WorldWideScience

Sample records for microbial ecology approaches

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. Molecular microbial ecology manual

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  15. Microbial 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Uncovering stability mechanisms in microbial ecosystems - combining microcosm experiments, computational modelling and ecological theory in a multidisciplinary approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worrich, Anja; König, Sara; Banitz, Thomas; Centler, Florian; Frank, Karin; Kästner, Matthias; Miltner, Anja; Thullner, Martin; Wick, Lukas

    2015-04-01

    Although bacterial degraders in soil are commonly exposed to fluctuating environmental conditions, the functional performance of the biodegradation processes can often be maintained by resistance and resilience mechanisms. However, there is still a gap in the mechanistic understanding of key factors contributing to the stability of such an ecosystem service. Therefore we developed an integrated approach combining microcosm experiments, simulation models and ecological theory to directly make use of the strengths of these disciplines. In a continuous interplay process, data, hypotheses, and central questions are exchanged between disciplines to initiate new experiments and models to ultimately identify buffer mechanisms and factors providing functional stability. We focus on drying and rewetting-cycles in soil ecosystems, which are a major abiotic driver for bacterial activity. Functional recovery of the system was found to depend on different spatial processes in the computational model. In particular, bacterial motility is a prerequisite for biodegradation if either bacteria or substrate are heterogeneously distributed. Hence, laboratory experiments focussing on bacterial dispersal processes were conducted and confirmed this finding also for functional resistance. Obtained results will be incorporated into the model in the next step. Overall, the combination of computational modelling and laboratory experiments identified spatial processes as the main driving force for functional stability in the considered system, and has proved a powerful methodological approach.

  19. 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.

  20. Methods in gut microbial ecology for ruminants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Microbial interactions: ecology in a molecular perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  7. 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

  8. The use of microarrays in microbial ecology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-09-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-15

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

  10. Microbial ecology to manage processes in environmental biotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rittmann, Bruce E

    2006-06-01

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

  11. Microbial ecology of coal mine refuse

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1977-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. An efficient nonlinear finite-difference approach in the computational modeling of the dynamics of a nonlinear diffusion-reaction equation in microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macías-Díaz, J E; Macías, Siegfried; Medina-Ramírez, I E

    2013-12-01

    In this manuscript, we present a computational model to approximate the solutions of a partial differential equation which describes the growth dynamics of microbial films. The numerical technique reported in this work is an explicit, nonlinear finite-difference methodology which is computationally implemented using Newton's method. Our scheme is compared numerically against an implicit, linear finite-difference discretization of the same partial differential equation, whose computer coding requires an implementation of the stabilized bi-conjugate gradient method. Our numerical results evince that the nonlinear approach results in a more efficient approximation to the solutions of the biofilm model considered, and demands less computer memory. Moreover, the positivity of initial profiles is preserved in the practice by the nonlinear scheme proposed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. 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....

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. [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

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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)

  10. 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)

  11. 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.

  12. Ecological approaches to human nutrition.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Civic Ecology: A Postmodern Approach to Ecological Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, V. L.

    2013-12-01

    Human agency is transforming the planetary processes at unprecedented rates risking damaging essential life-support systems. Climate change, massive species extinction, land degradation, resources depletion, overpopulation, poverty and social injustice are all the result of human choices and non-sustainable ways of life. The survival of our modern economic systems depends upon insatiable consumption - a simple way of life no longer satisfies most people. Detached, instrumental rationality has created an ideal of liberalism based on individual pursuit of self-interest, leading the way into unprecedented material progress but bringing with it human alienation, social injustice, and ecological degradation. The purpose of this presentation is to introduce a community-based systems response to a growing sense that the interlocked social-ecological crisis is as much a problem of human thought and behavior as it is about identifying carrying capacities and CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. This approach, referred to here as civic ecology, presents a new and important paradigm shift in sustainability practice that attempts to bring together and integrate ecological ideas and postmodern thinking. As such, it is as much a holistic, dynamic, and synergistic approach to ecological sustainability, as it is a philosophy of life and ethical perspective born of ecological understanding and insight. Civic ecology starts with the proposition that the key factor determining the health of the ecosphere is the behavior of human beings, and therefore many of the most important issues related to sustainability lie in the areas of human thought and culture. Thus, the quest for sustainability must include as a central concern the transformation of psychological and behavioral patterns that have become an imminent danger to planetary health. At the core of this understanding is a fundamental paradigm shift from the basic commitments of modern Western culture to its model of mechanism

  16. Advances in Ecological Speciation: an integrative approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faria, Rui; Renaut, Sebastien; Galindo, Juan; Pinho, Catarina; Melo-Ferreira, José; Melo, Martim; Jones, Felicity; Salzburger, Walter; Schluter, Dolph; Butlin, Roger

    2014-02-01

    The role of natural selection in promoting reproductive isolation has received substantial renewed interest within the last two decades. As a consequence, the study of ecological speciation has become an extremely productive research area in modern evolutionary biology. Recent innovations in sequencing technologies offer an unprecedented opportunity to study the mechanisms involved in ecological speciation. Genome scans provide significant insights but have some important limitations; efforts are needed to integrate them with other approaches to make full use of the sequencing data deluge. An international conference 'Advances in Ecological Speciation' organized by the University of Porto (Portugal) aimed to review current progress in ecological speciation. Using some of the examples presented at the conference, we highlight the benefits of integrating ecological and genomic data and discuss different mechanisms of parallel evolution. Finally, future avenues of research are suggested to advance our knowledge concerning the role of natural selection in the establishment of reproductive isolation during ecological speciation. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Quantitative approaches in climate change ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brown, Christopher J.; Schoeman, David S.; Sydeman, William J.

    2011-01-01

    Contemporary impacts of anthropogenic climate change on ecosystems are increasingly being recognized. Documenting the extent of these impacts requires quantitative tools for analyses of ecological observations to distinguish climate impacts in noisy data and to understand interactions between...... climate variability and other drivers of change. To assist the development of reliable statistical approaches, we review the marine climate change literature and provide suggestions for quantitative approaches in climate change ecology. We compiled 267 peer‐reviewed articles that examined relationships...

  18. Ecology scientific and practical approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Medori, P.; Devaux, J.; Faurie, C.; Ferra, Ch.

    1998-01-01

    In this work devoted to ecology and ecosystems, is a chapter relative to the nuclear power and its pollutions in environment. From the nuisances of operating nuclear facilities to the problem of radioactive wastes management, each kind of risk is studied. The fact that any problem can become a world problem, and the example of Chernobyl accident proved it, gives a particular dimension to nuclear energy use. (N.C.)

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. Bioinformatic approaches reveal metagenomic characterization of soil microbial community.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhuofei Xu

    Full Text Available As is well known, soil is a complex ecosystem harboring the most prokaryotic biodiversity on the Earth. In recent years, the advent of high-throughput sequencing techniques has greatly facilitated the progress of soil ecological studies. However, how to effectively understand the underlying biological features of large-scale sequencing data is a new challenge. In the present study, we used 33 publicly available metagenomes from diverse soil sites (i.e. grassland, forest soil, desert, Arctic soil, and mangrove sediment and integrated some state-of-the-art computational tools to explore the phylogenetic and functional characterizations of the microbial communities in soil. Microbial composition and metabolic potential in soils were comprehensively illustrated at the metagenomic level. A spectrum of metagenomic biomarkers containing 46 taxa and 33 metabolic modules were detected to be significantly differential that could be used as indicators to distinguish at least one of five soil communities. The co-occurrence associations between complex microbial compositions and functions were inferred by network-based approaches. Our results together with the established bioinformatic pipelines should provide a foundation for future research into the relation between soil biodiversity and ecosystem function.

  7. 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.

  8. 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".

  9. 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.

  10. [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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. Holistic and Ecological Approaches in Talent Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henriksen, Kristoffer

    the somewhat opposing talent discovery and development approaches by focusing on how an environment manages the balance between these two, and how this balance becomes a part of the environment’s identity. Ecological perspectives on talent development hold rich insights for developing theories, research......Research on athletic talent has evolved from talent detection to talent development with both perspectives focusing on an individual athlete. This individual focus has been mirrored in the applied work of the sport psychology practitioner in youth competitive sport who has primarily focused...... on equipping individual athletes with the psychosocial skills required in a sport career. In contrast, the holistic ecological approach (HEA) to talent development in sport (Henriksen, Stambulova & Roessler, 2010) acknowledges the role of the overall environment in athletes’ development. The HEA integrates...

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yung-Hua Li

    2017-05-01

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

  4. 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.

  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. 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.

  7. 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.

  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. A Single-Granule-Level Approach Reveals Ecological Heterogeneity in an Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket Reactor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyohei Kuroda

    Full Text Available Upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB reactor has served as an effective process to treat industrial wastewater such as purified terephthalic acid (PTA wastewater. For optimal UASB performance, balanced ecological interactions between syntrophs, methanogens, and fermenters are critical. However, much of the interactions remain unclear because UASB have been studied at a "macro"-level perspective of the reactor ecosystem. In reality, such reactors are composed of a suite of granules, each forming individual micro-ecosystems treating wastewater. Thus, typical approaches may be oversimplifying the complexity of the microbial ecology and granular development. To identify critical microbial interactions at both macro- and micro- level ecosystem ecology, we perform community and network analyses on 300 PTA-degrading granules from a lab-scale UASB reactor and two full-scale reactors. Based on MiSeq-based 16S rRNA gene sequencing of individual granules, different granule-types co-exist in both full-scale reactors regardless of granule size and reactor sampling depth, suggesting that distinct microbial interactions occur in different granules throughout the reactor. In addition, we identify novel networks of syntrophic metabolic interactions in different granules, perhaps caused by distinct thermodynamic conditions. Moreover, unseen methanogenic relationships (e.g. "Candidatus Aminicenantes" and Methanosaeta are observed in UASB reactors. In total, we discover unexpected microbial interactions in granular micro-ecosystems supporting UASB ecology and treatment through a unique single-granule level approach.

  12. A Single-Granule-Level Approach Reveals Ecological Heterogeneity in an Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket Reactor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mei, Ran; Narihiro, Takashi; Bocher, Benjamin T. W.; Yamaguchi, Takashi; Liu, Wen-Tso

    2016-01-01

    Upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor has served as an effective process to treat industrial wastewater such as purified terephthalic acid (PTA) wastewater. For optimal UASB performance, balanced ecological interactions between syntrophs, methanogens, and fermenters are critical. However, much of the interactions remain unclear because UASB have been studied at a “macro”-level perspective of the reactor ecosystem. In reality, such reactors are composed of a suite of granules, each forming individual micro-ecosystems treating wastewater. Thus, typical approaches may be oversimplifying the complexity of the microbial ecology and granular development. To identify critical microbial interactions at both macro- and micro- level ecosystem ecology, we perform community and network analyses on 300 PTA–degrading granules from a lab-scale UASB reactor and two full-scale reactors. Based on MiSeq-based 16S rRNA gene sequencing of individual granules, different granule-types co-exist in both full-scale reactors regardless of granule size and reactor sampling depth, suggesting that distinct microbial interactions occur in different granules throughout the reactor. In addition, we identify novel networks of syntrophic metabolic interactions in different granules, perhaps caused by distinct thermodynamic conditions. Moreover, unseen methanogenic relationships (e.g. “Candidatus Aminicenantes” and Methanosaeta) are observed in UASB reactors. In total, we discover unexpected microbial interactions in granular micro-ecosystems supporting UASB ecology and treatment through a unique single-granule level approach. PMID:27936088

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Civic Ecology: Linking Social and Ecological Approaches in Extension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krasny, Marianne E.; Tidball, Keith G.

    2010-01-01

    Civic ecology refers to the philosophy and science of community forestry, community gardening, watershed enhancement, and other volunteer-driven restoration practices in cities and elsewhere. Such practices, although often viewed as initiatives to improve a degraded environment, also foster social attributes of resilient social-ecological systems,…

  16. 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.

  17. 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)

  18. 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

  19. 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)

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. ECOMOD - An ecological approach to radioecological modelling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sazykina, Tatiana G.

    2000-01-01

    A unified methodology is proposed to simulate the dynamic processes of radionuclide migration in aquatic food chains in parallel with their stable analogue elements. The distinguishing feature of the unified radioecological/ecological approach is the description of radionuclide migration along with dynamic equations for the ecosystem. The ability of the methodology to predict the results of radioecological experiments is demonstrated by an example of radionuclide (iron group) accumulation by a laboratory culture of the algae Platymonas viridis. Based on the unified methodology, the 'ECOMOD' radioecological model was developed to simulate dynamic radioecological processes in aquatic ecosystems. It comprises three basic modules, which are operated as a set of inter-related programs. The 'ECOSYSTEM' module solves non-linear ecological equations, describing the biomass dynamics of essential ecosystem components. The 'RADIONUCLIDE DISTRIBUTION' module calculates the radionuclide distribution in abiotic and biotic components of the aquatic ecosystem. The 'DOSE ASSESSMENT' module calculates doses to aquatic biota and doses to man from aquatic food chains. The application of the ECOMOD model to reconstruct the radionuclide distribution in the Chernobyl Cooling Pond ecosystem in the early period after the accident shows good agreement with observations

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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....

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. A. Starovoitova

    2013-06-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Linking Microbial Ecology to Geochemistry in Sulfate Reducing Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drennan, D. M.; Lee, I.; Landkamer, L.; Almstrand, R.; Figueroa, L. A.; Sharp, J. H.

    2013-12-01

    Sulfate reducing bioreactors (SRBRs) can serve as passive treatment systems for mining influenced waters (MIW). An enhanced understanding of the biogeochemistry and efficacy of SRBRs can be achieved by combining molecular biological and geochemical techniques in both field and column settings. To this end, a spatial and temporal sequence of eight pilot-scale columns were analyzed employing a multidisciplinary approach using ICP-AES, next-generation sequencing, and SEM-EDX to explore the effects of variable substrate on community structure and performance (measured by Zn removal). All pilot scale reactors contained 30% limestone by mass, 7 of the 8 had variable amounts of woodchips, sawdust, and alfalfa hay, and an 8th column where the only carbon source was walnut shells. High throughput sequencing of DNA extracted from liquid in pilot-scale columns reveals, similarly to an analogous field system in Arizona, a dominance of Proteobacteria. However, after the first pore volume, performance differences between substrate permutations emerged, where columns containing exclusively walnut shells or sawdust exhibited a more effective startup and metal removal than did columns containing exclusively woodchips or alfalfa hay. SEM-EDX analysis revealed the initial formation of gypsum (CaSO4) precipitates regardless of substrate. Zn was observed in the presence of Ca, S, and O in some column samples, suggesting there was co-precipitation of Zn and CaSO4. This is congruent with micro-XAS analysis of field data suggesting iron sulfides were co-precipitating with gypsum. A SEM-EDX analysis from a subsequent sampling event (8 months into operation) indicated that precipitation may be shifting to ZnS and ZnCO3. Biplots employing Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) describe how diversity scales with performance and substrate selection, and how community shifts may result in differential performance and precipitation in response to selective pressure of bioreactor material on

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Ecological approach in constructing residential areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bogdanović Ružica

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available As a concept sustainable development has evolved over the past two decades from a concept closely associated with the biophysical environment to become much more complex, embracing social, cultural, economic political and esthetic phenomenon, which are invariably in mutual interaction, so they influence sustainability of natural environment. The very notion of "sustainable" we are meeting today in almost all significance areas of human activities. Contemporary planning, projecting and building techniques undoubtedly implied integration of goals of environmental prevention with goals of socio-economic development, all with respecting the esthetic standards. This paper represents experience from foreign praxis. Project defines and resolves objectives from social, economical, morphological and ecological aspects. Most important is aspect of Ecological Optimisation, which consists of main components: energy use optimization, water concept, exemplary waste management concept and ecological soil management.

  1. Buddhism and Ecology: A Virtue Ethics Approach

    OpenAIRE

    Keown, Damien V.

    2007-01-01

    Introduction: Whether Buddhism has a compelling ecological dimension or not has been a much discussed question in recent years. I think I should put my cards on the table at the outset and say that I count myself among the sceptics in this respect. I see little evidence that the Buddha or his followers, at least down to modern times, have been greatly concerned with questions of ecology. If anything, there is more evidence of a negative presupposition about the value and status of the natural...

  2. Recent changes in Central European landscapes: An integrative ecological approach

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Těšitel, Jan; Kučera, Tomáš

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 24, č. 1 (2005), s. 3-6 ISSN 1335-342X Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520 Keywords : integrative ecological approach * transdisciplinarity * interdisciplinarity * landscape ecology Subject RIV: DO - Wilderness Conservation Impact factor: 0.085, year: 2005

  3. '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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. In silico approaches to study mass and energy flows in microbial consortia: a syntrophic case study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mallette Natasha

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Three methods were developed for the application of stoichiometry-based network analysis approaches including elementary mode analysis to the study of mass and energy flows in microbial communities. Each has distinct advantages and disadvantages suitable for analyzing systems with different degrees of complexity and a priori knowledge. These approaches were tested and compared using data from the thermophilic, phototrophic mat communities from Octopus and Mushroom Springs in Yellowstone National Park (USA. The models were based on three distinct microbial guilds: oxygenic phototrophs, filamentous anoxygenic phototrophs, and sulfate-reducing bacteria. Two phases, day and night, were modeled to account for differences in the sources of mass and energy and the routes available for their exchange. Results The in silico models were used to explore fundamental questions in ecology including the prediction of and explanation for measured relative abundances of primary producers in the mat, theoretical tradeoffs between overall productivity and the generation of toxic by-products, and the relative robustness of various guild interactions. Conclusion The three modeling approaches represent a flexible toolbox for creating cellular metabolic networks to study microbial communities on scales ranging from cells to ecosystems. A comparison of the three methods highlights considerations for selecting the one most appropriate for a given microbial system. For instance, communities represented only by metagenomic data can be modeled using the pooled method which analyzes a community's total metabolic potential without attempting to partition enzymes to different organisms. Systems with extensive a priori information on microbial guilds can be represented using the compartmentalized technique, employing distinct control volumes to separate guild-appropriate enzymes and metabolites. If the complexity of a compartmentalized network creates an

  9. Optimizing sampling approaches along ecological gradients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schweiger, Andreas; Irl, Severin D. H.; Steinbauer, Manuel

    2016-01-01

    1. Natural scientists and especially ecologists use manipulative experiments or field observations along gradients to differentiate patterns driven by processes from those caused by random noise. A well-conceived sampling design is essential for identifying, analysing and reporting underlying...... patterns in a statistically solid and reproducible manner, given the normal restrictions in labour, time and money. However, a technical guideline about an adequate sampling design to maximize prediction success under restricted resources is lacking. This study aims at developing such a solid...... and reproducible guideline for sampling along gradients in all fields of ecology and science in general. 2. We conducted simulations with artificial data for five common response types known in ecology, each represented by a simple function (no response, linear, exponential, symmetric unimodal and asymmetric...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. '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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Ecological Economics: Themes, Approaches, and Differences with Environmental Economics

    OpenAIRE

    Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh

    2000-01-01

    This provides a short overview of the main themes of ecological economics (EE). It isargued that EE provides a platform that fosters multidisciplinary environmental research bybringing together the core contributing disciplines economics and ecology. In addition, EE isregarded as a pluralistic approach to environmental research that can be set opposite to, and hasindeed developed as a response to, traditional environmental and resource economics. Acomparison of the two fields is presented to ...

  3. 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.

  4. Multimodeling: new approaches for linking ecological models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, Louis J.; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Scott, J. Michael; Heglund, Patricia J.; Morrison, Michael L.

    2006-01-01

    The Everglades region of South Florida presents one of the major natural system management challenges facing the United States. With its assortment of alligators, crocodiles, manatees, panthers, large mixed flocks of wading birds, highly diverse subtropical flora, and sea of sawgrass, the ecosystem is unique in this country (Davis and Ogden 1994). The region is also perhaps the largest human-controlled system on the planet in that the major environmental factor influencing the region is water, and water flows are managed on a daily basis--subject to the vagaries of rainfall--by a massive system of locks, pumps, canals, and levees constructed over the past century. The changes brought about by such control have led to extensive modifications of historical patterns and magnitudes of flow, causing large declines in many native species, extensive changes in nutrient cycling and vegetation across south Florida, and great increases in pollutants such as mercury. Constrained by the conflicting demands of agriculture, urban human populations, and wildlife for control of water resources, and the varying agendas of hosts of government agencies and nongovernmental organizations, there is now an ongoing effort to plan for major changes to the system with expenditure estimates of eight billion dollars or more over the next several decades (USACOE 1999). Carrying out such planning, particularly as it impacts the natural systems of the region, provides one of the major challenges to the new field of computational ecology.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Conceptualizing Skill within a Participatory Ecological Approach to Outdoor Adventure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullins, Philip M.

    2014-01-01

    To answer calls for an ecological approach to outdoor adventure that can respond to the crisis of sustainability, this paper suggests greater theoretical and empirical attention to skill and skill development as shaping participant interactions with and experiences of environments, landscapes, places, and inhabitants. The paper reviews calls for…

  12. Questionnaire of Executive Function for Dancers: An Ecological Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Alina; Rodriguez, Mabel; Quevedo, Liliana; de Cossio, Lourdes Fernandez; Borges, Ariel; Reyes, Alicia; Corral, Roberto; Blanco, Florentino; Alvarez, Miguel

    2012-01-01

    There is a current debate about the ecological validity of executive function (EF) tests. Consistent with the verisimilitude approach, this research proposes the Ballet Executive Scale (BES), a self-rating questionnaire that assimilates idiosyncratic executive behaviors of classical dance community. The BES was administrated to 149 adolescents,…

  13. 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.

  14. Ecological approaches to the prevention of unintentional injuries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John P. Allegrante

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available

    Background: Injury as a cause of significant morbidity and mortality has remained fairly stable in countries with developed economies. Although injury prevention often is conceptualised as a biomedical construct, such a reductionist perspective overlooks the importance of the psychological, environmental, and sociocultural conditions as contributing factors to injury and its consequences. This paper describes the potential of the ecological model for understanding the antecedent causes of unintentional injuries and guiding injury prevention approaches. We review the origins and conceptualise the elements of the ecological model and conclude with some examples of applications of ecological approaches to the prevention of unintentional injury and promotion of community safety.

    Methods: A review of the English-language literature on the conceptualization of ecological models in public health and injury prevention, including the application of the ecological model in the prevention of falls and road traffic injuries and in the community safety promotion movement.

    Results: Three dimensions are important in social-ecological systems that comprise key determinants of injuries: 1 the individual and his or her behaviour, 2 the physical environment, and 3 the social environment. Social and environmental determinants have profound impact on population health and in the causation of injuries.

    Conclusions: Social and environmental determinants of injury should be studied with the same energy, urgency, and intellectual rigor as physical determinants. Application of the ecological model in injury prevention shows the most promise in falls injury prevention, road traffic injury prevention, and community safety promotion.

  15. Novel approaches to microbial enhancement of oil recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kryachko, Yuriy

    2018-01-20

    Microbially enhanced oil recovery (MEOR) was shown to be feasible in a number of laboratory experiments and field trials. However, it has not been widely used in the oil industry because necessary conditions cannot always be easily established in an oil reservoir. Novel approaches to MEOR, which are based on newly discovered biosurfactant-mediated MEOR-mechanisms, are discussed in this review. Particularly, the possibility of combining MEOR with chemical enhancement of oil recovery in heterogeneous oil reservoirs, which involves rock surface wettability shifts and emulsion inversions, is discussed. In wider (centimeter/millimeter-scale) rock pores, the activity of (bio)surfactants and microbial cells attached to oil may allow releasing trapped oil blobs through oil-in-water emulsification. After no more oil can be emulsified, the addition of alkali or surfactants, which turn rock surface oil-wet, may help release oil droplets trapped in narrow (micrometer-scale) pores through coalescence of the droplets and water-in-oil emulsification. Experiments demonstrating the possibility of (bio)surfactant-mediated enhancement of immiscible gas-driven oil recovery are also reviewed. Interestingly, very low (bio)surfactant concentrations were shown to be needed for enhancement of immiscible gas-driven oil recovery. Some possible side effects of MEOR, such as unintended bioplugging and microbially influenced corrosion (MIC), are discussed as well. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-07

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Quantitative real-time PCR approaches for microbial community studies in wastewater treatment systems: applications and considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jaai; Lim, Juntaek; Lee, Changsoo

    2013-12-01

    Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) has been widely used in recent environmental microbial ecology studies as a tool for detecting and quantifying microorganisms of interest, which aids in better understandings of the complexity of wastewater microbial communities. Although qPCR can be used to provide more specific and accurate quantification than other molecular techniques, it does have limitations that must be considered when applying it in practice. This article reviews the principle of qPCR quantification and its applications to microbial ecology studies in various wastewater treatment environments. Here we also address several limitations of qPCR-based approaches that can affect the validity of quantification data: template nucleic acid quality, nucleic acid extraction efficiency, specificity of group-specific primers and probes, amplification of nonviable DNA, gene copy number variation, and limited number of sequences in the database. Even with such limitations, qPCR is reportedly among the best methods for quantitatively investigating environmental microbial communities. The application of qPCR is and will continue to be increasingly common in studies of wastewater treatment systems. To obtain reliable analyses, however, the limitations that have often been overlooked must be carefully considered when interpreting the results. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. MUWS (Microbiology in Urban Water Systems – an interdisciplinary approach to study microbial communities in urban water systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Deines

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Microbiology in Urban Water Systems (MUWS is an integrated project, which aims to characterize the microorganisms found in both potable water distribution systems and sewer networks. These large infrastructure systems have a major impact on our quality of life, and despite the importance of these systems as major components of the water cycle, little is known about their microbial ecology. Potable water distribution systems and sewer networks are both large, highly interconnected, dynamic, subject to time and varying inputs and demands, and difficult to control. Their performance also faces increasing loading due to increasing urbanization and longer-term environmental changes. Therefore, understanding the link between microbial ecology and any potential impacts on short or long-term engineering performance within urban water infrastructure systems is important. By combining the strengths and research expertise of civil-, biochemical engineers and molecular microbial ecologists, we ultimately aim to link microbial community abundance, diversity and function to physical and engineering variables so that novel insights into the performance and management of both water distribution systems and sewer networks can be explored. By presenting the details and principals behind the molecular microbiological techniques that we use, this paper demonstrates the potential of an integrated approach to better understand how urban water system function, and so meet future challenges.

