in Europe and North America.

  2. Improved genome recovery and integrated cell-size analyses of individual uncultured microbial cells and viral particles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stepanauskas, Ramunas; Fergusson, Elizabeth A; Brown, Joseph; Poulton, Nicole J; Tupper, Ben; Labonté, Jessica M; Becraft, Eric D; Brown, Julia M; Pachiadaki, Maria G; Povilaitis, Tadas; Thompson, Brian P; Mascena, Corianna J; Bellows, Wendy K; Lubys, Arvydas

    2017-07-20

    Microbial single-cell genomics can be used to provide insights into the metabolic potential, interactions, and evolution of uncultured microorganisms. Here we present WGA-X, a method based on multiple displacement amplification of DNA that utilizes a thermostable mutant of the phi29 polymerase. WGA-X enhances genome recovery from individual microbial cells and viral particles while maintaining ease of use and scalability. The greatest improvements are observed when amplifying high G+C content templates, such as those belonging to the predominant bacteria in agricultural soils. By integrating WGA-X with calibrated index-cell sorting and high-throughput genomic sequencing, we are able to analyze genomic sequences and cell sizes of hundreds of individual, uncultured bacteria, archaea, protists, and viral particles, obtained directly from marine and soil samples, in a single experiment. This approach may find diverse applications in microbiology and in biomedical and forensic studies of humans and other multicellular organisms.Single-cell genomics can be used to study uncultured microorganisms. Here, Stepanauskas et al. present a method combining improved multiple displacement amplification and FACS, to obtain genomic sequences and cell size information from uncultivated microbial cells and viral particles in environmental samples.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. MicroScope—an integrated microbial resource for the curation and comparative analysis of genomic and metabolic data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallenet, David; Belda, Eugeni; Calteau, Alexandra; Cruveiller, Stéphane; Engelen, Stefan; Lajus, Aurélie; Le Fèvre, François; Longin, Cyrille; Mornico, Damien; Roche, David; Rouy, Zoé; Salvignol, Gregory; Scarpelli, Claude; Thil Smith, Adam Alexander; Weiman, Marion; Médigue, Claudine

    2013-01-01

    MicroScope is an integrated platform dedicated to both the methodical updating of microbial genome annotation and to comparative analysis. The resource provides data from completed and ongoing genome projects (automatic and expert annotations), together with data sources from post-genomic experiments (i.e. transcriptomics, mutant collections) allowing users to perfect and improve the understanding of gene functions. MicroScope (http://www.genoscope.cns.fr/agc/microscope) combines tools and graphical interfaces to analyse genomes and to perform the manual curation of gene annotations in a comparative context. Since its first publication in January 2006, the system (previously named MaGe for Magnifying Genomes) has been continuously extended both in terms of data content and analysis tools. The last update of MicroScope was published in 2009 in the Database journal. Today, the resource contains data for >1600 microbial genomes, of which ∼300 are manually curated and maintained by biologists (1200 personal accounts today). Expert annotations are continuously gathered in the MicroScope database (∼50 000 a year), contributing to the improvement of the quality of microbial genomes annotations. Improved data browsing and searching tools have been added, original tools useful in the context of expert annotation have been developed and integrated and the website has been significantly redesigned to be more user-friendly. Furthermore, in the context of the European project Microme (Framework Program 7 Collaborative Project), MicroScope is becoming a resource providing for the curation and analysis of both genomic and metabolic data. An increasing number of projects are related to the study of environmental bacterial (meta)genomes that are able to metabolize a large variety of chemical compounds that may be of high industrial interest. PMID:23193269

  6. 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

  7. The evolution of microbial species - a view through the genomic lens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Varghese, Neha; Mukherjee, Supratim; ivanova, Natalia; Mavromatis, Konstantinos; Konstantinidis, Konstantinos; Kyrpides, Nikos; Pati, Amrita

    2014-03-17

    For a long time prokaryotic species definition has been under debate and a constant source of turmoil in microbiology. This has recently prompted the ASM to call for a scalable and reproducible technique, which uses meaningful commonalities to cluster microorganisms into groups corresponding to prokaryotic species. Whole-genome Average Nucleotide Identity (gANI) was previously suggested as a measure of genetic distance that generally agrees with prokaryotic species assignments based on the accepted best practices (DNA-DNA hybridization and 16S rDNA similarity). In this work, we prove that gANI is indeed the meaningful commonality based on which microorganisms can be grouped into the aforementioned clusters. By analyzing 1.76 million pairs of genomes we find that identification of the closest relatives of an organism via gANI is precise, scalable, reproducible, and reflects the evolutionary dynamics of microbes. We model the previously unexplored statistical properties of gANI using 6,000 microbial genomes and apply species-specific gANI cutoffs to reveal anomalies in the current taxonomic species definitions for almost 50percent of the species with multiple genome sequences. We also provide evidence of speciation events and genetic continuums in 17.8percent of those species. We consider disagreements between gANI-based groupings and named species and demonstrate that the former have all the desired features to serve as the much-needed natural groups for moving forward with taxonomy. Further, the groupings identified are presented in detail at http://ani.jgi-psf.org to facilitate comprehensive downstream analysis for researchers across different disciplines

  8. IMGMD: A platform for the integration and standardisation of In silico Microbial Genome-scale Metabolic Models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Chao; Xu, Nan; Dong, Chuan; Ye, Yuannong; Zou, Xuan; Chen, Xiulai; Guo, Fengbiao; Liu, Liming

    2017-04-07

    Genome-scale metabolic models (GSMMs) constitute a platform that combines genome sequences and detailed biochemical information to quantify microbial physiology at the system level. To improve the unity, integrity, correctness, and format of data in published GSMMs, a consensus IMGMD database was built in the LAMP (Linux + Apache + MySQL + PHP) system by integrating and standardizing 328 GSMMs constructed for 139 microorganisms. The IMGMD database can help microbial researchers download manually curated GSMMs, rapidly reconstruct standard GSMMs, design pathways, and identify metabolic targets for strategies on strain improvement. Moreover, the IMGMD database facilitates the integration of wet-lab and in silico data to gain an additional insight into microbial physiology. The IMGMD database is freely available, without any registration requirements, at http://imgmd.jiangnan.edu.cn/database.

  9. 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

  10. Thousands of microbial genomes shed light on interconnected biogeochemical processes in an aquifer system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anantharaman, Karthik; Brown, Christopher T.; Hug, Laura A.; Sharon, Itai; Castelle, Cindy J.; Probst, Alexander J.; Thomas, Brian C.; Singh, Andrea; Wilkins, Michael J.; Karaoz, Ulas; Brodie, Eoin L.; Williams, Kenneth H.; Hubbard, Susan S.; Banfield, Jillian F.