  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. Digging deeper on "deep" learning: A computational ecology approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buscema, Massimo; Sacco, Pier Luigi

    2017-01-01

    We propose an alternative approach to "deep" learning that is based on computational ecologies of structurally diverse artificial neural networks, and on dynamic associative memory responses to stimuli. Rather than focusing on massive computation of many different examples of a single situation, we opt for model-based learning and adaptive flexibility. Cross-fertilization of learning processes across multiple domains is the fundamental feature of human intelligence that must inform "new" artificial intelligence.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. CMEIAS color segmentation: an improved computing technology to process color images for quantitative microbial ecology studies at single-cell resolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, Colin A; Reddy, Chandan K; Dazzo, Frank B

    2010-02-01

    , thereby strengthening quantitative microscopy-based approaches to advance microbial ecology in situ at individual single-cell resolution.

  10. 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,...

  11. 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...

  12. The effect of soil habitat connectivity on microbial interactions, community structure and diversity: a microcosm-based approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wolf, A.B.

    2014-01-01

    Soils contain tremendous microbial phylogenetic and functional diversity. Recent advances in the application of molecular methods into microbial ecology have provided a new appreciation of the extent of soil-borne microbial diversity, but our understanding of the forces that shape and maintain this

  13. 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.

  14. An approach to grouping species for ecological risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hampton, N.L.; VanHorn, R.L.; Morris, R.; Brewer, R.

    1994-01-01

    The ecological risk assessment (ERA) paradigm acknowledges all levels of ecological organization as having potential for defining assessment and measurement endpoints. However, assessment goals and endpoints are generally concentrated at individual species and population levels. As part of a sitewide, screening-level ERA process at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL), a ''functional group'' approach was developed to incorporate assessment at a higher level of ecological organization into the risk analysis process. Functional groups demonstrating biological similarity and similar potential for contaminant exposure were developed using taxonomic, trophic and habitat parameters. As defined, all species are potential surrogates for the other members of the same functional group. Measurement endpoint data for several species may be integrated to address the risk to the group as a whole. The functional group concept was applied throughout the problem formulation, analysis, and risk characterization phases of the assessment process. This approach allows the ERA to be focused on risk to the integrity of individual functional groups, which can subsequently be related to guild and community integrity

  15. Benefits of using a Social-Ecological Systems Approach to ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Using a social-ecological systems (SES) perspective to examine wetland restoration helps decision-makers recognize interdependencies and relations between ecological and social components of coupled systems. Conceptual models are an invaluable tool to capture, visualize, and organize the key factors in complex social-ecological systems, but can be overwhelming to generate and lead to key concepts being overlooked if development is unstructured. Using a DPSIR approach (Drivers, Pressures, State, Impact, Responses), conceptual models can be developed to link decision scenarios and stressors to impacts on ecosystem services. These impacts on priority ecosystem services can then be linked to changes in human health and well-being through benefit functions. Expert input and contributions across disciplines provides appropriate temporal and spatial scales for determination of targets, project implementation, and monitoring strategies. This approach is being applied to create descriptive SES models of two wetland restoration projects. The first, the dredging of a degraded estuarine channel and restoration of mangrove forests in Caño Martìn Peña in San Juan, Puerto Rico is in the planning stage. The second, the restoration of a former cranberry farm in Plymouth, Massachusetts has completed a large restoration of freshwater wetland, and is gearing up for a second phase. Through the development of conceptual models, we are connecting driving forces wi

  16. A new approach to microbial production of gallic acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bajpai, Bhakti; Patil, Shridhar

    2008-10-01

    In a new approach to microbial gallic acid production by Aspergillus fischeri MTCC 150, 40gL(-1) of tannic acid was added in two installments during the bioconversion phase of the process (25gL(-1) and 15gL(-1) at 32 and 44h respectively). The optimum parameters for the bioconversion phase were found to be temperature: 35°C, pH: slightly acidic (3.3-3.5), aeration: nil and agitation: 250 rpm. A maximum of 71.4% conversion was obtained after 71h fermentation with 83.3% product recovery. The yield was 7.35 g of gallic acid per g of biomass accumulated and the fermenter productivity was 0.56 g of gallic acid produced per liter of medium per hour.

  17. Listening to objects: an ecological approach to the decorative arts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin J. Campbell

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available To transcend the divisions in art historical research between high art and decorative art, this study proposes an ecological approach. Drawing on research in the social sciences and humanities, and using the early modern domestic interior as a case study, the essay develops the concepts of environment, ecology, meshwork, assemblage, distributive agency, vital materiality, and matter as social performance, which appear in the work of political scientist Jane Bennett, feminist philosopher Karen Barad, sociologist Bruno Latour, anthropologist Tim Ingold, and others. As the study argues, such concepts provide a phenomenological, integrative, and non-hierarchical framework for the study of the decorative arts within the institutions and practices of art history, allowing art historians to analyse the processes through which the human and the material are intertwined.

  18. Biodeterioration of epoxy resin: a microbial survey through culture-independent and culture-dependent approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pangallo, Domenico; Bučková, Maria; Kraková, Lucia; Puškárová, Andrea; Šaková, Nikoleta; Grivalský, Tomaš; Chovanová, Katarina; Zemánková, Milina

    2015-02-01

    During the 20th century, synthetic polymers were greatly used in the field of art. In particular, the epoxy resins were used for both conservation and for creating sculptures. The biodeterioration of these polymers has not been adequately studied. The aim of this investigation was to examine the microflora responsible for the deterioration of an epoxy statue exposed to outdoor conditions. Fungal and bacterial microflora were isolated from the art object, clustered by fluorescence-ITS (internal transcribed spacer), identified by ITS and 16S rRNA sequencing and tested for their lipolytic abilities by three agar assays. Different algal, bacterial, cyanobacterial and fungal clone libraries were constructed. The surrounding airborne microflora was analyzed using culture-dependent and culture-independent approaches. The results indicated the presence, on the statue surface, of an interesting and differentiate microbial community composed of rock-inhabiting members, algal photobionts (Trebouxia spp., Chloroidium ellipsoideum and Chlorella angustoellipsoidea), Cyanobacteria (Leptolyngbya sp., Phormidium sp., Cylindrospermum stagnale, Hassallia byssoidea and Geitlerinema sp.), black yeasts related to the species Friedmanniomyces endolithicus, Pseudotaeniolina globosa, Phaeococcomyces catenatus and Catenulostroma germanicum and several plant-associated fungi. This investigation provides new information on the potential microfloral inhabitants of epoxy resin discovering a new ecological niche, occupied mainly by several members of rock-colonizing microbial species. © 2014 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. [New approach for managing microbial risks in food].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Augustin, Jean-Christophe

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the food legislation is to ensure the protection of human health. Traditionally, the food legislation requires food business operators to apply good hygiene practices and specific procedures to control foodborne pathogens. These regulations allowed reaching a high level of health protection. The improvement of the system will require risk-based approaches. Firstly, risk assessment should allow the identification of high-risk situations where resources should be allocated for a better targeting of risk management. Then, management measures should be adapted to the health objective. In this approach, the appropriate level of protection is converted intofood safety and performance objectives on the food chain, i.e., maximum microbial contamination to fulfil the acceptable risk level. When objectives are defined, the food business operators and competent authorities can identify control options to comply with the objectives and establish microbiological criteria to verify compliance with these objectives. This approach, described for approximately 10 years, operative thanks to the development of quantitative risk assessment techniques, is still difficult to use in practical terms since it requires a commitment of competent authorities to define the acceptable risk and needs also the implementation of sometimes complex risk models.

  3. 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

  4. The translational study of apathy – an ecological approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flurin eCathomas

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Apathy, a quantitative reduction in goal-directed behavior, is a prevalent symptom dimension with a negative impact on functional outcome in various neuropsychiatric disorders including schizophrenia and depression. The aim of this review is to show that interview-based assessment of apathy in humans and observation of spontaneous rodent behavior in an ecological setting can serve as an important complementary approach to already existing task-based assessment, to study and understand the neurobiological bases of apathy. We first discuss the paucity of current translational approaches regarding animal equivalents of psychopathological assessment of apathy. We then present the existing evaluation scales for the assessment of apathy in humans and propose five sub-domains of apathy, namely self-care, social interaction, exploration, work/education and recreation. Each of the items in apathy evaluation scales can be assigned to one of these sub-domains. We then show that corresponding, well-validated behavioral readouts exist for rodents and that, indeed, three of the five human apathy sub-domains have a rodent equivalent. In conclusion, the translational ecological study of apathy in humans and mice is possible and will constitute an important approach to increase the understanding of the neurobiological bases of apathy and the development of novel treatments.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. In search of an adaptive social-ecological approach to understanding a tropical city

    Science.gov (United States)

    A.E. Lugo; C.M. Concepcion; L.E. Santiago-Acevedo; T.A. Munoz-Erickson; J.C. Verdejo Ortiz; R. Santiago-Bartolomei; J. Forero-Montana; C.J. Nytch; H. Manrique; W. Colon-Cortes

    2012-01-01

    This essay describes our effort to develop a practical approach to the integration of the social and ecological sciences in the context of a Latin-American city such as San Juan, Puerto Rico. We describe our adaptive social-ecological approach in the historical context of the developing paradigms of the Anthropocene, new integrative social and ecological sciences, and...

  8. Market-oriented ecological promotion - The Zurich approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bebie, B.; Hug, F.; Vonbank, A.; Wieland, P.

    2005-01-01

    This article discusses the promotion of sustainable energy use and power-production from renewable resources. In particular, the approach adopted by the City of Zurich in Switzerland is discussed. Changes currently being experienced in the Swiss energy business are looked at. The approach adopted by the City of Zurich, which includes both rewards for increasing energy efficiency as well as the definition of criteria for the evaluation of measures and their effect, is discussed. Instruments and goals are looked at. Other topics discussed include the 'ecologicalisation' of electrical power production and economical incentives for industry. The role played by the labelling of ecologically-produced power is discussed and the economical advantages for the City of Zurich itself are examined

  9. 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.

  10. Integrated approaches to long-term studies of urban ecological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nancy B. Grimm; J. Morgan Grove; Steward T.A. Pickett; Charles L. Redman

    2000-01-01

    Urban ecological systems present multiple challenges to ecologists—pervasive human impact and extreme heterogeneity of cities, and the need to integrate social and ecological approaches, concepts, and theory.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. Multiple approaches to microbial source tracking in tropical northern Australia

    KAUST Repository

    Neave, Matthew

    2014-09-16

    Microbial source tracking is an area of research in which multiple approaches are used to identify the sources of elevated bacterial concentrations in recreational lakes and beaches. At our study location in Darwin, northern Australia, water quality in the harbor is generally good, however dry-season beach closures due to elevated Escherichia coli and enterococci counts are a cause for concern. The sources of these high bacteria counts are currently unknown. To address this, we sampled sewage outfalls, other potential inputs, such as urban rivers and drains, and surrounding beaches, and used genetic fingerprints from E. coli and enterococci communities, fecal markers and 454 pyrosequencing to track contamination sources. A sewage effluent outfall (Larrakeyah discharge) was a source of bacteria, including fecal bacteria that impacted nearby beaches. Two other treated effluent discharges did not appear to influence sites other than those directly adjacent. Several beaches contained fecal indicator bacteria that likely originated from urban rivers and creeks within the catchment. Generally, connectivity between the sites was observed within distinct geographical locations and it appeared that most of the bacterial contamination on Darwin beaches was confined to local sources.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. The Canadian approach to microbial studies in nuclear waste management and disposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stroes-Gascoyne, S.; Sargent, F.P.

    1998-01-01

    Many countries considering radioactive waste disposal have, or are considering programs to study and quantify microbial effects in terms of their particular disposal concept. Although there is an abundance of qualitative information, there is a need for quantitative data. Quantitative research should cover topics such as the kinetics of microbial activity in geological media, microbial effects on radionuclide migration in host rock (including effects of biofilms), tolerance to extreme conditions of radiation, heat and desiccation, microbially-influenced corrosion of waste containers and microbial gas production. The research should be performed in relevant disposal environments with the ultimate objective to quantify those effects that need to be included in models for predictive and safety assessment purposes. The Canadian approach to dealing with microbial effects involves a combination of pertinent, quantitative measurements from carefully designed laboratory studies and from large scale engineering experiments in AECL's Underground Research Laboratory (URL). The validity of these quantitative data is measured against observations from natural environments and analogues. An example is the viability of microbes in clay-based scaling materials. Laboratory studies have shown that the clay content of these barriers strongly affects microbial activity and movement. This is supported by natural environment and analogue observations that show clay deposits to contain very old tree segments and dense clay lenses in sediments to contain much smaller, less diverse and less active microbial populations than more porous sediments. This approach has allowed for focused, quantitative research on microbial effects in Canada. (author)

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Performance analysis of irreversible molten carbonate fuel cell – Braysson heat engine with ecological objective approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Açıkkalp, Emin

    2017-01-01

    Highlights: • An irreversible MCFC - Braysson heat engine is considered. • Its performance is investigated with ecological approach. • A new ecological criteria are presented called as modified ecological function. • Result are obtained numerically and discussed. - Abstract: An irreversible hybrid molten carbonate fuel cell-Braysson heat engine is taken into account. Basic thermodynamics parameters including power output, efficiency and exergy destruction rate are considered. In addition ecological function and new criteria, which is based on ecological function, for heat engines called as modified ecological function is suggested. Optimum conditions for mentioned parameters above are determined. Numerical results are obtained and plotted. Finally, results are discussed.

  2. Metagenomic approaches to exploit the biotechnological potential of the microbial consortia of marine sponges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Jonathan; Marchesi, Julian R; Dobson, Alan D W

    2007-05-01

    Natural products isolated from sponges are an important source of new biologically active compounds. However, the development of these compounds into drugs has been held back by the difficulties in achieving a sustainable supply of these often-complex molecules for pre-clinical and clinical development. Increasing evidence implicates microbial symbionts as the source of many of these biologically active compounds, but the vast majority of the sponge microbial community remain uncultured. Metagenomics offers a biotechnological solution to this supply problem. Metagenomes of sponge microbial communities have been shown to contain genes and gene clusters typical for the biosynthesis of biologically active natural products. Heterologous expression approaches have also led to the isolation of secondary metabolism gene clusters from uncultured microbial symbionts of marine invertebrates and from soil metagenomic libraries. Combining a metagenomic approach with heterologous expression holds much promise for the sustainable exploitation of the chemical diversity present in the sponge microbial community.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolter, Roberto

    2010-03-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. A landscape ecology approach identifies important drivers of urban biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turrini, Tabea; Knop, Eva

    2015-04-01

    Cities are growing rapidly worldwide, yet a mechanistic understanding of the impact of urbanization on biodiversity is lacking. We assessed the impact of urbanization on arthropod diversity (species richness and evenness) and abundance in a study of six cities and nearby intensively managed agricultural areas. Within the urban ecosystem, we disentangled the relative importance of two key landscape factors affecting biodiversity, namely the amount of vegetated area and patch isolation. To do so, we a priori selected sites that independently varied in the amount of vegetated area in the surrounding landscape at the 500-m scale and patch isolation at the 100-m scale, and we hold local patch characteristics constant. As indicator groups, we used bugs, beetles, leafhoppers, and spiders. Compared to intensively managed agricultural ecosystems, urban ecosystems supported a higher abundance of most indicator groups, a higher number of bug species, and a lower evenness of bug and beetle species. Within cities, a high amount of vegetated area increased species richness and abundance of most arthropod groups, whereas evenness showed no clear pattern. Patch isolation played only a limited role in urban ecosystems, which contrasts findings from agro-ecological studies. Our results show that urban areas can harbor a similar arthropod diversity and abundance compared to intensively managed agricultural ecosystems. Further, negative consequences of urbanization on arthropod diversity can be mitigated by providing sufficient vegetated space in the urban area, while patch connectivity is less important in an urban context. This highlights the need for applying a landscape ecological approach to understand the mechanisms shaping urban biodiversity and underlines the potential of appropriate urban planning for mitigating biodiversity loss. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Impacts of radiation exposure on the experimental microbial ecosystem: a particle-based model simulation approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doi, M.; Tanaka, N.; Fuma, S.; Kawabata, Z.

    2004-01-01

    Well-designed experimental model ecosystem could be a simple reference of the actual environment and complex ecological systems. For ecological toxicity test of radiation and other environmental toxicants, we investigated and aquatic microbial ecosystem (closed microcosm) in the test tube with initial substrates,autotroph flagellate algae (Euglena, G.), heterotroph ciliate protozoa (Tetrahymena T.) and saprotroph bacteria (E, coli). These species organizes by itself to construct the ecological system, that keeps the sustainable population dynamics for more than 2 years after inoculation only by adding light diurnally and controlling temperature at 25 degree Celsius. Objective of the study is to develop the particle-based computer simulation by reviewing interactions among microbes and environment, and analyze the ecological toxicities of radiation on the microcosm by replicating experimental results in the computer simulation. (Author) 14 refs

  9. Molecular ecological network analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Ye; Jiang, Yi-Huei; Yang, Yunfeng; He, Zhili; Luo, Feng; Zhou, Jizhong

    2012-05-30

    Understanding the interaction among different species within a community and their responses to environmental changes is a central goal in ecology. However, defining the network structure in a microbial community is very challenging due to their extremely high diversity and as-yet uncultivated status. Although recent advance of metagenomic technologies, such as high throughout sequencing and functional gene arrays, provide revolutionary tools for analyzing microbial community structure, it is still difficult to examine network interactions in a microbial community based on high-throughput metagenomics data. Here, we describe a novel mathematical and bioinformatics framework to construct ecological association networks named molecular ecological networks (MENs) through Random Matrix Theory (RMT)-based methods. Compared to other network construction methods, this approach is remarkable in that the network is automatically defined and robust to noise, thus providing excellent solutions to several common issues associated with high-throughput metagenomics data. We applied it to determine the network structure of microbial communities subjected to long-term experimental warming based on pyrosequencing data of 16 S rRNA genes. We showed that the constructed MENs under both warming and unwarming conditions exhibited topological features of scale free, small world and modularity, which were consistent with previously described molecular ecological networks. Eigengene analysis indicated that the eigengenes represented the module profiles relatively well. In consistency with many other studies, several major environmental traits including temperature and soil pH were found to be important in determining network interactions in the microbial communities examined. To facilitate its application by the scientific community, all these methods and statistical tools have been integrated into a comprehensive Molecular Ecological Network Analysis Pipeline (MENAP), which is open

  10. Ecological quality of production: accounting approach on sustainable development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N.P. Syroid

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The specific weight of resource and power consuming technologies that is typical for Ukrainian economy, the absence of effective legal, administrative and economic mechanisms of management of nature and the low level of ecological society consciousness have led to the significant deterioration of environment state in Ukraine, excessive pollution of waters, air, and soil, accumulation of a large number of waste products. Besides, the produce as a result of such enterprises’ production affects consumers’ health badly. This causes the need to develop theory and methodology of production ecological quality accounting. The problem of quality is the most important factor of increasing of life level, economic, social and ecological security in market economy. This, the current research aims to formulate the essence of concept “ecological quality of production” The research determines that ecological quality is characterized by the following main 6 aspects: social, technical, legal, economic, aesthetic and ecological. If one of these six aspects does not work, we cannot speak about ecological quality of a certain commodity. Many various factors influence upon the level of ecological quality of products and services. According to their contents and directions, they can be united into the following main 6 groups: technical, organizational, economic and social, ecological and aesthetic and legal. The article determines the directions of production ecological quality increasing.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. ‘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

  18. 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.

  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. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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

  4. Use of traits-based bioassessment approaches in biomonitoring and ecological risk assessment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brink, van den P.J.; Alexander, A.; Desrosiers, M.; Goedkoop, W.; Goethals, P.L.M.; Liess, M.; Dyer, S.

    2011-01-01

    We discuss the application of traits-based bioassessment approaches in retrospective bioassessment as well as in prospective ecological risk assessments in regulatory frameworks. Both approaches address the interaction between species and stressors and their consequences at different levels of

  5. 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...

  6. Integrated Approach to Reconstruction of Microbial Regulatory Networks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rodionov, Dmitry A [Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute; Novichkov, Pavel S [Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

    2013-11-04

    This project had the goal(s) of development of integrated bioinformatics platform for genome-scale inference and visualization of transcriptional regulatory networks (TRNs) in bacterial genomes. The work was done in Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (SBMRI, P.I. D.A. Rodionov) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL, co-P.I. P.S. Novichkov). The developed computational resources include: (1) RegPredict web-platform for TRN inference and regulon reconstruction in microbial genomes, and (2) RegPrecise database for collection, visualization and comparative analysis of transcriptional regulons reconstructed by comparative genomics. These analytical resources were selected as key components in the DOE Systems Biology KnowledgeBase (SBKB). The high-quality data accumulated in RegPrecise will provide essential datasets of reference regulons in diverse microbes to enable automatic reconstruction of draft TRNs in newly sequenced genomes. We outline our progress toward the three aims of this grant proposal, which were: Develop integrated platform for genome-scale regulon reconstruction; Infer regulatory annotations in several groups of bacteria and building of reference collections of microbial regulons; and Develop KnowledgeBase on microbial transcriptional regulation.

  7. 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...

  8. Putative bacterial interactions from metagenomic knowledge with an integrative systems ecology approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bordron, Philippe; Latorre, Mauricio; Cortés, Maria-Paz; González, Mauricio; Thiele, Sven; Siegel, Anne; Maass, Alejandro; Eveillard, Damien

    2016-02-01

    Following the trend of studies that investigate microbial ecosystems using different metagenomic techniques, we propose a new integrative systems ecology approach that aims to decipher functional roles within a consortium through the integration of genomic and metabolic knowledge at genome scale. For the sake of application, using public genomes of five bacterial strains involved in copper bioleaching: Acidiphilium cryptum, Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans, Leptospirillum ferriphilum, and Sulfobacillus thermosulfidooxidans, we first reconstructed a global metabolic network. Next, using a parsimony assumption, we deciphered sets of genes, called Sets from Genome Segments (SGS), that (1) are close on their respective genomes, (2) take an active part in metabolic pathways and (3) whose associated metabolic reactions are also closely connected within metabolic networks. Overall, this SGS paradigm depicts genomic functional units that emphasize respective roles of bacterial strains to catalyze metabolic pathways and environmental processes. Our analysis suggested that only few functional metabolic genes are horizontally transferred within the consortium and that no single bacterial strain can accomplish by itself the whole copper bioleaching. The use of SGS pinpoints a functional compartmentalization among the investigated species and exhibits putative bacterial interactions necessary for promoting these pathways. © 2015 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Resilience, political ecology, and well-being: an interdisciplinary approach to understanding social-ecological change in coastal Bangladesh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonia F. Hoque

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The commodification of peasant livelihoods through export-oriented aquaculture has brought about significant social-ecological changes in low-lying coastal areas in many parts of Asia. A better understanding of the underlying drivers and distributional effects of these changes requires integration of social and ecological approaches that often have different epistemological origins. Resilience thinking has gained increased traction in social-ecological systems research because it provides a dynamic analysis of the cross-scalar interactions between multiple conditions and processes. However, the system-oriented perspective inherent in resilience thinking fails to acknowledge the heterogeneous values, interests, and power of social actors and their roles in navigating social-ecological change. Incorporation of political ecology and well-being perspectives can provide an actor-oriented analysis of the trade-offs associated with change and help to determine which state is desirable for whom. However, empirical demonstrations of such interdisciplinary approaches remain scarce. Here, we explore the combined application of resilience, political ecology, and well-being in investigating the root causes of social-ecological change and identifying the winners and losers of system transformation through empirical analysis of the differential changes in farming systems in two villages in coastal Bangladesh. Using the adaptive cycle as a structuring model, we examine the evolution of the shrimp aquaculture system over the past few decades, particularly looking at the power dynamics between households of different wealth classes. We found that although asymmetric land ownership and political ties enabled the wealthier households to reach their desired farming system in one village, social resilience achieved through memory, leadership, and crisis empowered poorer households to exercise their agency in another village. Material dimensions such as improved

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Identifying perinatal risk factors for infant maltreatment: an ecological approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hallisey Elaine J

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Child maltreatment and its consequences are a persistent problem throughout the world. Public health workers, human services officials, and others are interested in new and efficient ways to determine which geographic areas to target for intervention programs and resources. To improve assessment efforts, selected perinatal factors were examined, both individually and in various combinations, to determine if they are associated with increased risk of infant maltreatment. State of Georgia birth records and abuse and neglect data were analyzed using an area-based, ecological approach with the census tract as a surrogate for the community. Cartographic visualization suggested some correlation exists between risk factors and child maltreatment, so bivariate and multivariate regression were performed. The presence of spatial autocorrelation precluded the use of traditional ordinary least squares regression, therefore a spatial regression model coupled with maximum likelihood estimation was employed. Results Results indicate that all individual factors or their combinations are significantly associated with increased risk of infant maltreatment. The set of perinatal risk factors that best predicts infant maltreatment rates are: mother smoked during pregnancy, families with three or more siblings, maternal age less than 20 years, births to unmarried mothers, Medicaid beneficiaries, and inadequate prenatal care. Conclusion This model enables public health to take a proactive stance, to reasonably predict areas where poor outcomes are likely to occur, and to therefore more efficiently allocate resources. U.S. states that routinely collect the variables the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS defines for birth certificates can easily identify areas that are at high risk for infant maltreatment. The authors recommend that agencies charged with reducing child maltreatment target communities that demonstrate the perinatal risks

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Microbial Eco-Physiology of the human intestinal tract: a flow cytometric approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Amor, Ben K.

    2004-01-01

    This thesis describes a multifaceted approach to further enhance our view of the complex human intestinal microbial ecosystem. This approach combines me advantages of flow cyrometry (FCM), a single cell and high-throughput technology, and molecular techniques that have proven themselves to be

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Resilience of Soil Microbial Communities to Metals and Additional Stressors: DNA-Based Approaches for Assessing “Stress-on-Stress” Responses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamed Azarbad

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Many microbial ecology studies have demonstrated profound changes in community composition caused by environmental pollution, as well as adaptation processes allowing survival of microbes in polluted ecosystems. Soil microbial communities in polluted areas with a long-term history of contamination have been shown to maintain their function by developing metal-tolerance mechanisms. In the present work, we review recent experiments, with specific emphasis on studies that have been conducted in polluted areas with a long-term history of contamination that also applied DNA-based approaches. We evaluate how the “costs” of adaptation to metals affect the responses of metal-tolerant communities to other stress factors (“stress-on-stress”. We discuss recent studies on the stability of microbial communities, in terms of resistance and resilience to additional stressors, focusing on metal pollution as the initial stress, and discuss possible factors influencing the functional and structural stability of microbial communities towards secondary stressors. There is increasing evidence that the history of environmental conditions and disturbance regimes play central roles in responses of microbial communities towards secondary stressors.

  15. Electrode materials for microbial fuel cells: nanomaterial approach

    KAUST Repository

    Mustakeem, Mustakeem

    2015-11-05

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology has the potential to become a major renewable energy resource by degrading organic pollutants in wastewater. The performance of MFC directly depends on the kinetics of the electrode reactions within the fuel cell, with the performance of the electrodes heavily influenced by the materials they are made from. A wide range of materials have been tested to improve the performance of MFCs. In the past decade, carbon-based nanomaterials have emerged as promising materials for both anode and cathode construction. Composite materials have also shown to have the potential to become materials of choice for electrode manufacture. Various transition metal oxides have been investigated as alternatives to conventional expensive metals like platinum for oxygen reduction reaction. In this review, different carbon-based nanomaterials and composite materials are discussed for their potential use as MFC electrodes.

  16. Electrode materials for microbial fuel cells: nanomaterial approach

    KAUST Repository

    Mustakeem, Mustakeem

    2015-01-01

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology has the potential to become a major renewable energy resource by degrading organic pollutants in wastewater. The performance of MFC directly depends on the kinetics of the electrode reactions within the fuel cell, with the performance of the electrodes heavily influenced by the materials they are made from. A wide range of materials have been tested to improve the performance of MFCs. In the past decade, carbon-based nanomaterials have emerged as promising materials for both anode and cathode construction. Composite materials have also shown to have the potential to become materials of choice for electrode manufacture. Various transition metal oxides have been investigated as alternatives to conventional expensive metals like platinum for oxygen reduction reaction. In this review, different carbon-based nanomaterials and composite materials are discussed for their potential use as MFC electrodes.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Planning for School Transition: An Ecological-Developmental Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diamond, Karen E.; And Others

    1988-01-01

    The paper describes an ecological-developmental model for planning a child's transition from a preschool special education program to a public school classroom. The model stresses interactions between the various environments in which the child functions. A description of a preschool transition program based on the model is also included.…

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Deep ecology: A movement and a new approach to solving environmental problems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mišković Milan M.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In the industrial society, nature is conceived as a resource for unlimited exploitation, and the entropic effects of its pollution and depletion can be effectively controlled and resolved. Non-human entities are viewed as raw materials for technical manipulation and the increase in the standard of living for consumers in mass societies. Contrary to such utilitarian pragmatism, some new views on the relationship of man, society and nature are appearing, as well as different concepts of environmentally balanced development. According to these views, the transition to ecological society and ecological culture will not be possible without replacing the current anthropocentric ethics with the ecocentric or environmental ethics. Deep ecology arises in the spectrum of environmental ethics theories. It is considered as a movement and a new approach to solving environmental problems. Deep ecology is a type of ecosophy formed by Arne Nes, and it focuses on wisdom and ecological balance. It is based on ecological science, but it asks deeper questions about the causes of the ecological crisis and corresponds to the general discourse on sustainable development. The article discusses the platform of deep ecology movement and gives the basic principles of deep ecology. It gives explanations of the two basic norms of deep ecology (self-understanding and biospheric egalitarianism and criticism of these concepts.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, QuanQiu; Li, Li; Xu, Rong

    2018-04-18

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

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Consumers' evaluations of ecological packaging - rational and emotional approaches

    OpenAIRE

    Koenig-Lewis, Nicole; Palmer, Adrian; Dermody, Janine; Urbye, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Ecological marketing claims have been criticized for confusing or misleading buyers, leading to calls for more rationality in promoting and evaluating ‘green’ products. However, emotions are important drivers influencing pro-environmental purchase decisions. This study investigates consumers' emotional and rational evaluations of pro-environmental packaging. A conceptual model incorporates individuals' general environmental concerns, their rational beliefs about environmental effects of produ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vishniac, H. S.

    1982-01-01

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

  12. Bringing political ecology into critical medical anthropology: a challenge to biocultural approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baer, H A

    1996-12-01

    This essay presents an effort to incorporate the "environment" into critical medical anthropology. Rather than relying upon the multifactorial approach characteristic of medical ecology or biocultural approaches in medical anthropology, it urges critical medical anthropologists to turn to the burgeoning literature on eco-Marxism, eco-socialism, or political ecology in their efforts to develop a political ecology of health. Given that political ecologists generally advocate democratic eco-socialism as a meaningful alternative to the capitalist world system, this essay also presents a critical examination of the environmental record of post-revolutionary societies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1995-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haw Chuan Lim

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-08-01

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

  16. Metagenomic approach reveals microbial diversity and predictive microbial metabolic pathways in Yucha, a traditional Li fermented food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jiachao; Wang, Xiaoru; Huo, Dongxue; Li, Wu; Hu, Qisong; Xu, Chuanbiao; Liu, Sixin; Li, Congfa

    2016-08-31

    Yucha is a typical traditional fermented food of the Li population in the Hainan province of China, and it is made up of cooked rice and fresh fish. In the present study, metagenomic approach and culture-dependent technology were applied to describe the diversity of microbiota and identify beneficial microbes in the Yucha. At the genus level, Lactobacillus was the most abundant genus (43.82% of the total reads), followed by Lactococcus, Enterococcus, Vibrio, Weissella, Pediococcus, Enterobacter, Salinivibrio, Acinetobacter, Macrococcus, Kluyvera and Clostridium; this result was confirmed by q-PCR. PCoA based on Weighted UniFrac distances showed an apparent clustering pattern for Yucha samples from different locations, and Lactobacillus sakei, Lactobacillus saniviri and Staphylococcus sciuri represented OTUs according to the major identified markers. At the microbial functional level, it was observed that there was an enrichment of metabolic functional features, including amino acid and carbohydrate metabolism, which implied that the microbial metabolism in the Yucha samples tended to be vigorous. Accordingly, we further investigated the correlation between the predominant microbes and metabolic functional features. Thirteen species of Lactobacillus (147 strains) were isolated, and Lactobacillus plantarum (60 isolates) and Lactobacillus pentosus (34 isolates) were isolated from every sample.

  17. Linking genes to microbial growth kinetics: an integrated biochemical systems engineering approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koutinas, M.; Kiparissides, A.; Silva-Rocha, R.; Lam, M.C.; Martins Dos Santos, V.A.P.; Lorenzo, de V.; Pistikopoulos, E.N.; Mantalaris, A.

    2011-01-01

    The majority of models describing the kinetic properties of a microorganism for a given substrate are unstructured and empirical. They are formulated in this manner so that the complex mechanism of cell growth is simplified. Herein, a novel approach for modelling microbial growth kinetics is

  18. Microbial and Organic Fine Particle Transport Dynamics in Streams - a Combined Experimental and Stochastic Modeling Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drummond, Jen; Davies-Colley, Rob; Stott, Rebecca; Sukias, James; Nagels, John; Sharp, Alice; Packman, Aaron

    2014-05-01

    Transport dynamics of microbial cells and organic fine particles are important to stream ecology and biogeochemistry. Cells and particles continuously deposit and resuspend during downstream transport owing to a variety of processes including gravitational settling, interactions with in-stream structures or biofilms at the sediment-water interface, and hyporheic exchange and filtration within underlying sediments. Deposited cells and particles are also resuspended following increases in streamflow. Fine particle retention influences biogeochemical processing of substrates and nutrients (C, N, P), while remobilization of pathogenic microbes during flood events presents a hazard to downstream uses such as water supplies and recreation. We are conducting studies to gain insights into the dynamics of fine particles and microbes in streams, with a campaign of experiments and modeling. The results improve understanding of fine sediment transport, carbon cycling, nutrient spiraling, and microbial hazards in streams. We developed a stochastic model to describe the transport and retention of fine particles and microbes in rivers that accounts for hyporheic exchange and transport through porewaters, reversible filtration within the streambed, and microbial inactivation in the water column and subsurface. This model framework is an advance over previous work in that it incorporates detailed transport and retention processes that are amenable to measurement. Solute, particle, and microbial transport were observed both locally within sediment and at the whole-stream scale. A multi-tracer whole-stream injection experiment compared the transport and retention of a conservative solute, fluorescent fine particles, and the fecal indicator bacterium Escherichia coli. Retention occurred within both the underlying sediment bed and stands of submerged macrophytes. The results demonstrate that the combination of local measurements, whole-stream tracer experiments, and advanced modeling

  19. Integrating models with data in ecology and palaeoecology: advances towards a model-data fusion approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Changhui; Guiot, Joel; Wu, Haibin; Jiang, Hong; Luo, Yiqi

    2011-05-01

    It is increasingly being recognized that global ecological research requires novel methods and strategies in which to combine process-based ecological models and data in cohesive, systematic ways. Model-data fusion (MDF) is an emerging area of research in ecology and palaeoecology. It provides a new quantitative approach that offers a high level of empirical constraint over model predictions based on observations using inverse modelling and data assimilation (DA) techniques. Increasing demands to integrate model and data methods in the past decade has led to MDF utilization in palaeoecology, ecology and earth system sciences. This paper reviews key features and principles of MDF and highlights different approaches with regards to DA. After providing a critical evaluation of the numerous benefits of MDF and its current applications in palaeoecology (i.e., palaeoclimatic reconstruction, palaeovegetation and palaeocarbon storage) and ecology (i.e. parameter and uncertainty estimation, model error identification, remote sensing and ecological forecasting), the paper discusses method limitations, current challenges and future research direction. In the ongoing data-rich era of today's world, MDF could become an important diagnostic and prognostic tool in which to improve our understanding of ecological processes while testing ecological theory and hypotheses and forecasting changes in ecosystem structure, function and services. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  20. IMPACT OF COSOLVENT FLUSHING ON SUBSURFACE MICROBIAL ECOLOGY AT THE FORMER SAGE'S DRY CLEANER SITE

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Solvent Extraction Residual Biotreatment (SERB) technology was evaluated at the former Sage's Dry Cleaner site in Jacksonville, FL where an area of tetrachloroethylene (PCE) contamination was identified. The SERB technology is a treatment train approach to complete site rest...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-10

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie R. Mormile

    2014-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Theoretical Approaches in Evolutionary Ecology: Environmental Feedback as a Unifying Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lion, Sébastien

    2018-01-01

    Evolutionary biology and ecology have a strong theoretical underpinning, and this has fostered a variety of modeling approaches. A major challenge of this theoretical work has been to unravel the tangled feedback loop between ecology and evolution. This has prompted the development of two main classes of models. While quantitative genetics models jointly consider the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of a focal population, a separation of timescales between ecology and evolution is assumed by evolutionary game theory, adaptive dynamics, and inclusive fitness theory. As a result, theoretical evolutionary ecology tends to be divided among different schools of thought, with different toolboxes and motivations. My aim in this synthesis is to highlight the connections between these different approaches and clarify the current state of theory in evolutionary ecology. Central to this approach is to make explicit the dependence on environmental dynamics of the population and evolutionary dynamics, thereby materializing the eco-evolutionary feedback loop. This perspective sheds light on the interplay between environmental feedback and the timescales of ecological and evolutionary processes. I conclude by discussing some potential extensions and challenges to our current theoretical understanding of eco-evolutionary dynamics.

  7. Valuation of ecological impacts - a regional approach using the ecological footprint concept

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Knaus, Michael; Loehr, Dirk; O'Regan, Bernadette

    2006-01-01

    All economic activities impact on the environment but not all environmental impacts are assigned values and taken into consideration in development budgets. At project level, the environmental consequences of proposed economic activities have to be evaluated by conducting an environmental impact assessment. Threshold levels in physical terms are outlined in corresponding laws and regulations. Projects fulfilling the necessary environmental assessment requirements (threshold levels) tend to be permitted without predicting the expected environmental impacts in monetary terms. The economic valuation of environmental impacts tends to be affected by uncertainties. The following example of indirect monetary valuation of environmental impacts uses the Ecological Footprint (EF) concept to calculate the total land use of projects. According to the strong sustainability concept it is assumed that every additional direct or indirect utilisation of land caused by a project requires corresponding offset areas. The offset areas required by different project alternatives are valued with relevant regional guide land values

  8. An industrial ecology approach to municipal solid waste ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Municipal solid waste (MSW) can be viewed as a feedstock for industrial ecology inspired conversions of wastes to valuable products and energy. The industrial ecology principle of symbiotic processes using waste streams for creating value-added products is applied to MSW, with examples suggested for various residual streams. A methodology is presented to consider individual waste-to-energy or waste-to-product system synergies, evaluating the economic and environmental issues associated with each system. Steps included in the methodology include identifying waste streams, specific waste components of interest, and conversion technologies, plus steps for determining the economic and environmental effects of using wastes and changes due to transport, administrative handling, and processing. In addition to presenting the methodology, technologies for various MSW input streams are categorized as commercialized or demonstrated to provide organizations that are considering processes for MSW with summarized information. The organization can also follow the methodology to analyze interesting processes. Presents information useful for analyzing the sustainability of alternatives for the management of municipal solid waste.

  9. Stochastic Spatial Models in Ecology: A Statistical Physics Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigolotti, Simone; Cencini, Massimo; Molina, Daniel; Muñoz, Miguel A.

    2017-11-01

    Ecosystems display a complex spatial organization. Ecologists have long tried to characterize them by looking at how different measures of biodiversity change across spatial scales. Ecological neutral theory has provided simple predictions accounting for general empirical patterns in communities of competing species. However, while neutral theory in well-mixed ecosystems is mathematically well understood, spatial models still present several open problems, limiting the quantitative understanding of spatial biodiversity. In this review, we discuss the state of the art in spatial neutral theory. We emphasize the connection between spatial ecological models and the physics of non-equilibrium phase transitions and how concepts developed in statistical physics translate in population dynamics, and vice versa. We focus on non-trivial scaling laws arising at the critical dimension D = 2 of spatial neutral models, and their relevance for biological populations inhabiting two-dimensional environments. We conclude by discussing models incorporating non-neutral effects in the form of spatial and temporal disorder, and analyze how their predictions deviate from those of purely neutral theories.

  10. An Industrial Ecology Approach to Municipal Solid Waste ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    The organic fraction of municipal solid waste provides abundant opportunities for industrial ecology-based symbiotic use. Energy production, economics, and environmental aspects are analyzed for four alternatives based on different technologies: incineration with energy recovery, gasification, anaerobic digestion, and fermentation. In these cases electricity and ethanol are the products considered, but other products and attempts at symbiosis can be made. The four technologies are in various states of commercial development. To highlight their relative complexities some adjustable parameters which are important for the operability of each process are discussed. While these technologies need to be considered for specific locations and circumstances, generalized economic and environmental information suggests relative comparisons for newly conceptualized processes. The results of industrial ecology-based analysis suggest that anaerobic digestion may improve seven emission categories, while fermentation, gasification, and incineration successively improve fewer emissions. A conceptual level analysis indicates that gasification, anaerobic digestion, and fermentation alternatives lead to positive economic results. In each case the alternatives and their assumptions need further analysis for any particular community. Presents information useful for analyzing the sustainability of alternatives for the management of municipal solid waste.

  11. Patterns of ecological specialization among microbial populations in the Red Sea and diverse oligotrophic marine environments

    KAUST Repository

    Thompson, Luke R

    2013-05-11

    Authors. Ecology and Evolution.

  12. 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.

  13. Dynamics of organic matter and microbial populations in amended soil: a multidisciplinary approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gigliotti, Giovanni; Pezzolla, Daniela; Zadra, Claudia; Albertini, Emidio; Marconi, Gianpiero; Turchetti, Benedetta; Buzzini, Pietro

    2013-04-01

    The application of organic amendments to soils, such as pig slurry, sewage sludge and compost is considered a tool for improving soil fertility and enhancing C stock. The addition of these different organic materials allows a good supply of nutrients for plants but also contributes to C sequestration, affects the microbial activity and the transformation of soil organic matter (SOM). Moreover, the addition of organic amendment has gained importance as a source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and then as a cause of the "Global Warming". Therefore, it is important to investigate the factors controlling the SOM mineralization in order to improve soil C sequestration and decreasing at the same time the GHG emissions. The quality of organic matter added to the soil will play an important role in these dynamics, affecting the microbial activity and the changes in microbial community structure. A laboratory, multidisciplinary experiment was carried out to test the effect of the amendment by anaerobic digested livestock-derived organic materials on labile organic matter evolution and on dynamics of microbial population, this latter both in terms of consistence of microbial biomass, as well as in terms of microbial biodiversity. Different approaches were used to study the microbial community structure: chemical (CO2 fluxes, WEOC, C-biomass, PLFA), microbiological (microbial enumeration) and molecular (DNA extraction and Roche 454, Next Generation Sequencing, NGS). The application of fresh digestate, derived from the anaerobic treatment of animal wastes, affected the short-term dynamics of microbial community, as reflected by the increase of CO2 emissions immediately after the amendment compared to the control soil. This is probably due to the addition of easily available C added with the digestate, demonstrating that this organic material was only partially stabilized by the anaerobic process. In fact, the digestate contained a high amounts of available C, which led to

  14. Clinicians' Need for an Ecological Approach to Violence Reduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Bandy X; Young, John L

    2018-01-01

    We now know that harmful social policies, such as those that deny health care to some people, can generate structural violence and be far more harmful than any type of direct violence. A health professional who engages in public health promotion must thus consider the adverse effects of structural violence generated by bad policies. On this view, the dictum, "first, do no harm," can be interpreted as a mandate to protect patients from injustice. Health care professionals' responsibilities extend to motivating policies that prevent avoidable deaths and disabilities. As we exist within an ecology, we must each recognize our responsibility to care for one another and for the larger human community. © 2018 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.

  15. Farming for Ecosystem Services: An Ecological Approach to Production Agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philip Robertson, G.; Gross, Katherine L.; Hamilton, Stephen K.; Landis, Douglas A.; Schmidt, Thomas M.; Snapp, Sieglinde S.; Swinton, Scott M.

    2014-01-01

    A balanced assessment of ecosystem services provided by agriculture requires a systems-level socioecological understanding of related management practices at local to landscape scales. The results from 25 years of observation and experimentation at the Kellogg Biological Station long-term ecological research site reveal services that could be provided by intensive row-crop ecosystems. In addition to high yields, farms could be readily managed to contribute clean water, biocontrol and other biodiversity benefits, climate stabilization, and long-term soil fertility, thereby helping meet society's need for agriculture that is economically and environmentally sustainable. Midwest farmers—especially those with large farms—appear willing to adopt practices that deliver these services in exchange for payments scaled to management complexity and farmstead benefit. Surveyed citizens appear willing to pay farmers for the delivery of specific services, such as cleaner lakes. A new farming for services paradigm in US agriculture seems feasible and could be environmentally significant. PMID:26955069

  16. Farming for Ecosystem Services: An Ecological Approach to Production Agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philip Robertson, G; Gross, Katherine L; Hamilton, Stephen K; Landis, Douglas A; Schmidt, Thomas M; Snapp, Sieglinde S; Swinton, Scott M

    2014-05-01

    A balanced assessment of ecosystem services provided by agriculture requires a systems-level socioecological understanding of related management practices at local to landscape scales. The results from 25 years of observation and experimentation at the Kellogg Biological Station long-term ecological research site reveal services that could be provided by intensive row-crop ecosystems. In addition to high yields, farms could be readily managed to contribute clean water, biocontrol and other biodiversity benefits, climate stabilization, and long-term soil fertility, thereby helping meet society's need for agriculture that is economically and environmentally sustainable. Midwest farmers-especially those with large farms-appear willing to adopt practices that deliver these services in exchange for payments scaled to management complexity and farmstead benefit. Surveyed citizens appear willing to pay farmers for the delivery of specific services, such as cleaner lakes. A new farming for services paradigm in US agriculture seems feasible and could be environmentally significant.

  17. A discrimlnant function approach to ecological site classification in northern New England

    Science.gov (United States)

    James M. Fincher; Marie-Louise Smith

    1994-01-01

    Describes one approach to ecologically based classification of upland forest community types of the White and Green Mountain physiographic regions. The classification approach is based on an intensive statistical analysis of the relationship between the communities and soil-site factors. Discriminant functions useful in distinguishing between types based on soil-site...

  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. The Development of Wisdom: A Social Ecological Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igarashi, Heidi; Levenson, Michael R; Aldwin, Carolyn M

    2018-02-07

    This study examined the development of wisdom within the context of difficult life events (DLEs), and the importance of individuals and their social environments in this process of growth. Social support has long been studied in adulthood, yet less is known about the ways social transactions can promote wisdom. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with men (n = 14) and women (n = 36), ages 56-91 years (M = 71.71; SD = 8.8) who described a DLE and how they coped with it. The analysis was guided by constructivist grounded theory. DLEs included those from childhood through later life. When personal meaning was disrupted by adversity, the social environment played a key role in facilitating new perspectives that corresponded with aspects of wisdom: self-knowledge, compassion, comfort with uncertainty, and accepting complexity. Wisdom is often studied as an individual characteristic, but this study highlighted the relevance of a social ecological perspective to understanding how wisdom development is also facilitated through social transactions. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Different land use intensities in grassland ecosystems drive ecology of microbial communities involved in nitrogen turnover in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM), intensely used mown pastures (IP) and extensively used pastures (EP), respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK). The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation) might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity.