    2016-01-01

    The subterranean world hosts up to one-fifth of all biomass, including microbial communities that drive transformations central to Earth's biogeochemical cycles. However, little is known about how complex microbial communities in such environments are structured, and how inter-organism interactions shape ecosystem function. Here we apply terabase-scale cultivation-independent metagenomics to aquifer sediments and groundwater, and reconstruct 2,540 draft-quality, near-complete and complete strain-resolved genomes that represent the majority of known bacterial phyla as well as 47 newly discovered phylum-level lineages. Metabolic analyses spanning this vast phylogenetic diversity and representing up to 36% of organisms detected in the system are used to document the distribution of pathways in coexisting organisms. Consistent with prior findings indicating metabolic handoffs in simple consortia, we find that few organisms within the community can conduct multiple sequential redox transformations. As environmental conditions change, different assemblages of organisms are selected for, altering linkages among the major biogeochemical cycles. PMID:27774985

  11. Construction of a dairy microbial genome catalog opens new perspectives for the metagenomic analysis of dairy fermented products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida, Mathieu; Hébert, Agnès; Abraham, Anne-Laure; Rasmussen, Simon; Monnet, Christophe; Pons, Nicolas; Delbès, Céline; Loux, Valentin; Batto, Jean-Michel; Leonard, Pierre; Kennedy, Sean; Ehrlich, Stanislas Dusko; Pop, Mihai; Montel, Marie-Christine; Irlinger, Françoise; Renault, Pierre

    2014-12-13

    Microbial communities of traditional cheeses are complex and insufficiently characterized. The origin, safety and functional role in cheese making of these microbial communities are still not well understood. Metagenomic analysis of these communities by high throughput shotgun sequencing is a promising approach to characterize their genomic and functional profiles. Such analyses, however, critically depend on the availability of appropriate reference genome databases against which the sequencing reads can be aligned. We built a reference genome catalog suitable for short read metagenomic analysis using a low-cost sequencing strategy. We selected 142 bacteria isolated from dairy products belonging to 137 different species and 67 genera, and succeeded to reconstruct the draft genome of 117 of them at a standard or high quality level, including isolates from the genera Kluyvera, Luteococcus and Marinilactibacillus, still missing from public database. To demonstrate the potential of this catalog, we analysed the microbial composition of the surface of two smear cheeses and one blue-veined cheese, and showed that a significant part of the microbiota of these traditional cheeses was composed of microorganisms newly sequenced in our study. Our study provides data, which combined with publicly available genome references, represents the most expansive catalog to date of cheese-associated bacteria. Using this extended dairy catalog, we revealed the presence in traditional cheese of dominant microorganisms not deliberately inoculated, mainly Gram-negative genera such as Pseudoalteromonas haloplanktis or Psychrobacter immobilis, that may contribute to the characteristics of cheese produced through traditional methods.

  12. 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.

  13. Development of a fluorescence-activated cell sorting method coupled with whole genome amplification to analyze minority and trace Dehalococcoides genomes in microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Patrick K H; Men, Yujie; Wang, Shanquan; He, Jianzhong; Alvarez-Cohen, Lisa

    2015-02-03

    Dehalococcoides mccartyi are functionally important bacteria that catalyze the reductive dechlorination of chlorinated ethenes. However, these anaerobic bacteria are fastidious to isolate, making downstream genomic characterization challenging. In order to facilitate genomic analysis, a fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) method was developed in this study to separate D. mccartyi cells from a microbial community, and the DNA of the isolated cells was processed by whole genome amplification (WGA) and hybridized onto a D. mccartyi microarray for comparative genomics against four sequenced strains. First, FACS was successfully applied to a D. mccartyi isolate as positive control, and then microarray results verified that WGA from 10(6) cells or ∼1 ng of genomic DNA yielded high-quality coverage detecting nearly all genes across the genome. As expected, some inter- and intrasample variability in WGA was observed, but these biases were minimized by performing multiple parallel amplifications. Subsequent application of the FACS and WGA protocols to two enrichment cultures containing ∼10% and ∼1% D. mccartyi cells successfully enabled genomic analysis. As proof of concept, this study demonstrates that coupling FACS with WGA and microarrays is a promising tool to expedite genomic characterization of target strains in environmental communities where the relative concentrations are low.

  14. 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.

  15. High-throughput automated microfluidic sample preparation for accurate microbial genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Soohong; De Jonghe, Joachim; Kulesa, Anthony B; Feldman, David; Vatanen, Tommi; Bhattacharyya, Roby P; Berdy, Brittany; Gomez, James; Nolan, Jill; Epstein, Slava; Blainey, Paul C

    2017-01-27

    Low-cost shotgun DNA sequencing is transforming the microbial sciences. Sequencing instruments are so effective that sample preparation is now the key limiting factor. Here, we introduce a microfluidic sample preparation platform that integrates the key steps in cells to sequence library sample preparation for up to 96 samples and reduces DNA input requirements 100-fold while maintaining or improving data quality. The general-purpose microarchitecture we demonstrate supports workflows with arbitrary numbers of reaction and clean-up or capture steps. By reducing the sample quantity requirements, we enabled low-input (∼10,000 cells) whole-genome shotgun (WGS) sequencing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and soil micro-colonies with superior results. We also leveraged the enhanced throughput to sequence ∼400 clinical Pseudomonas aeruginosa libraries and demonstrate excellent single-nucleotide polymorphism detection performance that explained phenotypically observed antibiotic resistance. Fully-integrated lab-on-chip sample preparation overcomes technical barriers to enable broader deployment of genomics across many basic research and translational applications.

  16. Single-cell genomics reveal metabolic strategies for microbial growth and survival in an oligotrophic aquifer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilkins, Michael J.; Kennedy, David W.; Castelle, Cindy; Field, Erin; Stepanauskas, Ramunas; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Konopka, Allan

    2014-02-09

    Bacteria from the genus Pedobacter are a major component of microbial assemblages at Hanford Site and have been shown to significantly change in abundance in response to the subsurface intrusion of Columbia River water. Here we employed single cell genomics techniques to shed light on the physiological niche of these microorganisms. Analysis of four Pedobacter single amplified genomes (SAGs) from Hanford Site sediments revealed a chemoheterotrophic lifestyle, with the potential to exist under both aerobic and microaerophilic conditions via expression of both aa3­-type and cbb3-type cytochrome c oxidases. These SAGs encoded a wide-range of both intra-and extra­-cellular carbohydrate-active enzymes, potentially enabling the degradation of recalcitrant substrates such as xylan and chitin, and the utilization of more labile sugars such as mannose and fucose. Coupled to these enzymes, a diversity of transporters and sugar-binding molecules were involved in the uptake of carbon from the extracellular local environment. The SAGs were enriched in TonB-dependent receptors (TBDRs), which play a key role in uptake of substrates resulting from degradation of recalcitrant carbon. CRISPR-Cas mechanisms for resisting viral infections were identified in all SAGs. These data demonstrate the potential mechanisms utilized for persistence by heterotrophic microorganisms in a carbon-limited aquifer, and hint at potential linkages between observed Pedobacter abundance shifts within the 300 Area subsurface and biogeochemical shifts associated with Columbia River water intrusion.

  17. Metagenome sequencing and 98 microbial genomes from Juan de Fuca Ridge flank subsurface fluids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jungbluth, Sean P.; Amend, Jan P.; Rappé, Michael S.