  2. Different land use intensities in grassland ecosystems drive ecology of microbial communities involved in nitrogen turnover in soil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annabel Meyer

    Full Text Available Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM, intensely used mown pastures (IP and extensively used pastures (EP, respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK. The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM), intensely used mown pastures (IP) and extensively used pastures (EP), respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK). The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation) might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity. PMID:24039974

  4. Improving the quality of rice straw by urea and calcium hydroxide on rumen ecology, microbial protein synthesis in beef cattle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polyorach, S; Wanapat, M

    2015-06-01

    Four rumen-fistulated beef cattle were randomly assigned to four treatments according to a 4 × 4 Latin square design to study the influence of urea and calcium hydroxide [Ca(OH)2 ] treatment of rice straw to improve the nutritive value of rice straw. Four dietary treatments were as follows: untreated rice straw, 50 g/kg urea-treated rice straw, 20 g/kg urea + 20 g/kg calcium hydroxide-treated rice straw and 30 g/kg urea + 20 g/kg calcium hydroxide-treated rice straw. All animals were kept in individual pens and fed with concentrate at 0.5 g/kg of BW (DM), rice straw was fed ad libitum. The experiment was conducted for four periods, and each period lasted for 21 days. During the first 14 days, DM feed intake measurements were made while during the last 7 days, all cattle were moved to metabolism crates for total faeces and urine collections. The results revealed that 20 g/kg urea + 20 g/kg calcium hydroxide-treated rice straw improved the nutritive value of rice straw, in terms of dry matter intake, digestibility, ruminal volatile fatty acids, population of bacteria and fungi, nitrogen retention and microbial protein synthesis. Based on this study, it could be concluded that using urea plus calcium hydroxide was one alternative method to improve the nutritive value of rice straw, rumen ecology and fermentation and thus a reduction of treatment cost. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition © 2014 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  5. Carbohydrate-free peach (Prunus persica and plum (Prunus domestica juice affects fecal microbial ecology in an obese animal model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuliana D Noratto

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Growing evidence shows the potential of nutritional interventions to treat obesity but most investigations have utilized non-digestible carbohydrates only. Peach and plum contain high amounts of polyphenols, compounds with demonstrated anti-obesity effects. The underlying process of successfully treating obesity using polyphenols may involve an alteration of the intestinal microbiota. However, this phenomenon is not well understood. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Obese Zucker rats were assigned to three groups (peach, plum, and control, n = 10 each, wild-type group was named lean (n = 10. Carbohydrates in the fruit juices were eliminated using enzymatic hydrolysis. Fecal samples were obtained after 11 weeks of fruit or control juice administration. Real-time PCR and 454-pyrosequencing were used to evaluate changes in fecal microbiota. Over 1,500 different Operational Taxonomic Units at 97% similarity were detected in all rats. Several bacterial groups (e.g. Lactobacillus and members of Ruminococcacea were found to be more abundant in the peach but especially in the plum group (plum juice contained 3 times more total polyphenolics compared to peach juice. Principal coordinate analysis based on Unifrac-based unweighted distance matrices revealed a distinct separation between the microbiota of control and treatment groups. These changes in fecal microbiota occurred simultaneously with differences in fecal short-chain acids concentrations between the control and treatment groups as well as a significant decrease in body weight in the plum group. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that consumption of carbohydrate-free peach and plum juice has the potential to modify fecal microbial ecology in an obese animal model. The separate contribution of polyphenols and non-polyphenols compounds (vitamins and minerals to the observed changes is unknown.

  6. Nitrate and inhibition of ruminal methanogenesis: microbial ecology, obstacles and opportunities for lowering methane emissions from ruminant livestock

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chengjian eYang

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Ruminal methane production is among the main targets for greenhouse gas (GHG mitigation for the animal agriculture industry. Many compounds have been evaluated for their efficacy to suppress enteric methane production by ruminal microorganisms. Of these, nitrate as an alternative hydrogen sink has been among the most promising, but it suffers from variability in efficacy for reasons that are not understood. The accumulation of nitrite, which is poisonous when absorbed into the animal’s circulation, is also variable and poorly understood. This review identifies large gaps in our knowledge of rumen microbial ecology that handicap the further development and safety of nitrate as a dietary additive. Three main bacterial species have been associated historically with ruminal nitrate reduction, namely Wolinella succinogenes, Veillonella parvula and Selenomonas ruminantium, but others almost certainly exist in the largely uncultivated ruminal microbiota. Indications are strong that ciliate protozoa can reduce nitrate, but the significance of their role relative to bacteria is not known. The metabolic fate of the reduced nitrate has not been studied in detail. It is important to be sure that nitrate metabolism and efforts to enhance rates of nitrite reduction do not lead to the evolution of the much more potent GHG, nitrous oxide. The relative importance of direct inhibition of archaeal methanogenic enzymes by nitrite or the efficiency of capture of hydrogen by nitrate reduction in lowering methane production is also not known, nor are nitrite effects on other members of the microbiota. How effective would combining mitigation methods be, based on our understanding of the effects of nitrate and nitrite on the microbiome? Answering these fundamental microbiological questions is essential in assessing the potential of dietary nitrate to limit methane emissions from ruminant livestock.

  7. Defining acceptable levels for ecological indicators: an approach for considering social values.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smyth, Robyn L; Watzin, Mary C; Manning, Robert E

    2007-03-01

    Ecological indicators can facilitate an adaptive management approach, but only if acceptable levels for those indicators have been defined so that the data collected can be interpreted. Because acceptable levels are an expression of the desired state of the ecosystem, the process of establishing acceptable levels should incorporate not just ecological understanding but also societal values. The goal of this research was to explore an approach for defining acceptable levels of ecological indicators that explicitly considers social perspectives and values. We used a set of eight indicators that were related to issues of concern in the Lake Champlain Basin. Our approach was based on normative theory. Using a stakeholder survey, we measured respondent normative evaluations of varying levels of our indicators. Aggregated social norm curves were used to determine the level at which indicator values shifted from acceptable to unacceptable conditions. For seven of the eight indicators, clear preferences were interpretable from these norm curves. For example, closures of public beaches because of bacterial contamination and days of intense algae bloom went from acceptable to unacceptable at 7-10 days in a summer season. Survey respondents also indicated that the number of fish caught from Lake Champlain that could be safely consumed each month was unacceptably low and the number of streams draining into the lake that were impaired by storm water was unacceptably high. If indicators that translate ecological conditions into social consequences are carefully selected, we believe the normative approach has considerable merit for defining acceptable levels of valued ecological system components.

  8. Biomimetic and microbial approaches to solar fuel generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magnuson, Ann; Anderlund, Magnus; Johansson, Olof; Lindblad, Peter; Lomoth, Reiner; Polivka, Tomas; Ott, Sascha; Stensjö, Karin; Styring, Stenbjörn; Sundström, Villy; Hammarström, Leif

    2009-12-21

    them with good catalytic efficiency. The catalytic sites of hydrogenases are now the center of attention of biomimetic efforts, providing prospects for catalytic hydrogen production with inexpensive metals. Thus, we might complete the water-to-fuel conversion: light + 2H(2)O --> 2H(2) + O(2). This reaction formula is to some extent already elegantly fulfilled by cyanobacteria and green algae, water-splitting photosynthetic microorganisms that under certain conditions also can produce hydrogen. An alternative route to hydrogen from solar energy is therefore to engineer these organisms to produce hydrogen more efficiently. This Account describes our original approach to combine research in these two fields: mimicking structural and functional principles of both Photosystem II and hydrogenases by synthetic chemistry and engineering cyanobacteria to become better hydrogen producers and ultimately developing new routes toward synthetic biology.

  9. A social ecology approach to understanding urban ecosystems and landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    J. Morgan Grove; Karen E. Hinson; Robert J. Northrop

    2003-01-01

    The shape and dynamics of cities are the result of physical, biological, and social forces. We include the term dynamic to emphasize that cities change over time and are the result of both idiosyncratic events and dominant trends. To begin to understand the patterns and processes of cities, we approach the idiosyncratic and dominant - whether it is physical, biological...

  10. An assessment of the hypervariable domains of the 16S rRNA genes for their value in determining microbial community diversity: the paradox of traditional ecological indices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, DeEtta K; Entry, James A; Voss, Joshua D; Gillevet, Patrick M; Mathee, Kalai

    2006-09-01

    Amplicon length heterogeneity PCR (LH-PCR) was investigated for its ability to distinguish between microbial community patterns from the same soil type under different land management practices. Natural sagebrush and irrigated mouldboard-ploughed soils from Idaho were queried as to which hypervariable domains, or combinations of 16S rRNA gene domains, were the best molecular markers. Using standard ecological indices to measure richness, diversity and evenness, the combination of three domains, V1, V3 and V1+V2, or the combined V1 and V3 domains were the markers that could best distinguish the undisturbed natural sagebrush communities from the mouldboard-ploughed microbial communities. Bray-Curtis similarity and multidimensional scaling were found to be better metrics to ordinate and cluster the LH-PCR community profiling data. The use/misuse of traditional ecological indices such as diversity and evenness to study microbial community profiles will remain a major point to consider when performing metagenomic studies.

  11. Decision Making under Ecological Regime Shift: An Experimental Economic Approach

    OpenAIRE

    Kawata, Yukichika

    2011-01-01

    Environmental economics postulates the assumption of homo economicus and presumes that externality occurs as a result of the rational economic activities of economic agents. This paper examines this assumption using an experimental economic approach in the context of regime shift, which has been receiving increasing attention. We observe that when externality does not exist, economic agents (subjects of experimemt) act economically rationally, but when externality exists, economic agents avoi...

  12. RBCA-based approaches to ecological risk assessment for TPH-contaminated areas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hummell, R.; Vedagiri, U.

    1995-01-01

    The RBCA guidelines proposed by ASTM form an evaluation and decision-making framework for sites potentially contaminated by petroleum releases. They present a three-tiered approach of decreasing conservatism and increasing site-specificity that primarily evaluates risks to human health. While RBCA includes consideration of environmental impacts, there are no specific recommendations on how this is to be achieved. A RBCA-based ecological risk assessment approach was developed for TPH-contaminated areas in Alaska. The approach presents a habitat-based selection process for surrogate chemicals and indicator chemicals of ecological relevance, evaluation of ecotoxicity, derivation of matrix-specific Tier 1 RBSLs (including soils) and determination of Tier 2 and 3 SSTLS. Chemicals are considered by class, aquatic (freshwater and saltwater) and terrestrial habitats are evaluated independently, and chemical concentrations are screened in all media of concern (air, soil, water, sediment). Data needs and decision points specific to ecological receptors are identified for each tier of the approach. Other aspects of the approach include consideration of contaminant migration pathways and habitats that are typical of Arctic conditions. Areas where ecological and human risk concerns may overlap are identified

  13. Environmental and Geographical Factors Structure Soil Microbial Diversity in New Caledonian Ultramafic Substrates: A Metagenomic Approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Véronique Gourmelon

    Full Text Available Soil microorganisms play key roles in ecosystem functioning and are known to be influenced by biotic and abiotic factors, such as plant cover or edaphic parameters. New Caledonia, a biodiversity hotspot located in the southwest Pacific, is one-third covered by ultramafic substrates. These types of soils are notably characterised by low nutrient content and high heavy metal concentrations. Ultramafic outcrops harbour diverse vegetation types and remarkable plant diversity. In this study, we aimed to assess soil bacterial and fungal diversity in New Caledonian ultramafic substrates and to determine whether floristic composition, edaphic parameters and geographical factors affect this microbial diversity. Therefore, four plant formation types at two distinct sites were studied. These formations represent different stages in a potential chronosequence. Soil cores, according to a given sampling procedure, were collected to assess microbial diversity using a metagenomic approach, and to characterise the physico-chemical parameters. A botanical inventory was also performed. Our results indicated that microbial richness, composition and abundance were linked to the plant cover type and the dominant plant species. Furthermore, a large proportion of Ascomycota phylum (fungi, mostly in non-rainforest formations, and Planctomycetes phylum (bacteria in all formations were observed. Interestingly, such patterns could be indicators of past disturbances that occurred on different time scales. Furthermore, the bacteria and fungi were influenced by diverse edaphic parameters as well as by the interplay between these two soil communities. Another striking finding was the existence of a site effect. Differences in microbial communities between geographical locations may be explained by dispersal limitation in the context of the biogeographical island theory. In conclusion, each plant formation at each site possesses is own microbial community resulting from

  14. Culture-dependent and -independent approaches establish the complexity of a PAH-degrading microbial consortium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vinas, M.; Sabate, J.; Solanas, A.M. [Barcelona Univ., Barcelona (Spain). Dept. of Microbiology; Guasp, C.; Lalucat, J. [Illes Balears Univ., Palma de Mallorca (Spain). Dept. of Biology

    2005-11-15

    Microbial consortia are used in the decontamination of polluted environmental sites. A microbial consortium obtained by batch enrichment culture is a closed system with controlled conditions in which micro-organisms with a potentially high growth rate are selected and become dominant. The aim of this study was to identify the members of consortium AM, in which earlier batch enrichment work had shown high biodegradation rates of the aromatic fraction of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH). The AM consortium was obtained by sequential enrichment in liquid culture with a PAH mixture of 3- and 4- ringed PAHs as the sole source of carbon and energy. The consortium was examined using a triple approach method based on various cultivation strategies, denaturing gradient electrophoresis (DGGE) and the screening of 16S and 18S rRNA gene clone libraries. Eleven different sequences by culture-dependent techniques and 7 by both DGGE and clone libraries were obtained, yielding 19 different microbial components. Proteobacteria were the dominant group, representing 83 per cent of the total, while the Cytophaga-Flexibactor-Bacteroides group (CFB) was 11 per cent, and Ascomycota fungi were 6 per cent. It was determined that {beta}-Proteobacteria were predominant in the DGGE and clone library methods, whereas they were a minority in culturable strains. The highest diversity and number of noncoincident sequences was achieved by the cultivation method that showed members of the {alpha},{beta}, and {gamma}-Proteobacteria, CFB bacterial group, and Ascomycota fungi. Only 6 of the 11 strains isolated showed PAH-degrading capability. The bacterial strain (AMS7) and the fungal strain (AMF1) achieved the greatest PAH depletion. Results indicated that polyphasic assessment is necessary for a proper understanding of the composition of a microbial consortium. It was concluded that microbial consortia are more complex than previously realized. 54 refs., 3 tabs., 3 figs.

  15. Resilience of Soil Microbial Communities to Metals and Additional Stressors: DNA-Based Approaches for Assessing “Stress-on-Stress” Responses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Azarbad, H.; van Gestel, C.A.M.; Niklińska, M.; Laskowski, R.; Röling, W.F.M.; van Straalen, N.M.

    2016-01-01

    Many microbial ecology studies have demonstrated profound changes in community composition caused by environmental pollution, as well as adaptation processes allowing survival of microbes in polluted ecosystems. Soil microbial communities in polluted areas with a long-term history of contamination

  16. A Comparison of Modeling Approaches in Simulating Chlorinated Ethene Removal in a Constructed Wetland by a Microbial Consortia

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Campbell, Jason

    2002-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to compare different approaches to modeling the reductive dechlorination of chlorinated ethenes in the anaerobic region of an upward flow constructed wetland by microbial consortia...

  17. A Comparison of Modeling Approaches in Simulating Chlorinated Ethene Removal in a Constructed Wetland by a Microbial Consortia

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Campbell, Jason

    2002-01-01

    ... of the modeling approaches affect simulation results. Concepts like microbial growth in the form of a biofilm and spatially varying contaminant concentrations bring the validity of the CSTR assumption into question...

  18. Approaches for integrated assessment of ecological and eutrophication status of surface waters in Nordic Countries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Jesper H.; Aroviita, Jukka; Carstensen, Jacob

    2016-01-01

    We review approaches and tools currently used in Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden) for integrated assessment of ‘ecological status’ sensu the EU Water Framework Directive as well as assessment of ‘eutrophication status’ in coastal and marine waters. Integration principles for...... principles applied within BQEs are critical and in need of harmonisation if we want a better understanding of potential transition in ecological status between surface water types, e.g. when riverine water enters a downstream lake or coastal water body.......We review approaches and tools currently used in Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden) for integrated assessment of ‘ecological status’ sensu the EU Water Framework Directive as well as assessment of ‘eutrophication status’ in coastal and marine waters. Integration principles...

  19. 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.

  20. Microbial ecology measurement system

    Science.gov (United States)

    1972-01-01

    The sensitivity and potential rapidity of the PIA test that was demonstrated during the feasibility study warranted continuing the effort to examine the possibility of adapting this test to an automated procedure that could be used during manned missions. The effort during this program has optimized the test conditions for two important respiratory pathogens, influenza virus and Mycoplasma pneumoniae, developed a laboratory model automated detection system, and investigated a group antigen concept for virus detection. Preliminary tests on the handling of oropharygeal clinical samples for PIA testing were performed using the adenovirus system. The results obtained indicated that the PIA signal is reduced in positive samples and is increased in negative samples. Treatment with cysteine appeared to reduce nonspecific agglutination in negative samples but did not maintain the signal in positive samples.

  1. Microbial Ecology in Vineyards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil health affects grapevine health, which, in turn, affects fruit quality. Soil health has chemical, physical, and biological components. The chemical components are the best understood, and there are relatively convenient methods to both evaluate and amend chemical soil fertility. The physical...

  2. Bioreporters in microbial ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leveau, J.H.J.; Lindow, S.E.

    2002-01-01

    Bioreporters are effective research tools for gaining an understanding of a microbe's perception of the world. Fitted with a fusion of an environmentally responsive promoter to a suitable reporter gene, a bacterial or fungal bioreporter is able to communicate its metabolic or transcriptional

  3. Improving low health literacy and patient engagement: A social ecological approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormack, Lauren; Thomas, Veronica; Lewis, Megan A; Rudd, Rima

    2017-01-01

    This article posits four principal objectives related to the overarching goal of broadening the conceptualization of health literacy. We propose a social ecological approach to health literacy and patient engagement by illustrating how this multilevel approach offers an array of strategic options for interventions. A social ecological approach supports a broader understanding of health literacy that aligns with increased patient engagement. The ecological model highlights the importance of context, demonstrates how health literacy and patient engagement are inextricably connected, and gives rise to strategies to enhance them both. We illustrate the five multilevel intervention strategies for addressing low health literacy and promoting patient engagement: accumulation, amplification, facilitation, cascade, and convergence strategies. In addition, we provide a theoretical foundation to facilitate the development of interventions to enhance health literacy and ultimately increase patient engagement. The practice implications of adopting a broader social ecological perspective to address low health literacy shifts the field from thinking about individual educational interventions to how individual interventions may be augmented or supported by interventions at additional levels of influence. The potential benefit of adopting a multilevel intervention approach is that combining interventions could produce synergies that are greater than interventions that only utilize one level of influence. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Gang Involvement among Immigrant and Refugee Youth: A Developmental Ecological Systems Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodrum, Nada M.; Chan, Wing Yi; Latzman, Robert D.

    2015-01-01

    Immigrant and refugee youth are at elevated risk for joining gangs, which, in turn, is associated with a host of maladaptive outcomes. Previous literature on risk and protective factors for immigrant and refugee youth gang involvement has been inconclusive. Applying a developmental ecological systems approach, this study investigated contextual…

  5. Ecological risks of an old wood impregnation mill: application of the triad approach.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Karjalainen, A.-M.; Kilpi-Koski, J.; Väisänen, A.O.; Penttinen, S.; van Gestel, C.A.M.; Penttinen, O.-P.

    2009-01-01

    Although many studies deal with the distribution and mobility of chromated copper arsenate (CCA) metals in soil, the ecotoxicity of CCA-contaminated soils is rarely studied. The Triad approach was applied to determine the ecological risks posed by a CCA mixture at a decommissioned wood impregnation

  6. A landscape approach for ecologically based management of Great Basin shrublands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael J. Wisdom; Jeanne C. Chambers

    2009-01-01

    Native shrublands dominate the Great Basin of western of North America, and most of these communities are at moderate or high risk of loss from non-native grass invasion and woodland expansion. Landscape-scale management based on differences in ecological resistance and resilience of shrublands can reduce these risks. We demonstrate this approach with an example that...

  7. Methodological approach to simulation and choice of ecologically efficient and energetically economic wind turbines (WT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bespalov, Vadim; Udina, Natalya; Samarskaya, Natalya

    2017-10-01

    Use of wind energy is related to one of the prospective directions among renewed energy sources. A methodological approach is reviewed in the article to simulation and choice of ecologically efficient and energetically economic wind turbines on the designing stage taking into account characteristics of natural-territorial complex and peculiarities of anthropogenic load in the territory of WT location.

  8. Political violence and development: an ecologic approach to children in war zones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boothby, Neil

    2008-07-01

    This article looks at the experiences of children in war from a psychosocial and social ecologic perspective. In contrast to clinical approaches, it offers a conceptualization of how the impacts of political violence and war are socially mediated. It suggests that psychologic assistance to war-affected children often occurs not through the provision of therapy by outsiders but via support from insiders.

  9. An Ecological Approach to the Design of UAV Ground Control Station (GCS) Status Displays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowell, Susan; Morphew, Ephimia; Shively, Jay

    2003-01-01

    Use of UAVs in military and commercial applications will continue to increase. However, there has been limited research devoted to UAV GCS design. The current study employed an ecological approach to interfac e design. Ecological Interface Design (EID) can be characterized as r epresenting the properties of a system, such that an operator is enco uraged to use skill-based behavior when problem solving. When more ef fortful cognitive processes become necessary due to unfamiliar situations, the application of EID philosophy supports the application of kn owledge-based behavior. With advances toward multiple UAV command and control, operators need GCS interfaces designed to support understan ding of complex systems. We hypothesized that use of EID principles f or the display of UAV status information would result in better opera tor performance and situational awareness, while decreasing workload. Pilots flew a series of missions with three UAV GCS displays of statu s information (Alphanumeric, Ecological, and Hybrid display format). Measures of task performance, Situational Awareness, and workload dem onstrated the benefits of using an ecological approach to designing U AV GCS displays. The application of ecological principles to the design of UAV GCSs is a promising area for improving UAV operations.

  10. An approach for balancing health and ecological risks at hazardous waste sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suter, G.W. II; Hull, R.N.; Stack, M.; Cornaby, B.W.; Hadden, C.T.; Zafran, F.A.

    1995-01-01

    Human health and ecological risks must be balanced at hazardous waste sites in order to ensure that remedial actions prevent unacceptable risks of either type. Actions that are designed to protect humans may fail to protect nonhuman populations and ecosystems or may damage ecosystems. However, there is no common scale of health and ecological risk that would allow comparisons to be performed. This paper presents an approach to addressing this problem based on classifying all risks (i.e., health and ecological risks due contaminants and remediation) as insignificant (de minimis), highly significant (de manifestis), or intermediate. For health risks the classification is based on standard criteria. However, in the absence of national guidance concerning the acceptability of ecological risks, new ecological criteria are proposed based on an analysis of regulatory precedents. Matrices and flow charts are presented to guide the use of these risk categories in remedial decision making. The assessment of mercury contamination of the East Fork Poplar Creek is presented as an example of the implementation of the approach. 15 refs., 3 figs., 3 tabs

  11. Valuing the Unmarketable: An Ecological Approach to the Externalities Estimate in Fishing Activities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Piero Franzoi

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available In a rapidly changing world, sustainability, if it can be said to exist at all, is concept that has attained mythic status, often pursued and rarely reached. In order to improve our capability to cope with environmental problems, adopting an Ecosystem Approach has been suggested. One of the major challenges in the implementation of this new paradigm relates to control of externalities. The recognition and quantification of externalities is often cast as valuing the unmarketable, and there are several approaches that have been proposed. Here, we analyze the opportunity to “feed” the economic valuation with ecological concepts. From an ecological perspective, the energy required to sustain a biomass unit at a given trophic level (TL is the same, whatever the species. We build on this central tenet of ecology to assess the value of a TL unit for each trophic position using fish market data. The results obtained were then used to assign a value to each species living in a given habitat, together with consideration of their ecological role within the community. Estimates of both natural capital and functional value were applied to assess the ecological impacts of mechanical clam harvesting versus the multi-species artisanal fishery in the Venice lagoon. Results are discussed in relation to possible contribution to the implementation of a different management strategy.

  12. MAIN LAND USE PLANNING APPROACHES TO STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS LOCAL ECOLOGICAL NETWORK

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    TretiakV.M.

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available In modern conditions of social development, changes in land eco-system of economic relations in Ukraine, the problem of providing conditions for the creation of sustainable land use and creation of protected areas get the status of special urgency. Ideology establishment of ecological networks became logical continuation of environmental thought in general. Considering the methodological approach to the establishment of ecological networks we can constitute, that it is an environmental frame of spatial infrastructure, land conservation and environmental areas, major part of land is the basis of the structural elements of ecological network. Designing an ecological network is made through developing regional schemes of Econet formation, regional and local schemes for establishing an ecological network areas, settlements and other areas. Land Management uses design of structural elements of the ecological network in the village council, as a rule, begins with ecological and landscape mikrozonationof the village council, held during the preparatory work for the land drafting and finishing the formation of environmentally homogeneous regions, which represents the tied system components of ecological network, environmental measures in the form of local environmental restrictions (encumbrances to use land and other natural resources. Additionally, there are some project organization and territorial measures that increase the sustainability area, such as: key, binders, buffer areas and renewable ecological network. Land management projects on the formation of structural elements of ecological network as territorial restrictions (encumbrances in land are used within the territories Councils determined the location and size of land: - Protection zones around especially valuable natural objects of cultural heritage, meteorological stations, etc. in order to protect them from adverse human impacts; - Protection zones along telecommunication lines, power

  13. Functional Enzyme-Based Approach for Linking Microbial Community Functions with Biogeochemical Process Kinetics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Minjing [School; Qian, Wei-jun [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington 99354, United States; Gao, Yuqian [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington 99354, United States; Shi, Liang [School; Liu, Chongxuan [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington 99354, United States; School

    2017-09-28

    The kinetics of biogeochemical processes in natural and engineered environmental systems are typically described using Monod-type or modified Monod-type models. These models rely on biomass as surrogates for functional enzymes in microbial community that catalyze biogeochemical reactions. A major challenge to apply such models is the difficulty to quantitatively measure functional biomass for constraining and validating the models. On the other hand, omics-based approaches have been increasingly used to characterize microbial community structure, functions, and metabolites. Here we proposed an enzyme-based model that can incorporate omics-data to link microbial community functions with biogeochemical process kinetics. The model treats enzymes as time-variable catalysts for biogeochemical reactions and applies biogeochemical reaction network to incorporate intermediate metabolites. The sequences of genes and proteins from metagenomes, as well as those from the UniProt database, were used for targeted enzyme quantification and to provide insights into the dynamic linkage among functional genes, enzymes, and metabolites that are necessary to be incorporated in the model. The application of the model was demonstrated using denitrification as an example by comparing model-simulated with measured functional enzymes, genes, denitrification substrates and intermediates

  14. A high school ecology curriculum employing currere: A critical postmodern approach to pedagogy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doerr, Marilyn Noble

    2000-10-01

    This classroom research is a case study of a high school ecology curriculum based on William Pinar's currere. The author, both the practitioner in the classroom and the curriculum developer, uses the dissertation to analyze the success of the ecology course. A successful course, she feels, not only teaches the students the rudiments of ecology but also introduces them to the political and moral issues surrounding ecological principles. Currere is curriculum as autobiographical text. It is phenomenological, exploring students' lived experiences and their interpretations of those experiences. With the focus on introspection and hermeneutics, curriculum becomes something to be encountered and the student immerses her/himself in trying to understand that encounter. In this study, currere is adapted for use in an ecology classroom through what the author terms "the Environmental Autobiography," or EA. The paper explores qualitative data collected from the researcher and 50 students, mostly high school seniors, who took the class over a two-year period. The researcher analyzes and interprets a generous selection of excerpts from these EAs when considering the efficacy of using the currere process in this course. The researcher then examines five frequently-appearing themes in the writings: caring, insecurities and gender issues, egocentrism, politicization, and definitions of success. The researcher finds that the use of currere in this way brought a postmodern approach to the teaching of this most holistic of the sciences---ecology. This non-traditional method allowed students to begin to see ecological problems in context and to realize that knowledge is always partial. For many students this currere-based ecology curriculum moved them from "I know" to "I care," and on to "I want to do something about this." Finally, the researcher concludes that the EA gave a richness and energy to the class that was unlike any of her past teaching experiences. The paper explores

  15. Microbial and geochemical investigations of dissolved organic carbon and microbial ecology of native waters from the Biscayne and Upper Floridan Aquifers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisle, John T.; Harvey, Ron W.; Aiken, George R.; Metge, David W.

    2010-01-01

    Groundwater resources in the United States are under ever-increasing demands for potable, irrigation, and recreational uses. Additionally, aquifer systems are being used or targeted for use as storage areas for treated surface waters and (or) groundwaters via injection (for example, aquifer storage and recovery). To date, the influence that the nutrients, including carbon, in the injected water have on native microbial communities and the biogeochemistry in the subsurface zones used for storage of the injectate has not been determined. In this report, we describe a series of experiments that establishes a baseline dataset for the quantity and quality of organic and inorganic carbon and nutrients in the Biscayne Aquifer (BA) and Upper Floridan Aquifer (UFA) in south Florida. The most significant differences between the BA (26 meters below surface) and UFA (366 meters below surface) are the average specific conductance (0.552 and 6.12 microsiemens per centimeter, respectively), dissolved oxygen (1.6 and 0 milligrams per liter, respectively), and oxidation-reduction potential (40.3 and -358 millivolts, respectively). The dissolved organic carbon from the BA is characterized by carbon originating from terrestrial sources and microbial activities, while the UFA has a distinctive microbial signature. Acetate and lactate are the dominant carbon constituents in both aquifers. Additionally, components of the dissolved organic carbon from the UFA have a total trihalomethane-formation potential that is approximately threefold greater than the maximum contaminat level of 80 micrograms per liter established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The average native bacterial abundances in the aquifers are similar with 4.69x10^4 cells per milliliter in the BA and 1.33x10^4 cells per milliliter in the UFA. The average bacteriophage abundances are also similar with 1.15x10^5 virus-like particles in the BA and 1.92x10^5 virus-like particles in the UFA. Interestingly, ciliated

  16. A tiered approach for probabilistic ecological risk assessment of contaminated sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zolezzi, M.; Nicolella, C.; Tarazona, J.V.

    2005-01-01

    This paper presents a tiered methodology for probabilistic ecological risk assessment. The proposed approach starts from deterministic comparison (ratio) of single exposure concentration and threshold or safe level calculated from a dose-response relationship, goes through comparison of probabilistic distributions that describe exposure values and toxicological responses of organisms to the chemical of concern, and finally determines the so called distribution-based quotients (DBQs). In order to illustrate the proposed approach, soil concentrations of 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene (1,2,4- TCB) measured in an industrial contaminated site were used for site-specific probabilistic ecological risks assessment. By using probabilistic distributions, the risk, which exceeds a level of concern for soil organisms with the deterministic approach, is associated to the presence of hot spots reaching concentrations able to affect acutely more than 50% of the soil species, while the large majority of the area presents 1,2,4- TCB concentrations below those reported as toxic [it

  17. Interactions between nutritional approaches and defences against microbial diseases in small ruminants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caroprese, M; Giannenas, I; Fthenakis, G C

    2015-12-14

    Objective of this review is to discuss the role of small ruminant diet in the defence of these animals against microbial diseases, in relation to different experimental approaches and various stressors acting on animals. The effects of various diets in immune reactions and animal defences are presented. Also, effects in relation to the species studied and the type of stressors acting on animals are discussed. Evidence is provided about the significance of the diet in enhancing immune responses of small ruminants during specific conditions, e.g., around parturition, during lactation, as well as in growing lambs or kids. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. A microbial-mineralization approach for syntheses of iron oxides with a high specific surface area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yagita, Naoki; Oaki, Yuya; Imai, Hiroaki

    2013-04-02

    Of minerals and microbes: A microbial-mineralization-inspired approach was used to facilitate the syntheses of iron oxides with a high specific surface area, such as 253 m(2)g(-1) for maghemite (γ-Fe(2)O(3)) and 148 m(2)g(-1) for hematite (α-Fe(2)O(3)). These iron oxides can be applied to electrode material of lithium-ion batteries, adsorbents, and catalysts. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  20. Effects of hydraulic retention time on anaerobic hydrogenation performance and microbial ecology of bioreactors fed with glucose-peptone and starch-peptone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Shiue-Lin; Chao, Yu-Chieh; Wang, Yu-Hsuan; Hsiao, Chia-Jung; Bai, Ming-Der [Department of Environmental Engineering, National Cheng-Kung University, No. 1, University Road, Tainan 701 (China); Whang, Liang-Ming; Wang, Yung-Fu; Cheng, Sheng-Shung [Department of Environmental Engineering, National Cheng-Kung University, No. 1, University Road, Tainan 701 (China); Sustainable Environment Research Center (SERC), National Cheng-Kung University, No. 1, University Road, Tainan 701 (China); Tseng, I.-Cheng [Sustainable Environment Research Center (SERC), National Cheng-Kung University, No. 1, University Road, Tainan 701 (China); Department of Life Science, National Cheng-Kung University, No. 1, University Road, Tainan 701 (China)

    2010-01-15

    This study evaluated anaerobic hydrogenation performance and microbial ecology in bioreactors operated at different hydraulic retention time (HRT) conditions and fed with glucose-peptone (GP) and starch-peptone (SP). The maximum hydrogen production rates for GP- and SP-fed bioreactors were found to be 1247 and 412 mmol-H{sub 2}/L/d at HRT of 2 and 3 h, respectively. At HRT > 8 h, hydrogen consumption due to peptone fermentation could occur and thus reduced hydrogen yield from carbohydrate fermentation. Results of cloning/sequencing and denaturant gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) indicated that Clostridium sporogenes and Clostridium celerecrescens were dominant hydrogen-producing bacteria in the GP-fed bioreactor, presumably due to their capability on protein hydrolysis. In the SP-fed bioreactor, Lactobacillus plantarum, Propionispira arboris, and Clostridium butyricum were found to be dominant populations, but the presence of P. arboris at HRT > 3 h might be responsible for a lower hydrogen yield from starch fermentation. As a result, optimizing HRT operation for bioreactors was considered an important asset in order to minimize hydrogen-consuming activities and thus maximize net hydrogen production. The limitation of simple parameters such as butyrate to acetate ratio (B/A ratio) in predicting hydrogen production was recognized in this study for bioreactors fed with multiple substrates. It is suggested that microbial ecology analysis, in addition to chemical analysis, should be performed when complex substrates and mixed cultures are used in hydrogen-producing bioreactors. (author)

  1. Soil microbial community as a proxy for the ecological service condition in karst soils of SW China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Sophie M.; Dungait, Jennifer A. J.; Zhang, Xinyu; Hawkes, Simon; Donovan, Neil; Barrows, Tim; Buss, Heather; Liu, Taoze; Evershed, Richard; Wen, Xuefa; Hartley, Iain; Song, Zhaoliang; Liu, Hongyan; Tu, Chenglong; Johnes, Penny J.; Meersmans, Jeroen; Guo, Dali; Quine, Tim

    2017-04-01

    Karst is a key landscape covering extensive areas of Southwest China that has undergone rapid intensive land use change and degradation over the last 50 years. Clear evidence of environmental degradation and its damaging consequences for the reduction of intrinsic value of the land for local human populations has led to an increasing focus on landscape rehabilitation. This has included unmanaged abandonment and attempts to re-vegetate denuded surfaces. However, this has achieved limited success and there is a clear need to develop restoration strategies underpinned by robust quantitative and mechanistic understanding of critical zone (CZ) functioning. Thus, a karst Critical Zone Observatory (CZO) was established in June 2016 in Chenqi, Guizhou Province, along a gradient through three levels of human perturbed landscapes: sloping farmland; recovery phase 1 (recently abandoned, within 5 years); and, recovery phase 2 (secondary forest, abandoned > 5 years). We hypothesise that there is a tipping point along the degradation gradient beyond which key biological controls over CZ function are lost, resulting in declining nutrient cycling and rock weathering rates, and increased soil erosion rates. This paper will present preliminary data from the application of the CZ approach using space-for-time substitution. We characterised soil microbial community dynamics along the degradation gradient using geochemical biomarkers and soil properties measured in soil profiles (soil microbes, and pools of soil carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), with estimations of soil erosion rates using radionuclide 137Cs/Pb210, within the karst ecosystem to evaluate the status of key ecosystem functions (e.g. nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, soil stabilisation).

  2. Network approaches for understanding rainwater management from a social-ecological systems perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven D. Prager

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The premise of this research is to better understand how approaches to implementing rainwater management practices can be informed by understanding how the people living and working in agroecosystems are connected to one another. Because these connections are via both social interactions and functional characteristics of the landscape, a social-ecological network emerges. Using social-ecological network theory, we ask how understanding the structure of interactions can lead to improved rainwater management interventions. Using a case study situated within a small sub-basin in the Fogera area of the Blue Nile Basin of Ethiopia, we build networks of smallholders based both on the biophysical and social-institutional landscapes present in the study site, with the smallholders themselves as the common element between the networks. In turn we explore how structures present in the networks may serve to guide decision making regarding both where and with whom rainwater management interventions could be developed. This research thus illustrates an approach for constructing a social-ecological network and demonstrates how the structures of the network yield insights for tailoring the implementation of rainwater management practices to the social and ecological setting.

  3. An Improved Artificial Bee Colony-Based Approach for Zoning Protected Ecological Areas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing Shao

    Full Text Available China is facing ecological and environmental challenges as its urban growth rate continues to rise, and zoning protected ecological areas is recognized as an effective response measure. Zoning inherently involves both site attributes and aggregation attributes, and the combination of mathematical models and heuristic algorithms have proven advantageous. In this article, an improved artificial bee colony (IABC-based approach is proposed for zoning protected ecological areas at a regional scale. Three main improvements were made: the first is the use of multiple strategies to generate the initial bee population of a specific quality and diversity, the second is an exploitation search procedure to generate neighbor solutions combining "replace" and "alter" operations, and the third is a "swap" strategy to enable a local search for the iterative optimal solution. The IABC algorithm was verified using simulated data. Then it was applied to define an optimum scheme of protected ecological areas of Sanya (in the Hainan province of China, and a reasonable solution was obtained. Finally, a comparison experiment with other methods (agent-based land allocation model, ant colony optimization, and density slicing was conducted and demonstrated that the IABC algorithm was more effective and efficient than the other methods. Through this study, we aimed to provide a scientifically sound, practical approach for zoning procedures.

  4. Integrating survey and molecular approaches to better understand wildlife disease ecology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brendan D Cowled

    Full Text Available Infectious wildlife diseases have enormous global impacts, leading to human pandemics, global biodiversity declines and socio-economic hardship. Understanding how infection persists and is transmitted in wildlife is critical for managing diseases, but our understanding is limited. Our study aim was to better understand how infectious disease persists in wildlife populations by integrating genetics, ecology and epidemiology approaches. Specifically, we aimed to determine whether environmental or host factors were stronger drivers of Salmonella persistence or transmission within a remote and isolated wild pig (Sus scrofa population. We determined the Salmonella infection status of wild pigs. Salmonella isolates were genotyped and a range of data was collected on putative risk factors for Salmonella transmission. We a priori identified several plausible biological hypotheses for Salmonella prevalence (cross sectional study design versus transmission (molecular case series study design and fit the data to these models. There were 543 wild pig Salmonella observations, sampled at 93 unique locations. Salmonella prevalence was 41% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 37-45%. The median Salmonella DICE coefficient (or Salmonella genetic similarity was 52% (interquartile range [IQR]: 42-62%. Using the traditional cross sectional prevalence study design, the only supported model was based on the hypothesis that abundance of available ecological resources determines Salmonella prevalence in wild pigs. In the molecular study design, spatial proximity and herd membership as well as some individual risk factors (sex, condition score and relative density determined transmission between pigs. Traditional cross sectional surveys and molecular epidemiological approaches are complementary and together can enhance understanding of disease ecology: abundance of ecological resources critical for wildlife influences Salmonella prevalence, whereas Salmonella transmission is

  5. Integrating Survey and Molecular Approaches to Better Understand Wildlife Disease Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowled, Brendan D.; Ward, Michael P.; Laffan, Shawn W.; Galea, Francesca; Garner, M. Graeme; MacDonald, Anna J.; Marsh, Ian; Muellner, Petra; Negus, Katherine; Quasim, Sumaiya; Woolnough, Andrew P.; Sarre, Stephen D.

    2012-01-01

    Infectious wildlife diseases have enormous global impacts, leading to human pandemics, global biodiversity declines and socio-economic hardship. Understanding how infection persists and is transmitted in wildlife is critical for managing diseases, but our understanding is limited. Our study aim was to better understand how infectious disease persists in wildlife populations by integrating genetics, ecology and epidemiology approaches. Specifically, we aimed to determine whether environmental or host factors were stronger drivers of Salmonella persistence or transmission within a remote and isolated wild pig (Sus scrofa) population. We determined the Salmonella infection status of wild pigs. Salmonella isolates were genotyped and a range of data was collected on putative risk factors for Salmonella transmission. We a priori identified several plausible biological hypotheses for Salmonella prevalence (cross sectional study design) versus transmission (molecular case series study design) and fit the data to these models. There were 543 wild pig Salmonella observations, sampled at 93 unique locations. Salmonella prevalence was 41% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 37–45%). The median Salmonella DICE coefficient (or Salmonella genetic similarity) was 52% (interquartile range [IQR]: 42–62%). Using the traditional cross sectional prevalence study design, the only supported model was based on the hypothesis that abundance of available ecological resources determines Salmonella prevalence in wild pigs. In the molecular study design, spatial proximity and herd membership as well as some individual risk factors (sex, condition score and relative density) determined transmission between pigs. Traditional cross sectional surveys and molecular epidemiological approaches are complementary and together can enhance understanding of disease ecology: abundance of ecological resources critical for wildlife influences Salmonella prevalence, whereas Salmonella transmission is driven by

  6. The ecological effects of different loading rates of metalaxyl on microbial biomass in unplanted and planted soils under field conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Mansourzadeh

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Fungicides are most widely used pesticides in Iran and the world. Application of fungicides may affect the populations and activity of soil microorganisms, particularly fungi, with a consequence for soil fertility and crop growth. In the current study, the effects of different levels of metalaxyl on soil microbial biomass carbon (C and nitrogen (N, microbial biomass C/N ratio and metabolic quotient under field conditions were assessed. Two levels of metalaxyl (30 and 60 kg.ha-1 were applied in planted soils with corn and unplanted calcareous soils, using a split-plots experiment in a completely randomized design with three replications. The C and N contents in soil microbial biomass as well as metabolic quotient were measured at 30 and 90 days after the onset of the experiment. Results showed that in cultivated soils metalaxyl application at 30 kg.ha-1 increased (15-80% significantly (p≤0.01 the amounts of microbial biomass C and N at both intervals (except microbial biomass C at 90 days compared to the control soil (0 kg.ha-1, while in uncultivated soils both microbial biomass C and N reduced by almost 1-34%. Microbial biomass C/N ratios in unplanted soils decreased (15 and 53% with increasing loading rates of metalaxyl, without a clear effect in cultivated soils. On the other hand, metabolic quotient values reduced (48% at 30 and 60 kg.ha-1 metalaxyl in corn-cultivated soils when compared to untreated soils while in uncultivated soils metalaxyl rate at 30 kg.a-1 had the greatest values at 30 days, and increased with increasing the levels of metalaxyl at 90 days. In summary, application of metalaxyl can either reduce or increase soil biological indices, and the direction and changes are depended upon the application rate of metalaxyl, time elapsed since metalaxyl application and the presence or absence of plant.

  7. Winter ecology of a subalpine grassland: Effects of snow removal on soil respiration, microbial structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavazov, Konstantin; Ingrisch, Johannes; Hasibeder, Roland; Mills, Robert T E; Buttler, Alexandre; Gleixner, Gerd; Pumpanen, Jukka; Bahn, Michael

    2017-07-15

    Seasonal snow cover provides essential insulation for mountain ecosystems, but expected changes in precipitation patterns and snow cover duration due to global warming can influence the activity of soil microbial communities. In turn, these changes have the potential to create new dynamics of soil organic matter cycling. To assess the effects of experimental snow removal and advanced spring conditions on soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) dynamics, and on the biomass and structure of soil microbial communities, we performed an in situ study in a subalpine grassland in the Austrian Alps, in conjunction with soil incubations under controlled conditions. We found substantial winter C-mineralisation and high accumulation of inorganic and organic N in the topsoil, peaking at snowmelt. Soil microbial biomass doubled under the snow, paralleled by a fivefold increase in its C:N ratio, but no apparent change in its bacteria-dominated community structure. Snow removal led to a series of mild freeze-thaw cycles, which had minor effects on in situ soil CO 2 production and N mineralisation. Incubated soil under advanced spring conditions, however, revealed an impaired microbial metabolism shortly after snow removal, characterised by a limited capacity for C-mineralisation of both fresh plant-derived substrates and existing soil organic matter (SOM), leading to reduced priming effects. This effect was transient and the observed recovery in microbial respiration and SOM priming towards the end of the winter season indicated microbial resilience to short-lived freeze-thaw disturbance under field conditions. Bacteria showed a higher potential for uptake of plant-derived C substrates during this recovery phase. The observed temporary loss in microbial C-mineralisation capacity and the promotion of bacteria over fungi can likely impede winter SOM cycling in mountain grasslands under recurrent winter climate change events, with plausible implications for soil nutrient availability and

  8. A conceptual approach to the biomonitoring of freshwater: the Ecological Ambience System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michel LAFONT

    2001-09-01

    Full Text Available The concept of ecological ambience (Ecological Ambience System, EASY is based on the idea that biocenoses (BIO are not only related to the input of organic and mineral substances (IN but also to the way they are stored and processed by the ecosystem. Storage, assimilation and self-purification processes ("ecosystem defences": ED are likely to vary among the different functional units (FUs of the ecosystem. The functional units have been defined on the basis of a simple physical description of sites in an ecosystem, because the physical structure of these units is considered as being of prime importance in the ED processes. For example, mineral and organic substances may be preferentially stored in fine-sediment units, whereas the mineralization rate of organic matter is more likely to be highest in coarse permeable sediments. If the stream ecosystem is viewed as a mosaic, its overall ecological defences will depend upon: 1 the self-purification capacity of the different functional units; 2 their relative proportion within the ecosystem. The EASY concept is now used for ecological researches and also has several applications in the biomonitoring of running waters, illustrated by the study of the River Dore. Biological compartments, specific for each functional unit, are related to operational bio-indicators to build up a global harmonisation system for biomonitoring indices. Four main biological compartments were defined with their related bio-indicators: 1 general biological quality (IBGN biotic index, 2 biological sediment quality (IOBS oligochaete index, 3 biological water quality (diatom index IBD and 4 biological fish quality (study of fish communities. The selected bio-indicators were adjusted to an ecological classification model (Typic concept. A weighting system of the general ecological quality at a site based on the percentage cover of fine sediments is proposed. This approach can be developed using several other compartments. Major

  9. A multimetric approach for predicting the ecological integrity of New Zealand streams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clapcott J.E.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Integrating multiple measures of stream health into a combined metric can provide a holistic assessment of the ecological integrity of a stream. The aim of this study was to develop a multimetric index (MMI of stream integrity based on predictive modelling of national data sets of water quality, macroinvertebrates, fish and ecosystem process metrics. We used a boosted regression tree approach to calculate an observed/expected score for each metric prior to combining metrics in a MMI based on data availability and the strength of predictive models. The resulting MMI provides a geographically meaningful prediction of the ecological integrity of rivers in New Zealand, but identifies limitations in data and approach, providing focus for ongoing research.

  10. 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.

  11. Humans and Seagrasses in East Africa : A social-ecological systems approach

    OpenAIRE

    de la Torre-Castro, Maricela

    2006-01-01

    The present study is one of the first attempts to analyze the societal importance of seagrasses (marine flowering plants) from a Natural Resource Management perspective, using a social-ecological systems (SES) approach. The interdisciplinary study takes place in East Africa (Western Indian Ocean, WIO) and includes in-depth studies in Chwaka Bay, Zanzibar, Tanzania. Natural and social sciences methods were used. The results are presented in six articles, showing that seagrass ecosystems are ri...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-15

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

  13. An Ecological Inventory Approach to Developing Curricula for Rural Areas of Developing Countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baine, David; Puhan, Biranchi; Puhan, Gautam; Puhan, Siba

    2000-05-01

    The paper describes a curriculum development pilot study in a rural village in India. The purpose of the study was to develop and test application of an ecological inventory approach to curriculum development integrating academic and functional skill training. Ecologically valid curricula teach the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values required by students to function effectively in current and future environments (e.g., urban and/or rural, academic, vocational, domestic, community and recreational) in which the students perform. The discussion illustrates application of ecological inventories and describes several related data collection instruments and procedures. The paper also describes an Integrated Core Curriculum Structure (ICCS) as a guide for designing curricula based on ecological inventories. An example is provided of a practical Thematic Unit Plan derived from the ICCS and integrating a variety of functional and academic skills into a guide for instruction and evaluation. The discussion provides a clear insight into many of the problems faced by students, school leavers and graduates in rural areas of developing countries, both in their daily lives and as they plan for their futures.