    2017-03-01

    The global deep subsurface biosphere is one of the largest reservoirs for microbial life on our planet. This study takes advantage of new sampling technologies and couples them with improvements to DNA sequencing and associated informatics tools to reconstruct the genomes of uncultivated Bacteria and Archaea from fluids collected deep within the Juan de Fuca Ridge subseafloor. Here, we generated two metagenomes from borehole observatories located 311 meters apart and, using binning tools, retrieved 98 genomes from metagenomes (GFMs). Of the GFMs, 31 were estimated to be >90% complete, while an additional 17 were >70% complete. Phylogenomic analysis revealed 53 bacterial and 45 archaeal GFMs, of which nearly all were distantly related to known cultivated isolates. In the GFMs, abundant Bacteria included Chloroflexi, Nitrospirae, Acetothermia (OP1), EM3, Aminicenantes (OP8), Gammaproteobacteria, and Deltaproteobacteria, while abundant Archaea included Archaeoglobi, Bathyarchaeota (MCG), and Marine Benthic Group E (MBG-E). These data are the first GFMs reconstructed from the deep basaltic subseafloor biosphere, and provide a dataset available for further interrogation.

  18. No boundaries: genomes, organisms, and ecological interactions responsible for divergence and reproductive isolation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etges, William J

    2014-01-01

    Revealing the genetic basis of traits that cause reproductive isolation, particularly premating or sexual isolation, usually involves the same challenges as most attempts at genotype-phenotype mapping and so requires knowledge of how these traits are expressed in different individuals, populations, and environments, particularly under natural conditions. Genetic dissection of speciation phenotypes thus requires understanding of the internal and external contexts in which underlying genetic elements are expressed. Gene expression is a product of complex interacting factors internal and external to the organism including developmental programs, the genetic background including nuclear-cytotype interactions, epistatic relationships, interactions among individuals or social effects, stochasticity, and prevailing variation in ecological conditions. Understanding of genomic divergence associated with reproductive isolation will be facilitated by functional expression analysis of annotated genomes in organisms with well-studied evolutionary histories, phylogenetic affinities, and known patterns of ecological variation throughout their life cycles. I review progress and prospects for understanding the pervasive role of host plant use on genetic and phenotypic expression of reproductive isolating mechanisms in cactophilic Drosophila mojavensis and suggest how this system can be used as a model for revealing the genetic basis for species formation in organisms where speciation phenotypes are under the joint influences of genetic and environmental factors. © The American Genetic Association. 2014. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Single virus genomics: a new tool for virus discovery.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa Zeigler Allen

    Full Text Available Whole genome amplification and sequencing of single microbial cells has significantly influenced genomics and microbial ecology by facilitating direct recovery of reference genome data. However, viral genomics continues to suffer due to difficulties related to the isolation and characterization of uncultivated viruses. We report here on a new approach called 'Single Virus Genomics', which enabled the isolation and complete genome sequencing of the first single virus particle. A mixed assemblage comprised of two known viruses; E. coli bacteriophages lambda and T4, were sorted using flow cytometric methods and subsequently immobilized in an agarose matrix. Genome amplification was then achieved in situ via multiple displacement amplification (MDA. The complete lambda phage genome was recovered with an average depth of coverage of approximately 437X. The isolation and genome sequencing of uncultivated viruses using Single Virus Genomics approaches will enable researchers to address questions about viral diversity, evolution, adaptation and ecology that were previously unattainable.

  20. Evaluation and Validation of Assembling Corrected PacBio Long Reads for Microbial Genome Completion via Hybrid Approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Hsin-Hung; Liao, Yu-Chieh

    2015-01-01

    Despite the ever-increasing output of next-generation sequencing data along with developing assemblers, dozens to hundreds of gaps still exist in de novo microbial assemblies due to uneven coverage and large genomic repeats. Third-generation single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing technology avoids amplification artifacts and generates kilobase-long reads with the potential to complete microbial genome assembly. However, due to the low accuracy (~85%) of third-generation sequences, a considerable amount of long reads (>50X) are required for self-correction and for subsequent de novo assembly. Recently-developed hybrid approaches, using next-generation sequencing data and as few as 5X long reads, have been proposed to improve the completeness of microbial assembly. In this study we have evaluated the contemporary hybrid approaches and demonstrated that assembling corrected long reads (by runCA) produced the best assembly compared to long-read scaffolding (e.g., AHA, Cerulean and SSPACE-LongRead) and gap-filling (SPAdes). For generating corrected long reads, we further examined long-read correction tools, such as ECTools, LSC, LoRDEC, PBcR pipeline and proovread. We have demonstrated that three microbial genomes including Escherichia coli K12 MG1655, Meiothermus ruber DSM1279 and Pdeobacter heparinus DSM2366 were successfully hybrid assembled by runCA into near-perfect assemblies using ECTools-corrected long reads. In addition, we developed a tool, Patch, which implements corrected long reads and pre-assembled contigs as inputs, to enhance microbial genome assemblies. With the additional 20X long reads, short reads of S. cerevisiae W303 were hybrid assembled into 115 contigs using the verified strategy, ECTools + runCA. Patch was subsequently applied to upgrade the assembly to a 35-contig draft genome. Our evaluation of the hybrid approaches shows that assembling the ECTools-corrected long reads via runCA generates near complete microbial genomes, suggesting

  1. 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...

  2. A genomic investigation of ecological differentiation between free-living and Drosophila-associated bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winans, Nathan J; Walter, Alec; Chouaia, Bessem; Chaston, John M; Douglas, Angela E; Newell, Peter D

    2017-09-01

    Various bacterial taxa have been identified both in association with animals and in the external environment, but the extent to which related bacteria from the two habitat types are ecologically and evolutionarily distinct is largely unknown. This study investigated the scale and pattern of genetic differentiation between bacteria of the family Acetobacteraceae isolated from the guts of Drosophila fruit flies, plant material and industrial fermentations. Genome-scale analysis of the phylogenetic relationships and predicted functions was conducted on 44 Acetobacteraceae isolates, including newly sequenced genomes from 18 isolates from wild and laboratory Drosophila. Isolates from the external environment and Drosophila could not be assigned to distinct phylogenetic groups, nor are their genomes enriched for any different sets of genes or category of predicted gene functions. In contrast, analysis of bacteria from laboratory Drosophila showed they were genetically distinct in their universal capacity to degrade uric acid (a major nitrogenous waste product of Drosophila) and absence of flagellar motility, while these traits vary among wild Drosophila isolates. Analysis of the competitive fitness of Acetobacter discordant for these traits revealed a significant fitness deficit for bacteria that cannot degrade uric acid in culture with Drosophila. We propose that, for wild populations, frequent cycling of Acetobacter between Drosophila and the external environment prevents genetic differentiation by maintaining selection for traits adaptive in both the gut and external habitats. However, laboratory isolates bear the signs of adaptation to persistent association with the Drosophila host under tightly defined environmental conditions. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  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. Distribution of nitrogen fixation and nitrogenase-like sequences amongst microbial genomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background The metabolic capacity for nitrogen fixation is known to be present in several prokaryotic species scattered across taxonomic groups. Experimental detection of nitrogen fixation in microbes requires species-specific conditions, making it difficult to obtain a comprehensive census of this trait. The recent and rapid increase in the availability of microbial genome sequences affords novel opportunities to re-examine the occurrence and distribution of nitrogen fixation genes. The current practice for computational prediction of nitrogen fixation is to use the presence of the nifH and/or nifD genes. Results Based on a careful comparison of the repertoire of nitrogen fixation genes in known diazotroph species we propose a new criterion for computational prediction of nitrogen fixation: the presence of a minimum set of six genes coding for structural and biosynthetic components, namely NifHDK and NifENB. Using this criterion, we conducted a comprehensive search in fully sequenced genomes and identified 149 diazotrophic species, including 82 known diazotrophs and 67 species not known to fix nitrogen. The taxonomic distribution of nitrogen fixation in Archaea was limited to the Euryarchaeota phylum; within the Bacteria domain we predict that nitrogen fixation occurs in 13 different phyla. Of these, seven phyla had not hitherto been known to contain species capable of nitrogen fixation. Our analyses also identified protein sequences that are similar to nitrogenase in organisms that do not meet the minimum-gene-set criteria. The existence of nitrogenase-like proteins lacking conserved co-factor ligands in both diazotrophs and non-diazotrophs suggests their potential for performing other, as yet unidentified, metabolic functions. Conclusions Our predictions expand the known phylogenetic diversity of nitrogen fixation, and suggest that this trait may be much more common in nature than it is currently thought. The diverse phylogenetic distribution of nitrogenase