  14. A Synergistic Approach for Evaluating Climate Model Output for Ecological Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel D. Cavanagh

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Increasing concern about the impacts of climate change on ecosystems is prompting ecologists and ecosystem managers to seek reliable projections of physical drivers of change. The use of global climate models in ecology is growing, although drawing ecologically meaningful conclusions can be problematic. The expertise required to access and interpret output from climate and earth system models is hampering progress in utilizing them most effectively to determine the wider implications of climate change. To address this issue, we present a joint approach between climate scientists and ecologists that explores key challenges and opportunities for progress. As an exemplar, our focus is the Southern Ocean, notable for significant change with global implications, and on sea ice, given its crucial role in this dynamic ecosystem. We combined perspectives to evaluate the representation of sea ice in global climate models. With an emphasis on ecologically-relevant criteria (sea ice extent and seasonality we selected a subset of eight models that reliably reproduce extant sea ice distributions. While the model subset shows a similar mean change to the full ensemble in sea ice extent (approximately 50% decline in winter and 30% decline in summer, there is a marked reduction in the range. This improved the precision of projected future sea ice distributions by approximately one third, and means they are more amenable to ecological interpretation. We conclude that careful multidisciplinary evaluation of climate models, in conjunction with ongoing modeling advances, should form an integral part of utilizing model output.

  15. Novel two-tiered approach of ecological risk assessment for pesticide mixtures based on joint effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Dayong; Mao, Haichen; Lv, Huichao; Zheng, Yong; Peng, Conghu; Hou, Shaogang

    2018-02-01

    Ecological risk assessments for mixtures have attracted considerable attention. In this study, 38 pesticides in the real environment were taken as objects and their toxicities to different organisms from three trophic levels were employed to assess the ecological risk of the mixture. The first tier assessment was based on the CA effect and the obtained sum of risk quotients (SRQ species-CA ) were 3.06-9.22. The second tier assessment was based on non-CA effects and the calculated SRQ species-TU are 5.37-9.29 using joint effects (TU sum ) as modified coefficients, which is higher than SRQ species-CA and indicates that ignoring joint effects might run the risk of underestimating the actual impact of pesticide mixtures. Due to the influences of synergistic and antagonistic effects, risk contribution of components to mixture risks based on non-CA effects are different from those based on the CA effect. Moreover, it was found that the top 8 dominating components explained 95.5%-99.8% of mixture risks in this study. The dominating components are similar in the two tiers for a given species. Accordingly, a novel two-tiered approach was proposed to assess the ecological risks of mixtures based on joint effects. This study provides new insights for ecological risk assessments with the consideration of joint effects of components in the pesticide mixtures. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Terpenes tell different tales at different scales: glimpses into the Chemical Ecology of conifer - bark beetle - microbial interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raffa, Kenneth F

    2014-01-01

    , biochemical time), relationships among inducible and constitutive defenses, population dynamics, and plastic host-selection behavior (stand level, ecological time), and climate-driven range expansion of a native eruptive species into semi-naïve and potentially naïve habitats (geographical level, evolutionary time). I approach this problem by focusing primarily on one chemical group, terpenes, by emphasizing the curvilinear and threshold-structured basis of most underlying relationships, and by focusing on the system's feedback structure, which can either buffer or amplify relationships across scales.

  17. An Ecological Approach to Understanding Assessment for Learning in Support of Student Writing Achievement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bronwen Cowie

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we report on a project conducted in a New Zealand primary school that aimed to enhance the writing achievement of primary school boys who were achieving just below the national standard for their age or level through the use of peer feedback and information and communication technologies (ICTs. The project involved a teacher collaborative inquiry approach where all seven teachers in the school and the school principal participated to achieve the project aim. We adopt an ecological approach as a lens to offer a holistic and comprehensive view of how peer assessment and use of ICTs can be facilitated to improve writing achievement. Data were collected through teacher interviews and written reflections of practice and student learning, teacher analysis of student work, team meeting notes, classroom observations, and student focus group interviews. Findings from the thematic analysis of textual data illustrate the potential of adopting an ecological approach to consider how teacher classroom practices are shaped by the school, community, and wider policy context. At the classroom level, our ecological analysis highlighted a productive synergy between commonplace writing pedagogy strategies and assessment for learning (AfL practices as part of teacher orchestration of an ensemble of interdependent routines, tools, and activities. Diversity, redundancy, and local adaptations of resources to provide multiple pathways and opportunities—social and material and digital—emerged as important in fostering peer assessment and ICT use in support of writing achievement. Importantly, these practices were made explicit and taken up across the school and in the parent community because of whole staff involvement in the project. The wider policy context allowed for and supported teachers developing more effective pedagogy to impact student learning outcomes. We propose that an ecological orientation offers the field a productive insight into the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    The environmental influence of farm management in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) can yield vastly different microbial constituents in both the pig and the manure lagoons used to treat the fecal waste of the operation. While some of these changes may not be negative, it is possible th...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuerger, Andrew C; Lee, Pascal

    2015-06-01

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

  20. A dominance-based approach to map risks of ecological invasions in the presence of severe uncertainty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denys Yemshanov; Frank H. Koch; D. Barry Lyons; Mark Ducey; Klaus Koehler

    2012-01-01

    Aim Uncertainty has been widely recognized as one of the most critical issues in predicting the expansion of ecological invasions. The uncertainty associated with the introduction and spread of invasive organisms influences how pest management decision makers respond to expanding incursions. We present a model-based approach to map risk of ecological invasions that...

  1. A participatory systems approach to modeling social, economic, and ecological components of bioenergy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buchholz, Thomas S.; Volk, Timothy A.; Luzadis, Valerie A.

    2007-01-01

    Availability of and access to useful energy is a crucial factor for maintaining and improving human well-being. Looming scarcities and increasing awareness of environmental, economic, and social impacts of conventional sources of non-renewable energy have focused attention on renewable energy sources, including biomass. The complex interactions of social, economic, and ecological factors among the bioenergy system components of feedstock supply, conversion technology, and energy allocation have been a major obstacle to the broader development of bioenergy systems. For widespread implementation of bioenergy to occur there is a need for an integrated approach to model the social, economic, and ecological interactions associated with bioenergy. Such models can serve as a planning and evaluation tool to help decide when, where, and how bioenergy systems can contribute to development. One approach to integrated modeling is by assessing the sustainability of a bioenergy system. The evolving nature of sustainability can be described by an adaptive systems approach using general systems principles. Discussing these principles reveals that participation of stakeholders in all components of a bioenergy system is a crucial factor for sustainability. Multi-criteria analysis (MCA) is an effective tool to implement this approach. This approach would enable decision-makers to evaluate bioenergy systems for sustainability in a participatory, transparent, timely, and informed manner

  2. Microbial community diversities and taxa abundances in soils along a seven-year gradient of potato monoculture using high throughput pyrosequencing approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xing Liu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Previous studies have focused on linking soil community structure, diversity, or specific taxa to disturbances. Relatively little attention has been directed to crop monoculture soils, particularly potato monoculture. Information about microbial community changes over time between monoculture and non-monoculture treatments is lacking. Furthermore, few studies have examined microbial communities in potato monoculture soils using a high throughput pyrosequencing approach. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Soils along a seven-year gradient of potato monoculture were collected and microbial communities were characterized using high throughput pyrosequencing approach. Principal findings are as follows. First, diversity (H(Shannon and richness (S(Chao1 indices of bacterial community, but not of fungal community, were linearly decreased over time and corresponded to a decline of soil sustainability represented by yield decline and disease incidence increase. Second, Fusarium, the only soilborne pathogen-associated fungal genus substantially detected, was linearly increased over time in abundance and was closely associated with yield decline. Third, Fusarium abundance was negatively correlated with soil organic matter (OM and total nitrogen (TN but positively with electrical conductivity (EC. Fourth, Fusarium was correlated in abundances with 6 bacterial taxa over time. CONCLUSIONS: Soil bacterial and fungal communities exhibited differential responses to the potato monoculture. The overall soil bacterial communities were shaped by potato monoculture. Fusarium was the only soilborne pathogen-associated genus associated with disease incidence increase and yield decline. The changes of soil OM, TN and EC were responsible for Fusarium enrichment, in addition to selections by the monoculture crop. Acidobacteria and Nitrospirae were linearly decreased over time in abundance, corresponding to the decrease of OM, suggesting their similar

  3. Microbial production of polyhydroxybutyrate with tailor-made properties: an integrated modelling approach and experimental validation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penloglou, Giannis; Chatzidoukas, Christos; Kiparissides, Costas

    2012-01-01

    The microbial production of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) is a complex process in which the final quantity and quality of the PHB depend on a large number of process operating variables. Consequently, the design and optimal dynamic operation of a microbial process for the efficient production of PHB with tailor-made molecular properties is an extremely interesting problem. The present study investigates how key process operating variables (i.e., nutritional and aeration conditions) affect the biomass production rate and the PHB accumulation in the cells and its associated molecular weight distribution. A combined metabolic/polymerization/macroscopic modelling approach, relating the process performance and product quality with the process variables, was developed and validated using an extensive series of experiments and measurements. The model predicts the dynamic evolution of the biomass growth, the polymer accumulation, the consumption of carbon and nitrogen sources and the average molecular weights of the PHB in a bioreactor, under batch and fed-batch operating conditions. The proposed integrated model was used for the model-based optimization of the production of PHB with tailor-made molecular properties in Azohydromonas lata bacteria. The process optimization led to a high intracellular PHB accumulation (up to 95% g of PHB per g of DCW) and the production of different grades (i.e., different molecular weight distributions) of PHB. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. The microbial content of raw and pasteurized cow milk as determined by molecular approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quigley, Lisa; McCarthy, Robert; O'Sullivan, Orla; Beresford, Tom P; Fitzgerald, Gerald F; Ross, R Paul; Stanton, Catherine; Cotter, Paul D

    2013-08-01

    The microbial composition of raw and pasteurized milk is assessed on a daily basis. However, many such tests are culture-dependent, and, thus, bacteria that are present at subdominant levels, or that cannot be easily grown in the laboratory, may be overlooked. To address this potential bias, we have used several culture-independent techniques, including flow cytometry, real-time quantitative PCR, and high-throughput DNA sequencing, to assess the microbial population of milk from a selection of commercial milk producers, pre- and postpasteurization. The combination of techniques employed reveals the presence of a previously unrecognized and diverse bacterial population in unpasteurized cow milk. Most notably, the use of high-throughput DNA sequencing resulted in several bacterial genera being identified in milk samples for the first time. These included Bacteroides, Faecalibacterium, Prevotella, and Catenibacterium. Our culture-independent analyses also indicate that the bacterial population of pasteurized milk is more diverse than previously appreciated, and that nonthermoduric bacteria within these populations are likely to be in a damaged, nonculturable form. It is thus apparent that the application of state-of-the-art approaches can provide a detailed insight into the bacterial composition of milk and could potentially be employed in the future to investigate the factors that influence the composition of these populations. Copyright © 2013 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. A new approach to homeostatic regulation: towards a unified view of physiological and ecological concepts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cédric L Meunier

    Full Text Available Stoichiometric homeostasis is the ability of an organism to keep its body chemical composition constant, despite varying inputs. Stoichiometric homeostasis therefore constrains the metabolic needs of consumers which in turn often feed on resources not matching these requirements. In a broader context, homeostasis also relates to the capacity of an organism to maintain other biological parameters (e.g. body temperature at a constant level over ambient environmental variations. Unfortunately, there are discrepancies in the literature and ecological and physiological definitions of homeostasis are disparate and partly contradictory. Here, we address this matter by reviewing the existing knowledge considering two distinct groups, regulators and conformers and, based on examples of thermo- and osmoregulation, we propose a new approach to stoichiometric homeostasis, unifying ecological and physiological concepts. We suggest a simple and precise graphical way to identify regulators and conformers: for any given biological parameter (e.g. nutrient stoichiometry, temperature, a sigmoidal relation between internal and external conditions can be observed for conformers while an inverse sigmoidal response is characteristic of regulators. This new definition and method, based on well-studied physiological mechanisms, unifies ecological and physiological approaches and is a useful tool for understanding how organisms are affected by and affect their environment.

  6. A hierarchical bayesian approach to ecological count data: a flexible tool for ecologists.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James A Fordyce

    Full Text Available Many ecological studies use the analysis of count data to arrive at biologically meaningful inferences. Here, we introduce a hierarchical bayesian approach to count data. This approach has the advantage over traditional approaches in that it directly estimates the parameters of interest at both the individual-level and population-level, appropriately models uncertainty, and allows for comparisons among models, including those that exceed the complexity of many traditional approaches, such as ANOVA or non-parametric analogs. As an example, we apply this method to oviposition preference data for butterflies in the genus Lycaeides. Using this method, we estimate the parameters that describe preference for each population, compare the preference hierarchies among populations, and explore various models that group populations that share the same preference hierarchy.

  7. Studying Microbial Mat Functioning Amidst "Unexpected Diversity": Methodological Approaches and Initial Results from Metatranscriptomes of Mats Over Diel cycles, iTags from Long Term Manipulations, and Biogeochemical Cycling in Simplified Microbial Mats Constructed from Cultures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bebout, B.; Bebout, L. E.; Detweiler, A. M.; Everroad, R. C.; Lee, J.; Pett-Ridge, J.; Weber, P. K.

    2014-12-01

    Microbial mats are famously amongst the most diverse microbial ecosystems on Earth, inhabiting some of the most inclement environments known, including hypersaline, dry, hot, cold, nutrient poor, and high UV environments. The high microbial diversity of microbial mats makes studies of microbial ecology notably difficult. To address this challenge, we have been using a combination of metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, iTags and culture-based simplified microbial mats to study biogeochemical cycling (H2 production, N2 fixation, and fermentation) in microbial mats collected from Elkhorn Slough, Monterey Bay, California. Metatranscriptomes of microbial mats incubated over a diel cycle have revealed that a number of gene systems activate only during the day in Cyanobacteria, while the remaining appear to be constitutive. The dominant cyanobacterium in the mat (Microcoleus chthonoplastes) expresses several pathways for nitrogen scavenging undocumented in cultured strains, as well as the expression of two starch storage and utilization cycles. Community composition shifts in response to long term manipulations of mats were assessed using iTags. Changes in community diversity were observed as hydrogen fluxes increased in response to a lowering of sulfate concentrations. To produce simplified microbial mats, we have isolated members of 13 of the 15 top taxa from our iTag libraries into culture. Simplified microbial mats and simple co-cultures and consortia constructed from these isolates reproduce many of the natural patterns of biogeochemical cycling in the parent natural microbial mats, but against a background of far lower overall diversity, simplifying studies of changes in gene expression (over the short term), interactions between community members, and community composition changes (over the longer term), in response to environmental forcing.

  8. Evaluating a Bayesian approach to improve accuracy of individual photographic identification methods using ecological distribution data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Stafford

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Photographic identification of individual organisms can be possible from natural body markings. Data from photo-ID can be used to estimate important ecological and conservation metrics such as population sizes, home ranges or territories. However, poor quality photographs or less well-studied individuals can result in a non-unique ID, potentially confounding several similar looking individuals. Here we present a Bayesian approach that uses known data about previous sightings of individuals at specific sites as priors to help assess the problems of obtaining a non-unique ID. Using a simulation of individuals with different confidence of correct ID we evaluate the accuracy of Bayesian modified (posterior probabilities. However, in most cases, the accuracy of identification decreases. Although this technique is unsuccessful, it does demonstrate the importance of computer simulations in testing such hypotheses in ecology.

  9. Multiple Stressors and Ecological Complexity Require A New Approach to Coral Reef Research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linwood Hagan Pendleton

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Ocean acidification, climate change, and other environmental stressors threaten coral reef ecosystems and the people who depend upon them. New science reveals that these multiple stressors interact and may affect a multitude of physiological and ecological processes in complex ways. The interaction of multiple stressors and ecological complexity may mean that the negative effects on coral reef ecosystems will happen sooner and be more severe than previously thought. Yet, most research on the effects of global change on coral reefs focus on one or few stressors and pathways or outcomes (e.g. bleaching. Based on a critical review of the literature, we call for a regionally targeted strategy of mesocosm-level research that addresses this complexity and provides more realistic projections about coral reef impacts in the face of global environmental change. We believe similar approaches are needed for other ecosystems that face global environmental change.

  10. The dynamic of urban and protected areas at Balai Raja Wildlife Reserve, Riau, Indonesia: a social ecology approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suwondo; Darmadi; Yunus, M.

    2018-01-01

    The development process has resulted in deforestation. A comprehensive study is needed to obtain an objective solution by integrating the ecological dimension and human dimension. This study was conducted within Balai Raja Wildlife Reserve (BRWR), Bengkalis Regency, Riau Province, Indonesia. We used the social-ecological systems (SES) approach based on local characteristics, categorized into ecological status, social status and actors. Each factoris ranked using Multi-Dimensional Scaling (MDS).BRWR sustainability levels are in moderate condition. The ecological dimension is in a less sustainable state, with leverage: (1) forest conversion; (2) local ecological knowledge; (3) high conservation value. The social dimension is in a less sustainable state, with leverage: (1) community empowerment; (2) social conflict; (3) participation in landscape management. Dimensions actors are on a fairly sustainable status, with leverage: (1) institutional interaction; (2) stakeholder’s commitment; (3) law enforcement. We recommend strengthening community empowerment, local ecological knowledge, interaction, and stakeholder commitment

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuerger, Andrew C.; Lee, Pascal

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Life-time contributions of Joop Ringelberg to new approaches in aquatic ecology, father of modern aquatic ecology in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Flik, B.J.G.; Daan, N.; Meulemans, J.; Gulati, R.D.

    1997-01-01

    Two studies of complicated ecological phenomena in Lake Maarsseveen (The Netherlands) are presented to illustrate that a combination of field and laboratory analysis might be a successful approach. In the first one, the yearly varying ratio of population abundance of two diatoms, Asterionella

  14. Ecology and life history of an amoebomastigote, Paratetramitus jugosus, from a microbial mat: new evidence for multiple fission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enzien, M.; McKhann, H. I.; Margulis, L.

    1989-01-01

    Five microbial habitats (gypsum crust, gypsum photosynthetic community, Microcoleus mat, Thiocapsa scum, and black mud) were sampled for the presence of the euryhaline, rapidly growing amoebomastigote, Paratetramitus jugosus. Field investigations of microbial mats from Baja California Norte, Mexico, and Salina Bido near Matanzas, Cuba, reveal that P. jugosus is most frequently found in the Thiocapsa layer of microbial mats. Various stages of the life history were studied using phase-contrast, differential-interference, and transmission electron microscopy. Mastigote stages were induced and studied by electron microscopy; mastigotes that actively feed on bacteria bear two or more undulipodia. A three-dimensional drawing of the kinetid ("basal apparatus") based on electron micrographs is presented. Although promitoses were occasionally observed, it is unlikely that they can account for the rapid growth of P. jugosus populations on culture media. Dense, refractile, spherical, and irregular-shaped bodies were seen at all times in all cultures along with small mononucleate (approximately 2-7 micrometers diameter) amoebae. Cytochemical studies employing two different fluorescent stains for DNA (DAPI, mithramycin) verified the presence of DNA in these small bodies. Chromatin-like material seen in electron micrographs within the cytoplasm and blebbing off nuclei were interpreted to the chromatin bodies. Our interpretation, consistent with the data but not proven, is that propagation by multiple fission of released chromatin bodies that become small amoebae may occur in Paratetramitus jugosus. These observations are consistent with descriptions of amoeba propagules in the early literature (Hogue, 1914).

  15. [Ecology and ecologies].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valera, Luca

    2011-01-01

    Ecology (from the Greek words οιχοσ, "house" and λογια "study of") is the science of the "house", since it studies the environments where we live. There are three main ways of thinking about Ecology: Ecology as the study of interactions (between humans and the environment, between humans and living beings, between all living beings, etc.), Ecology as the statistical study of interactions, Ecology as a faith, or rather as a science that requires a metaphysical view. The history of Ecology shows us how this view was released by the label of "folk sense" to gain the epistemological status of science, a science that strives to be interdisciplinary. So, the aim of Ecology is to study, through a scientific methodology, the whole natural world, answering to very different questions, that arise from several fields (Economics, Biology, Sociology, Philosophy, etc.). The plurality of issues that Ecology has to face led, during the Twentieth-century, to branch off in several different "ecologies". As a result, each one of these new approaches chose as its own field a more limited and specific portion of reality.

  16. A morphogenetic survey on ciliate plankton from a mountain lake pinpoints the necessity of lineage-specific barcode markers in microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoeck, Thorsten; Breiner, Hans-Werner; Filker, Sabine; Ostermaier, Veronika; Kammerlander, Barbara; Sonntag, Bettina

    2014-02-01

    Analyses of high-throughput environmental sequencing data have become the 'gold-standard' to address fundamental questions of microbial diversity, ecology and biogeography. Findings that emerged from sequencing are, e.g. the discovery of the extensive 'rare microbial biosphere' and its potential function as a seed-bank. Even though applied since several years, results from high-throughput environmental sequencing have hardly been validated. We assessed how well pyrosequenced amplicons [the hypervariable eukaryotic V4 region of the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) gene] reflected morphotype ciliate plankton. Moreover, we assessed if amplicon sequencing had the potential to detect the annual ciliate plankton stock. In both cases, we identified significant quantitative and qualitative differences. Our study makes evident that taxon abundance distributions inferred from amplicon data are highly biased and do not mirror actual morphotype abundances at all. Potential reasons included cell losses after fixation, cryptic morphotypes, resting stages, insufficient sequence data availability of morphologically described species and the unsatisfying resolution of the V4 SSU rRNA fragment for accurate taxonomic assignments. The latter two underline the necessity of barcoding initiatives for eukaryotic microbes to better and fully exploit environmental amplicon data sets, which then will also allow studying the potential of seed-bank taxa as a buffer for environmental changes. © 2013 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Ecology and evolution in microbial systems: the generation and maintenance of diversity in phage-host interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jessup, Christine M; Forde, Samantha E

    2008-06-01

    Insights gained from studying the interactions between viruses and bacteria have important implications for the ecology and evolution of virus-host interactions in many environments and for pathogen-host and predator-prey interactions in general. Here, we focus on the generation and maintenance of diversity, highlighting recent laboratory and field experiments with microorganisms.

  18. Green Buildings in Denmark – From radical ecology to consumer oriented market approaches?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Jesper Ole; Gram-Hanssen, Kirsten

    2004-01-01

    Gram-Hanssen and Jensen explore the development of green buildings in Denmark over the last three decades, identifying differences in design philosophies and techniques. They look at four approaches to green buildings: as energy-saving devices, as ecological grassroots alternatives, as subsidised...... large-scale urban projects, and as consumer products in a market approach. Using detailed case descriptions, the chapter asks to what extent it is possible to define some buildings or some approaches as more 'green' than others. The authors suggest that in order to more fully understand sustainable...... buildings we must account for the social structuring of both the identification of environmental problems and their resulting embodiment in built form....

  19. A neural-fuzzy approach to classify the ecological status in surface waters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ocampo-Duque, William; Schuhmacher, Marta; Domingo, Jose L.

    2007-01-01

    A methodology based on a hybrid approach that combines fuzzy inference systems and artificial neural networks has been used to classify ecological status in surface waters. This methodology has been proposed to deal efficiently with the non-linearity and highly subjective nature of variables involved in this serious problem. Ecological status has been assessed with biological, hydro-morphological, and physicochemical indicators. A data set collected from 378 sampling sites in the Ebro river basin has been used to train and validate the hybrid model. Up to 97.6% of sampling sites have been correctly classified with neural-fuzzy models. Such performance resulted very competitive when compared with other classification algorithms. With non-parametric classification-regression trees and probabilistic neural networks, the predictive capacities were 90.7% and 97.0%, respectively. The proposed methodology can support decision-makers in evaluation and classification of ecological status, as required by the EU Water Framework Directive. - Fuzzy inference systems can be used as environmental classifiers

  20. An Integrated Approach to Modelling the Economy-Society-Ecology System in Urbanization Process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunqiang Liu

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Urbanization has become a key part of social and economic progress in the 21st Century, but achieving healthy and safe urban development has a long way to go for many developed and developing countries. Urbanization has been recognized as a complex ecosystem which is affected by economic, social, and ecological factors. With this in mind, this paper looks at many factors to first evaluate based on the matter-element (ME method and then model an Economy-Society-Ecology (ESE subsystem using a hybrid method by a fuzzy analytical hierarchy process (FAHP, and then by using the entropy method (EM to determine the relevant index weights. To avoid subjectivity when defining the model’s boundaries, the technique for order preference by similarity to an ideal solution (TOPSIS is introduced. Then, a coupling coordination degree model focusing on the degree of coordination in the ESE subsystem is established. Panel data collected from 2003 to 2012 for Chengdu, China, is then simulated to analyze the development process. The results show that: (1 The quality of urbanization continues to improve and the phasic features are presented; (2 The sensitivity analysis of subsystem weight shown that it had less effect on the coupling coordinated system; (3 The coordination in the ESE subsystem has also improved. However, the development rate of the economic subsystem is greater than that of the societal and ecological subsystem. The approach used here therefore, is shown to provide a promising basis for policy-making to support healthy urban development.

  1. An ecosystem services approach to the ecological effects of salvage logging: valuation of seed dispersal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leverkus, Alexandro B; Castro, Jorge

    2017-06-01

    Forest disturbances diminish ecosystem services and boost disservices. Because post-disturbance management intends to recover the greatest possible value, selling timber often prevails over other considerations. Ecological research has shown diverse effects of salvage logging, yet such research has focused on the biophysical component of post-disturbance ecosystems and lacks the link with human well-being. Here we bridge that gap under the ecosystem services framework by assessing the impact of post-fire management on a non-timber value. By employing the replacement cost method, we calculated the value of the post-fire natural regeneration of Holm oaks in southern Spain under three post-fire management options by considering the cost of planting instead. The value of this ecosystem service in non-intervention areas doubled that of salvage-logged stands due to the preference for standing dead trees by the main seed disperser. Still, most of the value resulted from the resprouting capacity of oaks. The value of this and other ecosystem services should be added to traditional cost/benefit analyses of post-disturbance management. We thus call for a more holistic approach to salvage logging research, one that explicitly links ecological processes with human well-being through ecosystem services, to better inform decision-makers on the outcomes of post-disturbance management. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  2. Inferring ecological and behavioral drivers of African elephant movement using a linear filtering approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boettiger, Alistair N; Wittemyer, George; Starfield, Richard; Volrath, Fritz; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Getz, Wayne M

    2011-08-01

    Understanding the environmental factors influencing animal movements is fundamental to theoretical and applied research in the field of movement ecology. Studies relating fine-scale movement paths to spatiotemporally structured landscape data, such as vegetation productivity or human activity, are particularly lacking despite the obvious importance of such information to understanding drivers of animal movement. In part, this may be because few approaches provide the sophistication to characterize the complexity of movement behavior and relate it to diverse, varying environmental stimuli. We overcame this hurdle by applying, for the first time to an ecological question, a finite impulse-response signal-filtering approach to identify human and natural environmental drivers of movements of 13 free-ranging African elephants (Loxodonta africana) from distinct social groups collected over seven years. A minimum mean-square error (MMSE) estimation criterion allowed comparison of the predictive power of landscape and ecological model inputs. We showed that a filter combining vegetation dynamics, human and physical landscape features, and previous movement outperformed simpler filter structures, indicating the importance of both dynamic and static landscape features, as well as habit, on movement decisions taken by elephants. Elephant responses to vegetation productivity indices were not uniform in time or space, indicating that elephant foraging strategies are more complex than simply gravitation toward areas of high productivity. Predictions were most frequently inaccurate outside protected area boundaries near human settlements, suggesting that human activity disrupts typical elephant movement behavior. Successful management strategies at the human-elephant interface, therefore, are likely to be context specific and dynamic. Signal processing provides a promising approach for elucidating environmental factors that drive animal movements over large time and spatial

  3. Violence in context: Embracing an ecological approach to violent media exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glackin, Erin; Gray, Sarah A O

    2016-12-01

    This commentary expands on Anderson, Bushman, Donnerstein, Hummer, and Warburton's agenda for minimizing the impacts of violent media exposure (VME) on youth aggression. We argue that in order to effectively intervene in the development of aggression and other maladaptive traits, researchers and policymakers should take an ecological, developmental psychopathology approach to understanding children's exposure to VME within developmental, relational, environmental, and cultural contexts. Such a framework holds the most promise for identifying at-risk groups, establishing targets of intervention, and testing mechanisms of change.

  4. Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopic methods for microbial ecology: analysis of bacteria, bacteria-polymer mixtures and biofilms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, P. D.; Henson, J. M.; Guckert, J. B.; Nivens, D. E.; White, D. C.

    1985-01-01

    Fourier transform-infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy has been used to rapidly and nondestructively analyze bacteria, bacteria-polymer mixtures, digester samples and microbial biofilms. Diffuse reflectance FT-IR (DRIFT) analysis of freeze-dried, powdered samples offered a means of obtaining structural information. The bacteria examined were divided into two groups. The first group was characterized by a dominant amide I band and the second group of organisms displayed an additional strong carbonyl stretch at approximately 1740 cm-1. The differences illustrated by the subtraction spectra obtained for microbes of the two groups suggest that FT-IR spectroscopy can be utilized to recognize differences in microbial community structure. Calculation of specific band ratios has enabled the composition of bacteria and extracellular or intracellular storage product polymer mixtures to be determined for bacteria-gum arabic (amide I/carbohydrate C-O approximately 1150 cm-1) and bacteria-poly-beta-hydroxybutyrate (amide I/carbonyl approximately 1740 cm-1). The key band ratios correlate with the compositions of the material and provide useful information for the application of FT-IR spectroscopy to environmental biofilm samples and for distinguishing bacteria grown under differing nutrient conditions. DRIFT spectra have been obtained for biofilms produced by Vibrio natriegens on stainless steel disks. Between 48 and 144 h, an increase in bands at approximately 1440 and 1090 cm-1 was seen in FT-IR spectra of the V. natriegens biofilm. DRIFT spectra of mixed culture effluents of anaerobic digesters show differences induced by shifts in input feedstocks. The use of flow-through attenuated total reflectance has permitted in situ real-time changes in biofilm formation to be monitored and provides a powerful tool for understanding the interactions within adherent microbial consortia.

  5. Final Technical Report: DOE-Biological Ocean Margins Program. Microbial Ecology of Denitrifying Bacteria in the Coastal Ocean.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee Kerkhof

    2013-01-01

    The focus of our research was to provide a comprehensive study of the bacterioplankton populations off the coast of New Jersey near the Rutgers University marine field station using terminal restriction fragment polymorphism analysis (TRFLP) coupled to 16S rRNA genes for large data set studies. Our three revised objectives to this study became: (1) to describe bacterioplankton population dynamics in the Mid Atlantic Bight using TRFLP analysis of 16S rRNA genes. (2) to determine whether spatial and temporal factors are driving bacterioplankton community dynamics in the MAB using monthly samping along our transect line over a 2-year period. (3) to identify dominant members of a coastal bacterioplankton population by clonal library analysis of 16S rDNA genes and sequencing of PCR product corresponding to specific TRFLP peaks in the data set. Although open ocean time-series sites have been areas of microbial research for years, relatively little was known about the population dynamics of bacterioplankton communities in the coastal ocean on kilometer spatial and seasonal temporal scales. To gain a better understanding of microbial community variability, monthly samples of bacterial biomass were collected in 1995-1996 along a 34-km transect near the Long-Term Ecosystem Observatory (LEO-15) off the New Jersey coast. Surface and bottom sampling was performed at seven stations along a transect line with depths ranging from 1 to 35m (n=178). The data revealed distinct temporal patterns among the bacterioplankton communities in the Mid-Atlantic Bight rather than grouping by sample location or depth (figure 2-next page). Principal components analysis models supported the temporal patterns. In addition, partial least squares regression modeling could not discern a significant correlation from traditional oceanographic physical and phytoplankton nutrient parameters on overall bacterial community variability patterns at LEO-15. These results suggest factors not traditionally

  6. Microbial ecology of the stratified water column of the Black Sea as revealed by a comprehensive biomarker study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wakeham, Stuart G.; Amann, Rudi; Freemann, Katherine H.

    2007-01-01

    The stratified water column of the Black Sea is partitioned into oxic, suboxic, and euxinic zones, each characterized by different biogeochemical processes and by distinct microbial communities. In 2003, we collected particulate matter by large volume in situ filtration at the highest resolution...... reduction, and sulfide oxidation at the chemocline, and bacterial sulfate reduction and anaerobic oxidation of methane by archaea in the anoxic zone. Cell densities for archaea and sulfate reducing bacteria are estimated based on water column biomarker concentrations and compared with CARD-FISH results....

  7. Polyhydroxyalkanoate synthesis by mixed microbial consortia cultured on fermented dairy manure: Effect of aeration on process rates/yields and the associated microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coats, Erik R; Watson, Benjamin S; Brinkman, Cynthia K

    2016-12-01

    Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are biodegradable polymers that can substitute for petroleum-based plastics in a variety of applications. One avenue to commercial PHA production involves coupling waste-based synthesis with the use of mixed microbial consortia (MMC). In this regard, production requires maximizing the enrichment of a MMC capable of feast-famine PHA synthesis, with the metabolic response induced through imposition of aerobic-dynamic feeding (ADF) conditions. However, the concept of PHA production in complex matrices remains unrefined; process operational improvements are needed, along with an enhanced understanding of the MMC. Research presented herein investigated the effect of aeration on feast-famine PHA synthesis, with four independent aeration state systems studied; MMC were fed volatile fatty acid (VFA)-rich fermented dairy manure. Regardless of the aeration state, all MMC exhibited a feast-famine response based on observed carbon cycling. Moreover, there was no statistical difference in PHA synthesis rates, with q PHA ranging from 0.10 to 0.19 CmmolPHA gVSS -1 min -1 ; VFA uptake rates exhibited similar statistical indifferences. PHA production assessments on the enriched MMC resulted in maximum intracellular concentrations ranging from 22.5 to 90.7% (mgPHA mgVSS -1 ); at maximum concentration, the mean hydroxyvalerate mol content was 73 ± 0.6%. While a typical feast-famine dissolved oxygen (DO) pattern was observed at maximum aeration, less resolution was observed at decreasing aeration rates, suggesting that DO may not be an optimal process monitoring parameter. At lower aeration states, nitrogen cycling patterns, supported by molecular investigations targeting AOBs and NOBs, indicate that NO 2 and NO 3 sustained feast-famine PHA synthesis. Next-generation sequencing analysis of the respective MMC revealed numerous and diverse genera exhibiting the potential to achieve PHA synthesis, suggesting functional redundancy embedded in the diverse

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    Pharmaceuticals and other micropollutants have been detected in drinking water, groundwater, surface water, and soil around the world. Even in locations where wastewater treatment is required, they can be found in drinking water wells, municipal water supplies, and agricultural soils. It is clear conventional wastewater treatment technologies are not meeting the challenge of the mounting pressures on global freshwater supplies. Cost-effective ecological wastewater treatment technologies have ...

  9. A metagenomic approach to decipher the indigenous microbial communities of arsenic contaminated groundwater of Assam

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saurav Das

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Metagenomic approach was used to understand the structural and functional diversity present in arsenic contaminated groundwater of the Ganges Brahmaputra Delta aquifer system. A metagene dataset (coded as TTGW1 of 89,171 sequences (totaling 125,449,864 base pairs with an average length of 1406 bps was annotated. About 74,478 sequences containing 101,948 predicted protein coding regions passed the quality control. Taxonomical classification revealed abundance of bacteria that accounted for 98.3% of the microbial population of the metagenome. Eukaryota had an abundance of 1.1% followed by archea that showed 0.4% abundance. In phylum based classification, Proteobacteria was dominant (62.6% followed by Bacteroidetes (11.7%, Planctomycetes (7.7%, Verrucomicrobia (5.6%, Actinobacteria (3.7% and Firmicutes (1.9%. The Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COGs analysis indicated that the protein regulating the metabolic functions constituted a high percentage (18,199 reads; 39.3% of the whole metagenome followed by the proteins regulating the cellular processes (22.3%. About 0.07% sequences of the whole metagenome were related to genes coding for arsenic resistant mechanisms. Nearly 50% sequences of these coded for the arsenate reductase enzyme (EC. 1.20.4.1, the dominant enzyme of ars operon. Proteins associated with iron acquisition and metabolism were coded by 2% of the metagenome as revealed through SEED analysis. Our study reveals the microbial diversity and provides an insight into the functional aspect of the genes that might play crucial role in arsenic geocycle in contaminated ground water of Assam.

  10. Lagooning microbial fuel cells: A first approach by coupling electricity-producing microorganisms and algae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lobato, Justo; González del Campo, Araceli; Fernández, Francisco J.; Cañizares, Pablo; Rodrigo, Manuel A.

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: • An algae cathode of a MFC has been used without artificial mediators or catalysts. • To perform a lagooning wastewater treatment coupled with energy-producing MFC. • The producing electricity operates under day/night irradiation cycles, is shown. - Abstract: The paper focused on the start-up and performance characterisation of a new type of microbial fuel cell (MFC), in which an algae culture was seeded in the cathodic chamber to produce the oxygen required to complete the electrochemical reactions of the MFC, thus circumventing the need for a mechanical aerator. The system did not use mediators or high cost catalysts and it can be started-up easily using a straightforward three-stage procedure. The start-up consists of the separate production of the electricity-producing microorganisms and the algae cultures (stage I), replacement of the mechanical aeration system by the algae culture (stage II) and a change in the light dosage from a continuous input to a dynamic day/night profile. The MFC was operated under a regime of 12 h light and 12 h dark and was also operated in batch and continuous substrate-feeding modes. The same cell voltage was achieved when the cathode compartment was operated with air supplied by aerators, which means that this configuration can perform as well as the traditional one. The results also show the influence of both the organic load and light irradiation on electricity production and demonstrate that this type MFC is a robust and promising technology that can be considered as a first approach to perform a lagooning wastewater treatment with microbial fuel cells

  11. Inhabiting the Delta: A Landscape Approach to Transformative Socio-Ecological Restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brett Milligan

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available doi: https://doi.org/10.15447/sfews.2017v15iss3art3Current legislation and plans for the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta (Delta call for large-scale restoration of aquatic and terrestrial habitats, which will require significant changes in waterways, land uses, and cultural patterns. These re-made landscapes will be subject to a variety of new human uses, which Delta planning and adaptive management literature has yet to adequately consider. Failing to account for human uses and evolving place values can lead to diminished performance and public support for Delta restoration efforts. Our empirical study examined restored and naturalized Delta landscapes using an integrative landscape approach that seeks to reconcile multiple goals and land-use agendas that span ecological, social, economic, and political domains. The research design consisted of six overlapping methods that included a planning, policy, and law review specific to the Delta; surveys and interviews with approximately 100 land managers, scientists, land-owners, law-enforcement personnel, agency representatives, and Delta residents; nine case studies of restored and naturalized delta landscapes; GIS mapping; and extensive field work. Findings derived from the synthesis of these methods show that human uses of the Delta’s re-wilded landscapes are diverse and pervasive. Given the infrastructural and urbanized context of the region, these environments are subject to multiple and sometimes conflicting uses, perceptions, and place values. Though these myriad uses cannot be fully predicted or controlled (nor should they be, findings showed that more proactive and inclusive planning for human uses can encourage or discourage particular uses while also building constituency, support, and active engagement in ecological restoration efforts. We conclude that reconciling human uses with ecological recovery in the Delta will require a more localized, multi-functional, and creative approach to

  12. Reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome at the worksite: preliminary experience with an ecological approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucini, Daniela; Zanuso, Silvano; Solaro, Nadia; Vigo, Chiara; Malacarne, Mara; Pagani, Massimo

    2016-02-01

    Given the time spent at work, the workplace represents an ideal setting to implement preventive programs for non-communicable diseases, the major cause of mortality and morbidity in Western and developing countries. We sought to verify if an ecological approach based on corporate culture, employees' education and concrete modifications of workplace environment, offering easy opportunity to assume healthy lifestyle, could be associated with reduced cardiometabolic risk. The study involved 1089 workers in two multinational companies following different workplace health promotion policies. Company A offered to all employees the opportunity to access a web platform dedicated to general information on health and diseases. Company B implemented an ecological model encompassing company culture, employees' education and concrete modifications of workplace environment, giving to all employees the opportunity to adopt healthy solutions throughout daily living at workplace. Participants volunteered self-reported clinical information using an IT tool. Numbers of Metabolic Syndrome components (MetS) were taken as proxy of cardiometabolic risk. MetS probability obtained via statistical modeling was lower in company B as compared to company A, and absenteeism was also lower in company B. Our study shows that a work environment favoring assumption of healthy lifestyle, as in company B, is associated with a lower percentage of employees with MetS components and lower absenteeism. Moreover, statistical modeling shows that individual probabilities of being without MetS elements, controlling for age and gender, is remarkably higher in company B. Our data suggest that ecological approaches might be useful in worksite prevention policies.

  13. Unearthing the ecology of soil microorganisms using a high resolution DNA-SIP approach to explore cellulose and xylose metabolism in soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles ePepe-Ranney

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available We explored microbial contributions to decomposition using a sophisticated approach to DNA Stable Isotope Probing (SIP. Our experiment evaluated the dynamics and ecological characteristics of functionally defined microbial groups that metabolize labile and structural C in soils. We added to soil a complex amendment representing plant derived organic matter substituted with either 13C-xylose or 13C-cellulose to represent labile and structural C pools derived from abundant components of plant biomass. We found evidence for 13C-incorporation into DNA from 13C-xylose and 13C-cellulose in 49 and 63 operational taxonomic units (OTUs, respectively. The types of microorganisms that assimilated 13C in the 13C-xylose treatment changed over time being predominantly Firmicutes at day 1 followed by Bacteroidetes at day 3 and then Actinobacteria at day 7. These 13C-labeling dynamics suggest labile C traveled through different trophic levels. In contrast, microorganisms generally metabolized cellulose-C after 14 days and did not change to the same extent in phylogenetic composition over time. Microorganisms that metabolized cellulose-C belonged to poorly characterized but cosmopolitan soil lineages including Verrucomicrobia, Chloroflexi and Planctomycetes.

  14. Use of an ecologically relevant modelling approach to improve remote sensing-based schistosomiasis risk profiling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yvonne Walz

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Schistosomiasis is a widespread water-based disease that puts close to 800 million people at risk of infection with more than 250 million infected, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. Transmission is governed by the spatial distribution of specific freshwater snails that act as intermediate hosts and the frequency, duration and extent of human bodies exposed to infested water sources during human water contact. Remote sensing data have been utilized for spatially explicit risk profiling of schistosomiasis. Since schistosomiasis risk profiling based on remote sensing data inherits a conceptual drawback if school-based disease prevalence data are directly related to the remote sensing measurements extracted at the location of the school, because the disease transmission usually does not exactly occur at the school, we took the local environment around the schools into account by explicitly linking ecologically relevant environmental information of potential disease transmission sites to survey measurements of disease prevalence. Our models were validated at two sites with different landscapes in Côte d’Ivoire using high- and moderateresolution remote sensing data based on random forest and partial least squares regression. We found that the ecologically relevant modelling approach explained up to 70% of the variation in Schistosoma infection prevalence and performed better compared to a purely pixelbased modelling approach. Furthermore, our study showed that model performance increased as a function of enlarging the school catchment area, confirming the hypothesis that suitable environments for schistosomiasis transmission rarely occur at the location of survey measurements.

  15. A protocol for classifying ecologically relevant marine zones, a statistical approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verfaillie, Els; Degraer, Steven; Schelfaut, Kristien; Willems, Wouter; Van Lancker, Vera

    2009-06-01

    Mapping ecologically relevant zones in the marine environment has become increasingly important. Biological data are however often scarce and alternatives are being sought in optimal classifications of abiotic variables. The concept of 'marine landscapes' is based on a hierarchical classification of geological, hydrographic and other physical data. This approach is however subject to many assumptions and subjective decisions. An objective protocol for zonation is being proposed here where abiotic variables are subjected to a statistical approach, using principal components analysis (PCA) and a cluster analysis. The optimal number of clusters (or zones) is being defined using the Calinski-Harabasz criterion. The methodology has been applied on datasets of the Belgian part of the North Sea (BPNS), a shallow sandy shelf environment with a sandbank-swale topography. The BPNS was classified into 8 zones that represent well the natural variability of the seafloor. The internal cluster consistency was validated with a split-run procedure, with more than 99% correspondence between the validation and the original dataset. The ecological relevance of 6 out of the 8 zones was demonstrated, using indicator species analysis. The proposed protocol, as exemplified for the BPNS, can easily be applied to other areas and provides a strong knowledge basis for environmental protection and management of the marine environment. A SWOT-analysis, showing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the protocol was performed.

  16. 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

  17. More Than a Potential Hazard—Approaching Risks from a Social-Ecological Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolin Völker

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Risks have been classically understood as a probability of damage or a potential hazard resulting in appropriate management strategies. However, research on environmental issues such as pollutants in the aquatic environment or the impacts of climate change have shown that classical management approaches do not sufficiently cover these interactions between society and nature. There have been several attempts to develop interdisciplinary approaches to risk that include natural as well as social science contributions. In this paper, the authors aim at developing a social-ecological perspective on risk by drawing on the concept of societal relations to nature and the model of provisioning systems. This perspective is used to analyze four cases, pharmaceuticals, microplastics, semicentralized water infrastructures and forest management, with regard to risk identification, assessment and management. Finally, the paper aims at developing a perspective on risks which takes into account non-intended side-effects, system interdependencies and uncertainty.

  18. A hierarchical approach to ecological assessment of contaminated soils at Aberdeen Proving Ground, USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kuperman, R.G.

    1995-12-31

    Despite the expansion of environmental toxicology studies over the past decade, soil ecosystems have largely been ignored in ecotoxicological studies in the United States. The objective of this project was to develop and test the efficacy of a comprehensive methodology for assessing ecological impacts of soil contamination. A hierarchical approach that integrates biotic parameters and ecosystem processes was used to give insight into the mechanisms that lead to alterations in the structure and function of soil ecosystems in contaminated areas. This approach involved (1) a thorough survey of the soil biota to determine community structure, (2) laboratory and field tests on critical ecosystem processes, (3) toxicity trials, and (4) the use of spatial analyses to provide input to the decision-making, process. This methodology appears to, offer an efficient and potentially cost-saving tool for remedial investigations of contaminated sites.

  19. 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

  20. An Integrated Approach to Explore the Relationship Among Economic, Construction Land Use, and Ecology Subsystems in Zhejiang Province, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chuyu Xia

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Zhejiang Province, China is experiencing rapid urbanization, facing the challenge of coupling socioeconomic development and ecological conservation. This paper establishes a comprehensive index system to assess coordinating development of economic, construction land use (CLU, and ecology subsystems. A Granger test and a coupling coordination model were applied to explore the causal relationship and the coordinated development state among the three subsystems from 2000 to 2012. The results showed that: (1 changes in the integrated value of the economic subsystem were the Granger cause of changes in the ecology and CLU subsystems, and the changes in the integrated values of ecology and CLU was each other’s Granger cause; (2 the coupling coordination relationship of the integrated value for economic–CLU–ecology was constrained by the relationship between the economic and the CLU subsystems from 2000 to 2004, and that between the ecology and the economic subsystems was the impediment of the sustainable development of economic–CLU–ecology from 2004 to 2012. This research helps to identify approach to sustainable development through analyzing synergistic effects, interdependencies, and trade-offs among the integrated economic–CLU–ecology values, and to make significant contribution to urban planning policies in rapid urbanization region.

  1. Application of 16S rDNA-DGGE to examine the microbial ecology associated with a social wasp Vespula germanica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeson, A F; Jankovic, T; Kasper, M L; Rogers, S; Austin, A D

    2003-02-01

    Invertebrates host numerous bacteria, with interactions ranging from pathogenesis to symbiosis. While certain symbiotic relationships have been well studied, little is known about the dynamics of these bacterial communities. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) was used to examine the bacterial microflora associated with the eusocial wasp Vespula germanica. DGGE profiles of larval guts revealed a variable microflora, suggesting that V. germanica is not dependent on a particular suite of mutualists. The variation in profiles was not related to season, nest size or macrohabitat. Sequences corresponding to Lactococcus, Lactobacillus, a novel Leuconostoc and two Rickettsiella grylli strains were obtained. DGGE proved to be a useful technique for characterizing the wasp microflora. Given the importance of microbial communities to invertebrates, there is much to be gained from the application of such techniques.