  12. Distribution of nitrogen fixation and nitrogenase-like sequences amongst microbial genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dos Santos Patricia C

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The metabolic capacity for nitrogen fixation is known to be present in several prokaryotic species scattered across taxonomic groups. Experimental detection of nitrogen fixation in microbes requires species-specific conditions, making it difficult to obtain a comprehensive census of this trait. The recent and rapid increase in the availability of microbial genome sequences affords novel opportunities to re-examine the occurrence and distribution of nitrogen fixation genes. The current practice for computational prediction of nitrogen fixation is to use the presence of the nifH and/or nifD genes. Results Based on a careful comparison of the repertoire of nitrogen fixation genes in known diazotroph species we propose a new criterion for computational prediction of nitrogen fixation: the presence of a minimum set of six genes coding for structural and biosynthetic components, namely NifHDK and NifENB. Using this criterion, we conducted a comprehensive search in fully sequenced genomes and identified 149 diazotrophic species, including 82 known diazotrophs and 67 species not known to fix nitrogen. The taxonomic distribution of nitrogen fixation in Archaea was limited to the Euryarchaeota phylum; within the Bacteria domain we predict that nitrogen fixation occurs in 13 different phyla. Of these, seven phyla had not hitherto been known to contain species capable of nitrogen fixation. Our analyses also identified protein sequences that are similar to nitrogenase in organisms that do not meet the minimum-gene-set criteria. The existence of nitrogenase-like proteins lacking conserved co-factor ligands in both diazotrophs and non-diazotrophs suggests their potential for performing other, as yet unidentified, metabolic functions. Conclusions Our predictions expand the known phylogenetic diversity of nitrogen fixation, and suggest that this trait may be much more common in nature than it is currently thought. The diverse phylogenetic

  13. The genome sequence of Barbarea vulgaris facilitates the study of ecological biochemistry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Byrne, Stephen L.; Erthmann, Pernille Østerbye; Agerbirk, Niels

    2017-01-01

    The genus Barbarea has emerged as a model for evolution and ecology of plant defense compounds, due to its unusual glucosinolate profile and production of saponins, unique to the Brassicaceae. One species, B. vulgaris, includes two ‘types’, G-type and P-type that differ in trichome density......, and their glucosinolate and saponin profiles. A key difference is the stereochemistry of hydroxylation of their common phenethylglucosinolate backbone, leading to epimeric glucobarbarins. Here we report a draft genome sequence of the G-type, and re-sequencing of the P-type for comparison. This enables us to identify...... candidate genes underlying glucosinolate diversity, trichome density, and study the genetics of biochemical variation for glucosinolate and saponins. B. vulgaris is resistant to the diamondback moth, and may be exploited for “dead-end” trap cropping where glucosinolates stimulate oviposition and saponins...

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Germ warfare in a microbial mat community: CRISPRs provide insights into the co-evolution of host and viral genomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John F Heidelberg

    Full Text Available CRISPR arrays and associated cas genes are widespread in bacteria and archaea and confer acquired resistance to viruses. To examine viral immunity in the context of naturally evolving microbial populations we analyzed genomic data from two thermophilic Synechococcus isolates (Syn OS-A and Syn OS-B' as well as a prokaryotic metagenome and viral metagenome derived from microbial mats in hotsprings at Yellowstone National Park. Two distinct CRISPR types, distinguished by the repeat sequence, are found in both the Syn OS-A and Syn OS-B' genomes. The genome of Syn OS-A contains a third CRISPR type with a distinct repeat sequence, which is not found in Syn OS-B', but appears to be shared with other microorganisms that inhabit the mat. The CRISPR repeats identified in the microbial metagenome are highly conserved, while the spacer sequences (hereafter referred to as "viritopes" to emphasize their critical role in viral immunity were mostly unique and had no high identity matches when searched against GenBank. Searching the viritopes against the viral metagenome, however, yielded several matches with high similarity some of which were within a gene identified as a likely viral lysozyme/lysin protein. Analysis of viral metagenome sequences corresponding to this lysozyme/lysin protein revealed several mutations all of which translate into silent or conservative mutations which are unlikely to affect protein function, but may help the virus evade the host CRISPR resistance mechanism. These results demonstrate the varied challenges presented by a natural virus population, and support the notion that the CRISPR/viritope system must be able to adapt quickly to provide host immunity. The ability of metagenomics to track population-level variation in viritope sequences allows for a culture-independent method for evaluating the fast co-evolution of host and viral genomes and its consequence on the structuring of complex microbial communities.

  17. The GAAS Metagenomic Tool and Its Estimations of Viral and Microbial Average Genome Size in Four Major Biomes

    OpenAIRE

    Angly, Florent E.; Willner, Dana; Prieto-Dav?, Alejandra; Edwards, Robert A.; Schmieder, Robert; Vega-Thurber, Rebecca; Antonopoulos, Dionysios A.; Barott, Katie; Cottrell, Matthew T.; Desnues, Christelle; Dinsdale, Elizabeth A.; Furlan, Mike; Haynes, Matthew; Henn, Matthew R.; Hu, Yongfei

    2009-01-01

    Metagenomic studies characterize both the composition and diversity of uncultured viral and microbial communities. BLAST-based comparisons have typically been used for such analyses; however, sampling biases, high percentages of unknown sequences, and the use of arbitrary thresholds to find significant similarities can decrease the accuracy and validity of estimates. Here, we present Genome relative Abundance and Average Size (GAAS), a complete software package that provides improved estimate...