  2. Phototrophs in high-iron-concentration microbial mats: physiological ecology of phototrophs in an iron-depositing hot spring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierson, B. K.; Parenteau, M. N.; Griffin, B. M.

    1999-01-01

    At Chocolate Pots Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park the source waters have a pH near neutral, contain high concentrations of reduced iron, and lack sulfide. An iron formation that is associated with cyanobacterial mats is actively deposited. The uptake of [(14)C]bicarbonate was used to assess the impact of ferrous iron on photosynthesis in this environment. Photoautotrophy in some of the mats was stimulated by ferrous iron (1.0 mM). Microelectrodes were used to determine the impact of photosynthetic activity on the oxygen content and the pH in the mat and sediment microenvironments. Photosynthesis increased the oxygen concentration to 200% of air saturation levels in the top millimeter of the mats. The oxygen concentration decreased with depth and in the dark. Light-dependent increases in pH were observed. The penetration of light in the mats and in the sediments was determined. Visible radiation was rapidly attenuated in the top 2 mm of the iron-rich mats. Near-infrared radiation penetrated deeper. Iron was totally oxidized in the top few millimeters, but reduced iron was detected at greater depths. By increasing the pH and the oxygen concentration in the surface sediments, the cyanobacteria could potentially increase the rate of iron oxidation in situ. This high-iron-content hot spring provides a suitable model for studying the interactions of microbial photosynthesis and iron deposition and the role of photosynthesis in microbial iron cycling. This model may help clarify the potential role of photosynthesis in the deposition of Precambrian banded iron formations.

  3. Forest soil microbial communities: Using metagenomic approaches to survey permanent plots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amy L. Ross-Davis; Jane E. Stewart; John W. Hanna; John D. Shaw; Andrew T. Hudak; Theresa B. Jain; Robert J. Denner; Russell T. Graham; Deborah S. Page-Dumroese; Joanne M. Tirocke; Mee-Sook Kim; Ned B. Klopfenstein

    2014-01-01

    Forest soil ecosystems include some of the most complex microbial communities on Earth (Fierer et al. 2012). These assemblages of archaea, bacteria, fungi, and protists play essential roles in biogeochemical cycles (van der Heijden et al. 2008) and account for considerable terrestrial biomass (Nielsen et al. 2011). Yet, determining the microbial composition of forest...

  4. Microbial Profiling Of Cyanobacteria From VIT Lake

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Swati Singh

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The application of molecular biological methods to study the diversity and ecology of micro-organisms in natural environments has been practice in mid-1980. The aim of our research is to access the diversity composition and functioning of complex microbial community found in VIT Lake. Molecular ecology is a new field in which microbes can be recognized and their function can be understood at the DNA or RNA level which is useful for constructing genetically modified microbes by recombinant DNA technology for reputed use in the environment. In this research first we will isolate cyanobacteria in lab using conventional methods like broth culture and spread plate method then we will analyze their morphology using various staining methods and DNA and protein composition using electrophoresis method. The applications of community profiling approaches will advance our understanding of the functional role of microbial diversity in VIT Lake controls on microbial community composition.

  5. [Systemic approach to ecologic safety at objects with radiation jeopardy, involved into localization of low and medium radioactive waste].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veselov, E I

    2011-01-01

    The article deals with specifying systemic approach to ecologic safety of objects with radiation jeopardy. The authors presented stages of work and algorithm of decisions on preserving reliability of storage for radiation jeopardy waste. Findings are that providing ecologic safety can cover 3 approaches: complete exemption of radiation jeopardy waste, removal of more dangerous waste from present buildings and increasing reliability of prolonged localization of radiation jeopardy waste at the initial place. The systemic approach presented could be realized at various radiation jeopardy objects.

  6. An ecological function and services approach to total maximum daily load (TMDL) prioritization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Robert K; Guiliano, David; Swanson, Sherman; Philbin, Michael J; Lin, John; Aron, Joan L; Schafer, Robin J; Heggem, Daniel T

    2014-04-01

    Prioritizing total maximum daily load (TMDL) development starts by considering the scope and severity of water pollution and risks to public health and aquatic life. Methodology using quantitative assessments of in-stream water quality is appropriate and effective for point source (PS) dominated discharge, but less so in watersheds with mostly nonpoint source (NPS) related impairments. For NPSs, prioritization in TMDL development and implementation of associated best management practices should focus on restoration of ecosystem physical functions, including how restoration effectiveness depends on design, maintenance and placement within the watershed. To refine the approach to TMDL development, regulators and stakeholders must first ask if the watershed, or ecosystem, is at risk of losing riparian or other ecologically based physical attributes and processes. If so, the next step is an assessment of the spatial arrangement of functionality with a focus on the at-risk areas that could be lost, or could, with some help, regain functions. Evaluating stream and wetland riparian function has advantages over the traditional means of water quality and biological assessments for NPS TMDL development. Understanding how an ecosystem functions enables stakeholders and regulators to determine the severity of problem(s), identify source(s) of impairment, and predict and avoid a decline in water quality. The Upper Reese River, Nevada, provides an example of water quality impairment caused by NPS pollution. In this river basin, stream and wetland riparian proper functioning condition (PFC) protocol, water quality data, and remote sensing imagery were used to identify sediment sources, transport, distribution, and its impact on water quality and aquatic resources. This study found that assessments of ecological function could be used to generate leading (early) indicators of water quality degradation for targeting pollution control measures, while traditional in-stream water

  7. An Ecological Approach to Seeking and Utilising the Views of Young People with Intellectual Disabilities in Transition Planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Small, Neil; Raghavan, Raghu; Pawson, Nicole

    2013-01-01

    Transition planning using a person-centred approach has, in the main, failed to shape service provision. We offer an alternative based on an ecological understanding of human development linked to public health approaches that prioritise whole system planning. A total of 43 young people with intellectual disabilities, in Bradford, England, who…

  8. An Approach to Evaluate Comprehensive Plan and Identify Priority Lands for Future Land Use Development to Conserve More Ecological Values

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Long Zhou

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Urbanization has significant impacts on the regional environmental quality through altering natural lands, converting them to urban built-up areas. One common strategy applied by urban planners to manage urbanization and preserve natural resources is to make a comprehensive plan and concentrate future land use in certain areas. However, in practice, planners used to make future land use planning mainly based on their subjective interpretations with limited ecological supporting evidence and analysis. Here, we propose a new approach composed of ecological modelling and land use zoning in the spatial matrix to evaluate the comprehensive plan and identify priority lands for sustainable land use planning. We use the city of Corvallis, OR, as the test bed to demonstrate this new approach. The results indicate that the Corvallis Comprehensive Plan 1998–2020 featured with compact development is not performing efficiently in conserving ecological values, and the land use plan featured with mixed-use spreading development generated by the proposed approach meets the city’s land demands for urban growth, and conserves 103% more ecological value of retaining storm water nitrogen, 270% more ecological value of retaining storm water phosphorus and 19% more ecological value in storing carbon in the whole watershed. This study indicates that if planned with scientific analysis and evidence, spreading urban development does not necessarily result in less sustainable urban environment than the compact development recommended in smart growth.

  9. Biogenic metallic nanoparticles as catalyst for bioelectricity production: A novel approach in microbial fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saravanakumar, Kandasamy, E-mail: saravana732@gmail.com [School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai (China); State Key Laboratory of Microbial Metabolism, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai (China); Key Laboratory of Urban Agriculture (South), Ministry of Agriculture, Shanghai (China); MubarakAli, Davoodbasha [Microbial Genetic Engineering Laboratory, Division of Bioengineering, College of Life Science and Bioengineering, Incheon National University, Songdo 406772, Incheon (Korea, Republic of); Department of Microbiology, School of Lifesciences, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli 620024 (India); Kathiresan, Kandasamy [Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology, Faculty of Marine Sciences, Annamalai University, Parangipettai 608 502, Tamil Nadu (India); Thajuddin, Nooruddin [Department of Microbiology, School of Lifesciences, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli 620024 (India); Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451 (Saudi Arabia); Alharbi, Naiyf S. [Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451 (Saudi Arabia); Chen, Jie, E-mail: jiechen59@sjtu.edu.cn [School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai (China); State Key Laboratory of Microbial Metabolism, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai (China); Key Laboratory of Urban Agriculture (South), Ministry of Agriculture, Shanghai (China)

    2016-01-15

    Highlights: • Trichoderma sp., showed an abilities to synthesis of AgNPs and AuNPs with an excellent stability. • AuNPs significantly enhanced the bioelectricity production by MFC of anaerobic fermentation as catalyst. • Maximum bioelectricity production was optimized and obtained the voltage of 432.80 mA using RSM. - Abstract: The present work aimed to use the biogenic metallic nanoparticles as catalyst for bioelectricity production in microbial fuel cell (MFC) approach under anaerobic condition. Silver and gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) were synthesized using Trichoderma sp. Particle size and cystallinity were measured by X-ray diffraction revealed the crystalline structure with average size of 36.17 nm. Electron microscopic studies showed spherical shaped silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) and cubical shaped AuNPs with size ranges from 50 to 150 nm. The concentration of biogenic metallic nanoparticles as catalyst for enhanced bioelectricity generations and estimated by response surface methodology (RSM) and found at the greatest of 342.80 mA under optimized conditions are time interval, temperature, nanoparticles used as 63 h, 28 ± 2.0 °C, 22.54 mg l{sup −1} (AgNPs) and 25.62 mg l{sup −1} (AuNPs) in a batch reactor. AuNPs acted as an excellent catalyst to enhance the bioelectricity production. This novel technique could be used for eco-friendly, economically feasible and facile electricity production.

  10. Assessment of statistical methods used in library-based approaches to microbial source tracking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritter, Kerry J; Carruthers, Ethan; Carson, C Andrew; Ellender, R D; Harwood, Valerie J; Kingsley, Kyle; Nakatsu, Cindy; Sadowsky, Michael; Shear, Brian; West, Brian; Whitlock, John E; Wiggins, Bruce A; Wilbur, Jayson D

    2003-12-01

    Several commonly used statistical methods for fingerprint identification in microbial source tracking (MST) were examined to assess the effectiveness of pattern-matching algorithms to correctly identify sources. Although numerous statistical methods have been employed for source identification, no widespread consensus exists as to which is most appropriate. A large-scale comparison of several MST methods, using identical fecal sources, presented a unique opportunity to assess the utility of several popular statistical methods. These included discriminant analysis, nearest neighbour analysis, maximum similarity and average similarity, along with several measures of distance or similarity. Threshold criteria for excluding uncertain or poorly matched isolates from final analysis were also examined for their ability to reduce false positives and increase prediction success. Six independent libraries used in the study were constructed from indicator bacteria isolated from fecal materials of humans, seagulls, cows and dogs. Three of these libraries were constructed using the rep-PCR technique and three relied on antibiotic resistance analysis (ARA). Five of the libraries were constructed using Escherichia coli and one using Enterococcus spp. (ARA). Overall, the outcome of this study suggests a high degree of variability across statistical methods. Despite large differences in correct classification rates among the statistical methods, no single statistical approach emerged as superior. Thresholds failed to consistently increase rates of correct classification and improvement was often associated with substantial effective sample size reduction. Recommendations are provided to aid in selecting appropriate analyses for these types of data.

  11. Nucleic acid-based approaches to investigate microbial-related cheese quality defects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel eO Sullivan

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available AbstractThe microbial profile of cheese is a primary determinant of cheese quality. Microorganisms can contribute to aroma and taste defects, form biogenic amines, cause gas and secondary fermentation defects, and can contribute to cheese pinking and mineral deposition issues. These defects may be as a result of seasonality and the variability in the composition of the milk supplied, variations in cheese processing parameters, as well as the nature and number of the non-starter microorganisms which come from the milk or other environmental sources. Such defects can be responsible for production and product recall costs and thus represent a significant economic burden for the dairy industry worldwide. Traditional non-molecular approaches are often considered biased and have inherently slow turnaround times. Molecular techniques can provide early and rapid detection of defects that result from the presence of specific spoilage microbes and, ultimately, assist in enhancing cheese quality and reducing costs. Here we review the DNA-based methods that are available to detect/quantify spoilage bacteria, and relevant metabolic pathways, in cheeses and, in the process, highlight how these strategies can be employed to improve cheese quality and reduce the associated economic burden on cheese processors.

  12. Biogenic metallic nanoparticles as catalyst for bioelectricity production: A novel approach in microbial fuel cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saravanakumar, Kandasamy; MubarakAli, Davoodbasha; Kathiresan, Kandasamy; Thajuddin, Nooruddin; Alharbi, Naiyf S.; Chen, Jie

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • Trichoderma sp., showed an abilities to synthesis of AgNPs and AuNPs with an excellent stability. • AuNPs significantly enhanced the bioelectricity production by MFC of anaerobic fermentation as catalyst. • Maximum bioelectricity production was optimized and obtained the voltage of 432.80 mA using RSM. - Abstract: The present work aimed to use the biogenic metallic nanoparticles as catalyst for bioelectricity production in microbial fuel cell (MFC) approach under anaerobic condition. Silver and gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) were synthesized using Trichoderma sp. Particle size and cystallinity were measured by X-ray diffraction revealed the crystalline structure with average size of 36.17 nm. Electron microscopic studies showed spherical shaped silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) and cubical shaped AuNPs with size ranges from 50 to 150 nm. The concentration of biogenic metallic nanoparticles as catalyst for enhanced bioelectricity generations and estimated by response surface methodology (RSM) and found at the greatest of 342.80 mA under optimized conditions are time interval, temperature, nanoparticles used as 63 h, 28 ± 2.0 °C, 22.54 mg l"−"1 (AgNPs) and 25.62 mg l"−"1 (AuNPs) in a batch reactor. AuNPs acted as an excellent catalyst to enhance the bioelectricity production. This novel technique could be used for eco-friendly, economically feasible and facile electricity production.

  13. Plasmodium knowlesi transmission: integrating quantitative approaches from epidemiology and ecology to understand malaria as a zoonosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brock, P M; Fornace, K M; Parmiter, M; Cox, J; Drakeley, C J; Ferguson, H M; Kao, R R

    2016-04-01

    The public health threat posed by zoonotic Plasmodium knowlesi appears to be growing: it is increasingly reported across South East Asia, and is the leading cause of malaria in Malaysian Borneo. Plasmodium knowlesi threatens progress towards malaria elimination as aspects of its transmission, such as spillover from wildlife reservoirs and reliance on outdoor-biting vectors, may limit the effectiveness of conventional methods of malaria control. The development of new quantitative approaches that address the ecological complexity of P. knowlesi, particularly through a focus on its primary reservoir hosts, will be required to control it. Here, we review what is known about P. knowlesi transmission, identify key knowledge gaps in the context of current approaches to transmission modelling, and discuss the integration of these approaches with clinical parasitology and geostatistical analysis. We highlight the need to incorporate the influences of fine-scale spatial variation, rapid changes to the landscape, and reservoir population and transmission dynamics. The proposed integrated approach would address the unique challenges posed by malaria as a zoonosis, aid the identification of transmission hotspots, provide insight into the mechanistic links between incidence and land use change and support the design of appropriate interventions.

  14. A systematic approach for watershed ecological restoration strategy making: An application in the Taizi River Basin in northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Mengdi; Fan, Juntao; Zhang, Yuan; Guo, Fen; Liu, Lusan; Xia, Rui; Xu, Zongxue; Wu, Fengchang

    2018-05-15

    Aiming to protect freshwater ecosystems, river ecological restoration has been brought into the research spotlight. However, it is challenging for decision makers to set appropriate objectives and select a combination of rehabilitation acts from numerous possible solutions to meet ecological, economic, and social demands. In this study, we developed a systematic approach to help make an optimal strategy for watershed restoration, which incorporated ecological security assessment and multi-objectives optimization (MOO) into the planning process to enhance restoration efficiency and effectiveness. The river ecological security status was evaluated by using a pressure-state-function-response (PSFR) assessment framework, and MOO was achieved by searching for the Pareto optimal solutions via Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm II (NSGA-II) to balance tradeoffs between different objectives. Further, we clustered the searched solutions into three types in terms of different optimized objective function values in order to provide insightful information for decision makers. The proposed method was applied in an example rehabilitation project in the Taizi River Basin in northern China. The MOO result in the Taizi River presented a set of Pareto optimal solutions that were classified into three types: I - high ecological improvement, high cost and high benefits solution; II - medial ecological improvement, medial cost and medial economic benefits solution; III - low ecological improvement, low cost and low economic benefits solution. The proposed systematic approach in our study can enhance the effectiveness of riverine ecological restoration project and could provide valuable reference for other ecological restoration planning. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Leaving school: Analysis of a case study from the angle of the ecological approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stepanović-Ilić Ivana

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Leaving school has far reaching consequences both for the individual and the society. We tackled this problem by using Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory to analyse case studies of 12 children (elementary and secondary schools who quit schooling or are under risk to do so. It is an adequate frame of reference for understanding the causes of school-leaving since it considers different levels of development and their relations. The children and four parents took part in semi-structured interviews. Other data were gathered by interviewing the focus groups of school principals, school pedagogues and psychologists, teachers, Parent Councils, and pupils. The qualitative analysis shows a disturbed structure and functioning even at the level of microsystem (family, school, peers which may be linked with school-leaving. The relations between microsystems are sporadic and inadequate (mesosystem which additionally stimulates school-leaving. Higher levels of environment (exo and macro systems in which children do not participate, yet depend upon their indirect influence, stimulate school leaving, too. Many children were faced with nonnormative life events (chrono-system: divorce or death of parent/s, underage pregnancy, family moving. We view this research as the initial step which will identify the problems and lead to future directions of research which would, based on Bronfenbrenner's approach, systematically examine different levels of environment and form the basis for creating ecologically valid measures for prevention of school-leaving.

  16. A Multi-Scalar Approach to Theorizing Socio-Ecological Dynamics of Urban Residential Landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rinku Roy Chowdhury

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Urban residential expansion increasingly drives land use, land cover and ecological changes worldwide, yet social science theories explaining such change remain under-developed. Existing theories often focus on processes occurring at one scale, while ignoring other scales. Emerging evidence from four linked U.S. research sites suggests it is essential to examine processes at multiple scales simultaneously when explaining the evolution of urban residential landscapes. Additionally, focusing on urbanization dynamics across multiple sites with a shared research design may yield fruitful comparative insights. The following processes and social-hierarchical scales significantly influence the spatial configurations of residential landscapes: household-level characteristics and environmental attitudes; formal and informal institutions at the neighborhood scale; and municipal-scale land-use governance. While adopting a multi-scale and multi-site approach produces research challenges, doing so is critical to advancing understanding of coupled socio-ecological systems and associated vulnerabilities in a dynamic and environmentally important setting: residential landscapes.

  17. Non-technical approach to the challenges of ecological architecture: Learning from Van der Laan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María-Jesús González-Díaz

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Up to now, ecology has a strong influence on the development of technical and instrumental aspects of architecture, such as renewable and efficient of resources and energy, CO2 emissions, air quality, water reuse, some social and economical aspects. These concepts define the physical keys and codes of the current ׳sustainable׳ architecture, normally instrumental but rarely and insufficiently theorised. But is not there another way of bringing us to nature? We need a theoretical referent. This is where we place the Van der Laan׳s thoughts: he considers that art completes nature and he builds his theoretical discourse on it, trying to better understand many aspects of architecture. From a conceptual point of view, we find in his works sense of timelessness, universality, special attention on the ׳locus׳ and a strict sense of proportions and use of materials according to nature. Could these concepts complement our current sustainable architecture? How did Laan apply the current codes of ecology in his architecture? His work may help us to get a theoretical interpretation of nature and not only physical. This paper develops this idea through the comparison of thoughts and works of Laan with the current technical approach to ׳sustainable׳ architecture.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Estimation of the species richness of fish parasite fauna: an ecological approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ieshko Evgeny Pavlovich

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available We studied the biological diversity of the parasite fauna in pike from four habitats found in northern lakes of Karelia. The curves of the expected species richness versus sampling effort (the number of examined specimens dependency were plotted. A universal approach to the description of the new species replenishment dynamics is proposed – including finding (through combinatorial analysis the median value between the fastest and the slowest paths of the species richness growth followed by approximation using logistic function . Our analysis showed that the leading ecological factors controlling the formation of the parasite species richness in a specific waterbody are the richness of infracommunities and the age composition of the host sample. The sample of 15 host specimens contains at least 80% of all species in the parasite community.

  20. Dynamic ecological-economic modeling approach for management of shellfish aquaculture

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Nobre, AM

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this report is to conceptualize ecological and economic interactions in mariculture; to implement a dynamic ecological-economic model in order to: simulate the socio-economics of aquaculture production, simulate its effects...

  1. Benefits of using a Social-Ecological Systems Approach to Conceptualize and Model Wetlands Restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Using a social-ecological systems (SES) perspective to examine wetland restoration helps decision-makers recognize interdependencies and relations between ecological and social components of coupled systems. Conceptual models are an invaluable tool to capture, visualize, and orga...

  2. 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.

  3. An automated approach to mapping ecological sites using hyper-temporal remote sensing and SVM classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    The development of ecological sites as management units has emerged as a highly effective land management framework, but its utility has been limited by spatial ambiguity of ecological site locations in the U.S., lack of ecological site concepts in many other parts of the world, and the inability to...

  4. Ecological-economical approach to assessment of environment state at the Semipalatinsk test site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chugunova, N.S.; Balykbaeva, S.Y.

    2002-01-01

    The paper presents methods used for ecological-economical assessment of the environment condition at the former Semipalatinsk Test Site. It also presents methodology of calculating ecological and economical parameters for different options. Besides, the paper provides data describing assessment of ecological and economical damage caused by defense establishment activities at the Semipalatinsk Test Site. (author)

  5. Development and application of the SSD approach in scientific case studies for ecological risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Signore, Anastasia; Hendriks, A Jan; Lenders, H J Rob; Leuven, Rob S E W; Breure, A M

    2016-09-01

    Species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) are used in ecological risk assessment for extrapolation of the results of toxicity tests with single species to a toxicity threshold considered protective of ecosystem structure and functioning. The attention to and importance of the SSD approach has increased in scientific and regulatory communities since the 1990s. Discussion and criticism have been triggered on the concept of the approach as well as its technical aspects (e.g., distribution type, number of toxicity endpoints). Various questions remain unanswered, especially with regard to different endpoints, statistical methods, and protectiveness of threshold levels, for example. In the present literature review (covering the period 2002-2013), case studies are explored in which the SSD approach was applied, as well as how endpoint types, species choice, and data availability affect SSDs. How statistical methods may be used to construct reliable SSDs and whether the lower 5th percentile hazard concentrations (HC5s) from a generic SSD can be protective for a specific local community are also investigated. It is shown that estimated protective concentrations were determined by taxonomic groups rather than the statistical method used to construct the distribution. Based on comparisons between semifield and laboratory-based SSDs, the output from a laboratory SSD was protective of semifield communities in the majority of studies. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:2149-2161. © 2016 SETAC. © 2016 SETAC.

  6. Metagenomic approach reveals microbial diversity and predictive microbial metabolic pathways in Yucha, a traditional Li fermented food

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Jiachao; Wang, Xiaoru; Huo, Dongxue; Li, Wu; Hu, Qisong; Xu, Chuanbiao; Liu, Sixin; Li, Congfa

    2016-01-01

    Yucha is a typical traditional fermented food of the Li population in the Hainan province of China, and it is made up of cooked rice and fresh fish. In the present study, metagenomic approach and culture-dependent technology were applied to describe the diversity of microbiota and identify beneficial microbes in the Yucha. At the genus level, Lactobacillus was the most abundant genus (43.82% of the total reads), followed by Lactococcus, Enterococcus, Vibrio, Weissella, Pediococcus, Enterobact...

  7. Urban Ecological Security Simulation and Prediction Using an Improved Cellular Automata (CA) Approach-A Case Study for the City of Wuhan in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Yuan; Zhang, Chuanrong; He, Qingsong; Liu, Yaolin

    2017-06-15

    Ecological security is an important research topic, especially urban ecological security. As highly populated eco-systems, cities always have more fragile ecological environments. However, most of the research on urban ecological security in literature has focused on evaluating current or past status of the ecological environment. Very little literature has carried out simulation or prediction of future ecological security. In addition, there is even less literature exploring the urban ecological environment at a fine scale. To fill-in the literature gap, in this study we simulated and predicted urban ecological security at a fine scale (district level) using an improved Cellular Automata (CA) approach. First we used the pressure-state-response (PSR) method based on grid-scale data to evaluate urban ecological security. Then, based on the evaluation results, we imported the geographically weighted regression (GWR) concept into the CA model to simulate and predict urban