  18. Rise of Microbial Culturomics: Noncontiguous Finished Genome Sequence and Description of Beduini massiliensis gen. nov., sp. nov.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mourembou, Gaël; Yasir, Muhammad; Azhar, Esam Ibraheem; Lagier, Jean Christophe; Bibi, Fehmida; Jiman-Fatani, Asif Ahmad; Helmy, Nayel; Robert, Catherine; Rathored, Jaishriram; Fournier, Pierre-Edouard; Raoult, Didier; Million, Matthieu

    2015-12-01

    Microbial culturomics is a new field of omics sciences that examines the bacterial diversity of human gut coupled with a taxono-genomic strategy. Using microbial culturomics, we report here for the first time a novel Gram negative, catalase- and oxidase-negative, strict anaerobic bacilli named Beduini massiliensis gen. nov., sp nov. strain GM1 (= CSUR P1440 = DSM 100188), isolated from the stools of a female nomadic Bedouin from Saudi Arabia. With a length of 2,850,586 bp, the Beduini massiliensis genome exhibits a G + C content of 35.9%, and contains 2819 genes (2744 protein-coding and 75 RNA genes including 57 tRNA and 18 rRNA genes). It is composed of 6 scaffolds (composed of 6 contigs). A total of 1859 genes (67.75%) were assigned a putative function (by COGs or by NR blast). At least 1457 (53%) orthologous proteins were not shared with the closest phylogenetic species. 274 genes (10.0%) were identified as ORFans. These results show that microbial culturomics can dramatically improve the characterization of the human microbiota repertoire, deciphering new bacterial species and new genes. Further studies will clarify the geographic specificity and the putative role of these new microbes and their related functional genetic content in health and disease. Microbial culturomics is an emerging frontier of omics systems sciences and integrative biology and thus, warrants further consideration as part of the postgenomics methodology toolbox.

  19. Rapid detection of microbial DNA by a novel isothermal genome exponential amplification reaction (GEAR) assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prithiviraj, Jothikumar; Hill, Vincent; Jothikumar, Narayanan

    2012-04-20

    In this study we report the development of a simple target-specific isothermal nucleic acid amplification technique, termed genome exponential amplification reaction (GEAR). Escherichia coli was selected as the microbial target to demonstrate the GEAR technique as a proof of concept. The GEAR technique uses a set of four primers; in the present study these primers targeted 5 regions on the 16S rRNA gene of E. coli. The outer forward and reverse Tab primer sequences are complementary to each other at their 5' end, whereas their 3' end sequences are complementary to their respective target nucleic acid sequences. The GEAR assay was performed at a constant temperature 60 °C and monitored continuously in a real-time PCR instrument in the presence of an intercalating dye (SYTO 9). The GEAR assay enabled amplification of as few as one colony forming units of E. coli per reaction within 30 min. We also evaluated the GEAR assay for rapid identification of bacterial colonies cultured on agar media directly in the reaction without DNA extraction. Cells from E. coli colonies were picked and added directly to GEAR assay mastermix without prior DNA extraction. DNA in the cells could be amplified, yielding positive results within 15 min. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Genomics meets applied ecology: Characterizing habitat quality for sloths in a tropical agroecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fountain, Emily D; Kang, Jung Koo; Tempel, Douglas J; Palsbøll, Per J; Pauli, Jonathan N; Zachariah Peery, M

    2018-01-01

    Understanding how habitat quality in heterogeneous landscapes governs the distribution and fitness of individuals is a fundamental aspect of ecology. While mean individual fitness is generally considered a key to assessing habitat quality, a comprehensive understanding of habitat quality in heterogeneous landscapes requires estimates of dispersal rates among habitat types. The increasing accessibility of genomic approaches, combined with field-based demographic methods, provides novel opportunities for incorporating dispersal estimation into assessments of habitat quality. In this study, we integrated genomic kinship approaches with field-based estimates of fitness components and approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) procedures to estimate habitat-specific dispersal rates and characterize habitat quality in two-toed sloths (Choloepus hoffmanni) occurring in a Costa Rican agricultural ecosystem. Field-based observations indicated that birth and survival rates were similar in a sparsely shaded cacao farm and adjacent cattle pasture-forest mosaic. Sloth density was threefold higher in pasture compared with cacao, whereas home range size and overlap were greater in cacao compared with pasture. Dispersal rates were similar between the two habitats, as estimated using ABC procedures applied to the spatial distribution of pairs of related individuals identified using 3,431 single nucleotide polymorphism and 11 microsatellite locus genotypes. Our results indicate that crops produced under a sparse overstorey can, in some cases, constitute lower-quality habitat than pasture-forest mosaics for sloths, perhaps because of differences in food resources or predator communities. Finally, our study demonstrates that integrating field-based demographic approaches with genomic methods can provide a powerful means for characterizing habitat quality for animal populations occurring in heterogeneous landscapes. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. ‘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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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

  11. A New Approach to Predict Microbial Community Assembly and Function Using a Stochastic, Genome-Enabled Modeling Framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, E.; Brodie, E.; Anantharaman, K.; Karaoz, U.; Bouskill, N.; Banfield, J. F.; Steefel, C. I.; Molins, S.

    2016-12-01

    Characterizing and predicting the microbial and chemical compositions of subsurface aquatic systems necessitates an understanding of the metabolism and physiology of organisms that are often uncultured or studied under conditions not relevant for one's environment of interest. Cultivation-independent approaches are therefore important and have greatly enhanced our ability to characterize functional microbial diversity. The capability to reconstruct genomes representing thousands of populations from microbial communities using metagenomic techniques provides a foundation for development of predictive models for community structure and function. Here, we discuss a genome-informed stochastic trait-based model incorporated into a reactive transport framework to represent the activities of coupled guilds of hypothetical microorganisms. Metabolic pathways for each microbe within a functional guild are parameterized from metagenomic data with a unique combination of traits governing organism fitness under dynamic environmental conditions. We simulate the thermodynamics of coupled electron donor and acceptor reactions to predict the energy available for cellular maintenance, respiration, biomass development, and enzyme production. While `omics analyses can now characterize the metabolic potential of microbial communities, it is functionally redundant as well as computationally prohibitive to explicitly include the thousands of recovered organisms into biogeochemical models. However, one can derive potential metabolic pathways from genomes along with trait-linkages to build probability distributions of traits. These distributions are used to assemble groups of microbes that couple one or more of these pathways. From the initial ensemble of microbes, only a subset will persist based on the interaction of their physiological and metabolic traits with environmental conditions, competing organisms, etc. Here, we analyze the predicted niches of these hypothetical microbes and

  12. Metagenome-Assembled Genome Sequences of Acetobacterium sp. Strain MES1 and Desulfovibrio sp. Strain MES5 from a Cathode-Associated Acetogenic Microbial Community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Daniel E; Marshall, Christopher W; May, Harold D; Norman, R Sean

    2017-09-07

    Draft genome sequences of Acetobacterium sp. strain MES1 and Desulfovibrio sp. strain MES5 were obtained from the metagenome of a cathode-associated community enriched within a microbial electrosynthesis system (MES). The draft genome sequences provide insight into the functional potential of these microorganisms within an MES and a foundation for future comparative analyses. Copyright © 2017 Ross et al.

  13. Genome-Enabled Modeling of Biogeochemical Processes Predicts Metabolic Dependencies that Connect the Relative Fitness of Microbial Functional Guilds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodie, E.; King, E.; Molins, S.; Karaoz, U.; Steefel, C. I.; Banfield, J. F.; Beller, H. R.; Anantharaman, K.; Ligocki, T. J.; Trebotich, D.

    2015-12-01

    Pore-scale processes mediated by microorganisms underlie a range of critical ecosystem services, regulating carbon stability, nutrient flux, and the purification of water. Advances in cultivation-independent approaches now provide us with the ability to reconstruct thousands of genomes from microbial populations from which functional roles may be assigned. With this capability to reveal microbial metabolic potential, the next step is to put these microbes back where they belong to interact with their natural environment, i.e. the pore scale. At this scale, microorganisms communicate, cooperate and compete across their fitness landscapes with communities emerging that feedback on the physical and chemical properties of their environment, ultimately altering the fitness landscape and selecting for new microbial communities with new properties and so on. We have developed a trait-based model of microbial activity that simulates coupled functional guilds that are parameterized with unique combinations of traits that govern fitness under dynamic conditions. Using a reactive transport framework, we simulate the thermodynamics of coupled electron donor-acceptor reactions to predict energy available for cellular maintenance, respiration, biomass development, and enzyme production. From metagenomics, we directly estimate some trait values related to growth and identify the linkage of key traits associated with respiration and fermentation, macromolecule depolymerizing enzymes, and other key functions such as nitrogen fixation. Our simulations were carried out to explore abiotic controls on community emergence such as seasonally fluctuating water table regimes across floodplain organic matter hotspots. Simulations and metagenomic/metatranscriptomic observations highlighted the many dependencies connecting the relative fitness of functional guilds and the importance of chemolithoautotrophic lifestyles. Using an X-Ray microCT-derived soil microaggregate physical model combined

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Challenging a bioinformatic tool’s ability to detect microbial contaminants using in silico whole genome sequencing data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan D. Olson

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available High sensitivity methods such as next generation sequencing and polymerase chain reaction (PCR are adversely impacted by organismal and DNA contaminants. Current methods for detecting contaminants in microbial materials (genomic DNA and cultures are not sensitive enough and require either a known or culturable contaminant. Whole genome sequencing (WGS is a promising approach for detecting contaminants due to its sensitivity and lack of need for a priori assumptions about the contaminant. Prior to applying WGS, we must first understand its limitations for detecting contaminants and potential for false positives. Herein we demonstrate and characterize a WGS-based approach to detect organismal contaminants using an existing metagenomic taxonomic classification algorithm. Simulated WGS datasets from ten genera as individuals and binary mixtures of eight organisms at varying ratios were analyzed to evaluate the role of contaminant concentration and taxonomy on detection. For the individual genomes the false positive contaminants reported depended on the genus, with Staphylococcus, Escherichia, and Shigella having the highest proportion of false positives. For nearly all binary mixtures the contaminant was detected in the in-silico datasets at the equivalent of 1 in 1,000 cells, though F. tularensis was not detected in any of the simulated contaminant mixtures and Y. pestis was only detected at the equivalent of one in 10 cells. Once a WGS method for detecting contaminants is characterized, it can be applied to evaluate microbial material purity, in efforts to ensure that contaminants are characterized in microbial materials used to validate pathogen detection assays, generate genome assemblies for database submission, and benchmark sequencing methods.

  17. A hybrid clustering approach to recognition of protein families in 114 microbial genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gogarten J Peter

    2004-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Grouping proteins into sequence-based clusters is a fundamental step in many bioinformatic analyses (e.g., homology-based prediction of structure or function. Standard clustering methods such as single-linkage clustering capture a history of cluster topologies as a function of threshold, but in practice their usefulness is limited because unrelated sequences join clusters before biologically meaningful families are fully constituted, e.g. as the result of matches to so-called promiscuous domains. Use of the Markov Cluster algorithm avoids this non-specificity, but does not preserve topological or threshold information about protein families. Results We describe a hybrid approach to sequence-based clustering of proteins that combines the advantages of standard and Markov clustering. We have implemented this hybrid approach over a relational database environment, and describe its application to clustering a large subset of PDB, and to 328577 proteins from 114 fully sequenced microbial genomes. To demonstrate utility with difficult problems, we show that hybrid clustering allows us to constitute the paralogous family of ATP synthase F1 rotary motor subunits into a single, biologically interpretable hierarchical grouping that was not accessible using either single-linkage or Markov clustering alone. We describe validation of this method by hybrid clustering of PDB and mapping SCOP families and domains onto the resulting clusters. Conclusion Hybrid (Markov followed by single-linkage clustering combines the advantages of the Markov Cluster algorithm (avoidance of non-specific clusters resulting from matches to promiscuous domains and single-linkage clustering (preservation of topological information as a function of threshold. Within the individual Markov clusters, single-linkage clustering is a more-precise instrument, discerning sub-clusters of biological relevance. Our hybrid approach thus provides a computationally efficient

  18. 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...

  19. Direct coupling of a genome-scale microbial in silico model and a groundwater reactive transport model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fang, Yilin; Scheibe, Timothy D.; Mahadevan, Radhakrishnan; Garg, Srinath; Long, Philip E.; Lovley, Derek R.

    2011-01-01

    The activity of microorganisms often plays an important role in dynamic natural attenuation or engineered bioremediation of subsurface contaminants, such as chlorinated solvents, metals, and radionuclides. To evaluate and/or design bioremediated systems, quantitative reactive transport models are needed. State-of-the-art reactive transport models often ignore the microbial effects or simulate the microbial effects with static growth yield and constant reaction rate parameters over simulated conditions, while in reality microorganisms can dynamically modify their functionality (such as utilization of alternative respiratory pathways) in response to spatial and temporal variations in environmental conditions. Constraint-based genome-scale microbial in silico models, using genomic data and multiple-pathway reaction networks, have been shown to be able to simulate transient metabolism of some well studied microorganisms and identify growth rate, substrate uptake rates, and byproduct rates under different growth conditions. These rates can be identified and used to replace specific microbially-mediated reaction rates in a reactive transport model using local geochemical conditions as constraints. We previously demonstrated the potential utility of integrating a constraint based microbial metabolism model with a reactive transport simulator as applied to bioremediation of uranium in groundwater. However, that work relied on an indirect coupling approach that was effective for initial demonstration but may not be extensible to more complex problems that are of significant interest (e.g., communities of microbial species, multiple constraining variables). Here, we extend that work by presenting and demonstrating a method of directly integrating a reactive transport model (FORTRAN code) with constraint-based in silico models solved with IBM ILOG CPLEX linear optimizer base system (C library). The models were integrated with BABEL, a language interoperability tool. The

  20. Direct coupling of a genome-scale microbial in silico model and a groundwater reactive transport model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Yilin; Scheibe, Timothy D; Mahadevan, Radhakrishnan; Garg, Srinath; Long, Philip E; Lovley, Derek R

    2011-03-25

    The activity of microorganisms often plays an important role in dynamic natural attenuation or engineered bioremediation of subsurface contaminants, such as chlorinated solvents, metals, and radionuclides. To evaluate and/or design bioremediated systems, quantitative reactive transport models are needed. State-of-the-art reactive transport models often ignore the microbial effects or simulate the microbial effects with static growth yield and constant reaction rate parameters over simulated conditions, while in reality microorganisms can dynamically modify their functionality (such as utilization of alternative respiratory pathways) in response to spatial and temporal variations in environmental conditions. Constraint-based genome-scale microbial in silico models, using genomic data and multiple-pathway reaction networks, have been shown to be able to simulate transient metabolism of some well studied microorganisms and identify growth rate, substrate uptake rates, and byproduct rates under different growth conditions. These rates can be identified and used to replace specific microbially-mediated reaction rates in a reactive transport model using local geochemical conditions as constraints. We previously demonstrated the potential utility of integrating a constraint-based microbial metabolism model with a reactive transport simulator as applied to bioremediation of uranium in groundwater. However, that work relied on an indirect coupling approach that was effective for initial demonstration but may not be extensible to more complex problems that are of significant interest (e.g., communities of microbial species and multiple constraining variables). Here, we extend that work by presenting and demonstrating a method of directly integrating a reactive transport model (FORTRAN code) with constraint-based in silico models solved with IBM ILOG CPLEX linear optimizer base system (C library). The models were integrated with BABEL, a language interoperability tool. The

  1. Direct coupling of a genome-scale microbial in silico model and a groundwater reactive transport model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Yilin; Scheibe, Timothy D.; Mahadevan, Radhakrishnan; Garg, Srinath; Long, Philip E.; Lovley, Derek R.

    2011-03-01

    The activity of microorganisms often plays an important role in dynamic natural attenuation or engineered bioremediation of subsurface contaminants, such as chlorinated solvents, metals, and radionuclides. To evaluate and/or design bioremediated systems, quantitative reactive transport models are needed. State-of-the-art reactive transport models often ignore the microbial effects or simulate the microbial effects with static growth yield and constant reaction rate parameters over simulated conditions, while in reality microorganisms can dynamically modify their functionality (such as utilization of alternative respiratory pathways) in response to spatial and temporal variations in environmental conditions. Constraint-based genome-scale microbial in silico models, using genomic data and multiple-pathway reaction networks, have been shown to be able to simulate transient metabolism of some well studied microorganisms and identify growth rate, substrate uptake rates, and byproduct rates under different growth conditions. These rates can be identified and used to replace specific microbially-mediated reaction rates in a reactive transport model using local geochemical conditions as constraints. We previously demonstrated the potential utility of integrating a constraint-based microbial metabolism model with a reactive transport simulator as applied to bioremediation of uranium in groundwater. However, that work relied on an indirect coupling approach that was effective for initial demonstration but may not be extensible to more complex problems that are of significant interest (e.g., communities of microbial species and multiple constraining variables). Here, we extend that work by presenting and demonstrating a method of directly integrating a reactive transport model (FORTRAN code) with constraint-based in silico models solved with IBM ILOG CPLEX linear optimizer base system (C library). The models were integrated with BABEL, a language interoperability tool. The

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. The Ecological Genomics of Fungi: Repeated Elements in Filamentous Fungi with a Focus on Wood-Decay Fungi

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Murat, Claude [INRA, Nancy, France; Payen, Thibaut [INRA, Nancy, France; Petitpierre, Denis [INRA, Nancy, France; Labbe, Jessy L [ORNL

    2013-01-01

    In the last decade, the genome of several dozen filamentous fungi have been sequenced. Interestingly, vast diversity in genome size was observed (Fig. 2.1) with 14-fold differences between the 9 Mb of the human pathogenic dandruff fungus (Malassezia globosa; Xu, Saunders, et al., 2007) and the 125 Mb of the ectomycorrhizal black truffle of P rigord (Tuber melanosporum; Martin, Kohler, et al., 2010). Recently, Raffaele and Kamoun (2012) highlighted that the genomes of several lineages of filamentous plant pathogens have been shaped by repeat-driven expansion. Indeed, repeated elements are ubiquitous in all prokaryote and eukaryote genomes; however, their frequencies can vary from just a minor percentage of the genome to more that 60 percent of the genome. Repeated elements can be classified in two major types: satellites DNA and transposable elements. In this chapter, the different types of repeated elements and how these elements can impact genome and gene repertoire will be described. Also, an intriguing link between the transposable elements richness and diversity and the ecological niche will be highlighted.

  11. 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.

  12. Genome resolved analysis of a premature infant gut microbial community reveals a Varibaculum cambriense genome and a shift towards fermentation-based metabolism during the third week of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Christopher T; Sharon, Itai; Thomas, Brian C; Castelle, Cindy J; Morowitz, Michael J; Banfield, Jillian F

    2013-12-17

    The premature infant gut has low individual but high inter-individual microbial diversity compared with adults. Based on prior 16S rRNA gene surveys, many species from this environment are expected to be similar to those previously detected in the human microbiota. However, the level of genomic novelty and metabolic variation of strains found in the infant gut remains relatively unexplored. To study the stability and function of early microbial colonizers of the premature infant gut, nine stool samples were taken during the third week of life of a premature male infant delivered via Caesarean section. Metagenomic sequences were assembled and binned into near-complete and partial genomes, enabling strain-level genomic analysis of the microbial community.We reconstructed eleven near-complete and six partial bacterial genomes representative of the key members of the microbial community. Twelve of these genomes share >90% putative ortholog amino acid identity with reference genomes. Manual curation of the assembly of one particularly novel genome resulted in the first essentially complete genome sequence (in three pieces, the order of which could not be determined due to a repeat) for Varibaculum cambriense (strain Dora), a medically relevant species that has been implicated in abscess formation.During the period studied, the microbial community undergoes a compositional shift, in which obligate anaerobes (fermenters) overtake Escherichia coli as the most abundant species. Other species remain stable, probably due to their ability to either respire anaerobically or grow by fermentation, and their capacity to tolerate fluctuating levels of oxygen. Metabolic predictions for V. cambriense suggest that, like other members of the microbial community, this organism is able to process various sugar substrates and make use of multiple different electron acceptors during anaerobic respiration. Genome comparisons within the family Actinomycetaceae reveal important differences

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. New perspectives on microbial community distortion after whole-genome amplification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whole-genome amplification (WGA) has become an important tool to explore the genomic information of microorganisms in an environmental sample with limited biomass, however potential selective biases during the amplification processes are poorly understood. Here, we describe the e...

  19. Role of Genomic Typing in Taxonomy, Evolutionary Genetics, and Microbial Epidemiology

    OpenAIRE

    van Belkum, Alex; Struelens, Marc; de Visser, Arjan; Verbrugh, Henri; Tibayrenc, Michel

    2001-01-01

    Currently, genetic typing of microorganisms is widely used in several major fields of microbiological research. Taxonomy, research aimed at elucidation of evolutionary dynamics or phylogenetic relationships, population genetics of microorganisms, and microbial epidemiology all rely on genetic typing data for discrimination between genotypes. Apart from being an essential component of these fundamental sciences, microbial typing clearly affects several areas of applied microbiogical research. ...

  20. Role of genomic typing in taxonomy, evolutionary genetics, and microbial epidemiology.

    OpenAIRE

    Belkum, Alex; Struelens, M.; Visser, Arjan; Verbrugh, Henri; Tibayrench, M.

    2001-01-01

    textabstractCurrently, genetic typing of microorganisms is widely used in several major fields of microbiological research. Taxonomy, research aimed at elucidation of evolutionary dynamics or phylogenetic relationships, population genetics of microorganisms, and microbial epidemiology all rely on genetic typing data for discrimination between genotypes. Apart from being an essential component of these fundamental sciences, microbial typing clearly affects several areas of applied microbiologi...

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Microbial Genome Analysis and Comparisons: Web-based Protocols and Resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fully annotated genome sequences of many microorganisms are publicly available as a resource. However, in-depth analysis of these genomes using specialized tools is required to derive meaningful information. We describe here the utility of three powerful publicly available genome databases and ana...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Genome sequences of rare, uncultured bacteria obtained by differential coverage binning of multiple metagenomes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Albertsen, Mads; Hugenholtz, Philip; Skarshewski, Adam

    2013-01-01

    Reference genomes are required to understand the diverse roles of microorganisms in ecology, evolution, human and animal health, but most species remain uncultured. Here we present a sequence composition–independent approach to recover high-quality microbial genomes from deeply sequenced metageno......Reference genomes are required to understand the diverse roles of microorganisms in ecology, evolution, human and animal health, but most species remain uncultured. Here we present a sequence composition–independent approach to recover high-quality microbial genomes from deeply sequenced...

  10. 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.

  11. New Markov Model Approaches to Deciphering Microbial Genome Function and Evolution: Comparative Genomics of Laterally Transferred Genes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Borodovsky, M.

    2013-04-11

    Algorithmic methods for gene prediction have been developed and successfully applied to many different prokaryotic genome sequences. As the set of genes in a particular genome is not homogeneous with respect to DNA sequence composition features, the GeneMark.hmm program utilizes two Markov models representing distinct classes of protein coding genes denoted "typical" and "atypical". Atypical genes are those whose DNA features deviate significantly from those classified as typical and they represent approximately 10% of any given genome. In addition to the inherent interest of more accurately predicting genes, the atypical status of these genes may also reflect their separate evolutionary ancestry from other genes in that genome. We hypothesize that atypical genes are largely comprised of those genes that have been relatively recently acquired through lateral gene transfer (LGT). If so, what fraction of atypical genes are such bona fide LGTs? We have made atypical gene predictions for all fully completed prokaryotic genomes; we have been able to compare these results to other "surrogate" methods of LGT prediction.

  12. Comparative single-cell genomics reveals potential ecological niches for the freshwater acI Actinobacteria lineage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghylin, Trevor W; Garcia, Sarahi L; Moya, Francisco; Oyserman, Ben O; Schwientek, Patrick; Forest, Katrina T; Mutschler, James; Dwulit-Smith, Jeffrey; Chan, Leong-Keat; Martinez-Garcia, Manuel; Sczyrba, Alexander; Stepanauskas, Ramunas; Grossart, Hans-Peter; Woyke, Tanja; Warnecke, Falk; Malmstrom, Rex; Bertilsson, Stefan; McMahon, Katherine D

    2014-12-01

    Members of the acI lineage of Actinobacteria are the most abundant microorganisms in most freshwater lakes; however, our understanding of the keys to their success and their role in carbon and nutrient cycling in freshwater systems has been hampered by the lack of pure cultures and genomes. We obtained draft genome assemblies from 11 single cells representing three acI tribes (acI-A1, acI-A7, acI-B1) from four temperate lakes in the United States and Europe. Comparative analysis of acI SAGs and other available freshwater bacterial genomes showed that acI has more gene content directed toward carbohydrate acquisition as compared to Polynucleobacter and LD12 Alphaproteobacteria, which seem to specialize more on carboxylic acids. The acI genomes contain actinorhodopsin as well as some genes involved in anaplerotic carbon fixation indicating the capacity to supplement their known heterotrophic lifestyle. Genome-level differences between the acI-A and acI-B clades suggest specialization at the clade level for carbon substrate acquisition. Overall, the acI genomes appear to be highly streamlined versions of Actinobacteria that include some genes allowing it to take advantage of sunlight and N-rich organic compounds such as polyamines, di- and oligopeptides, branched-chain amino acids and cyanophycin. This work significantly expands the known metabolic potential of the cosmopolitan freshwater acI lineage and its ecological and genetic traits.

  13. MicroScope-an integrated resource for community expertise of gene functions and comparative analysis of microbial genomic and metabolic data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Médigue, Claudine; Calteau, Alexandra; Cruveiller, Stéphane; Gachet, Mathieu; Gautreau, Guillaume; Josso, Adrien; Lajus, Aurélie; Langlois, Jordan; Pereira, Hugo; Planel, Rémi; Roche, David; Rollin, Johan; Rouy, Zoe; Vallenet, David

    2017-09-12

    The overwhelming list of new bacterial genomes becoming available on a daily basis makes accurate genome annotation an essential step that ultimately determines the relevance of thousands of genomes stored in public databanks. The MicroScope platform (http://www.genoscope.cns.fr/agc/microscope) is an integrative resource that supports systematic and efficient revision of microbial genome annotation, data management and comparative analysis. Starting from the results of our syntactic, functional and relational annotation pipelines, MicroScope provides an integrated environment for the expert annotation and comparative analysis of prokaryotic genomes. It combines tools and graphical interfaces to analyze genomes and to perform the manual curation of gene function in a comparative genomics and metabolic context. In this article, we describe the free-of-charge MicroScope services for the annotation and analysis of microbial (meta)genomes, transcriptomic and re-sequencing data. Then, the functionalities of the platform are presented in a way providing practical guidance and help to the nonspecialists in bioinformatics. Newly integrated analysis tools (i.e. prediction of virulence and resistance genes in bacterial genomes) and original method recently developed (the pan-genome graph representation) are also described. Integrated environments such as MicroScope clearly contribute, through the user community, to help maintaining accurate resources. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. The United States Culture Collection Network (USCCN): Enhancing Microbial Genomics Research through Living Microbe Culture Collections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boundy-Mills, Kyria; Hess, Matthias; Bennett, A. Rick; Ryan, Matthew; Kang, Seogchan; Nobles, David; Eisen, Jonathan A.; Inderbitzin, Patrik; Sitepu, Irnayuli R.; Torok, Tamas; Brown, Daniel R.; Cho, Juliana; Wertz, John E.; Mukherjee, Supratim; Cady, Sherry L.

    2015-01-01

    The mission of the United States Culture Collection Network (USCCN; http://usccn.org) is “to facilitate the safe and responsible utilization of microbial resources for research, education, industry, medicine, and agriculture for the betterment of human kind.” Microbial culture collections are a key component of life science research, biotechnology, and emerging global biobased economies. Representatives and users of several microbial culture collections from the United States and Europe gathered at the University of California, Davis, to discuss how collections of microorganisms can better serve users and stakeholders and to showcase existing resources available in public culture collections. PMID:26092453

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.